Sevenling: Preparing for the storm


After the calm beneath the burning sun

the stilly meadow waves and the fluttering foam

the sky curdles beaten by the storm


Storm brews from curdled cloud

stirred by leaf and bough lashing

a sighing like the tide hissing out


there is tragedy in the heat-weary fury of brow-beaten trees

A thrush, the first bird


The restless, storm-tossed night was long,

dark filled with wave-hiss, snapping boughs,

a ship moored in a sea-rocked berth.


No stars, a heavy quilt of cloud

pressed down, oppressed the swaying trees,

the restless storm-tossed night was long.


When rage along the river swept,

storm carried north across the hills,

dark filled with wave-hiss, snapping boughs,


a thrush, the first bird, broke the calm,

a rush of song sailed through the dawn,

a ship rocked in a sheltered berth.

World is water


World is water falling splashing

lashing with steel whips

(drips) bough and stalk


the clouds cold wrath

frothing in over-spilling streams

gleams darkly


battleship grey they throng

songs of thunder in their hearts

(starts the drum roll)


From over-spilling eyes

skies pour an ocean to float the blue-buoyed earth

and still


birds trill and sing

fling all their hearts in open-beaked song

as long as there is a pulse to thrill the blood.

Gogyohka for a deluge

fire salamander

dim grey-green light

through water-grey blur

and the crooning of blackbirds

soothing the tedious drip

of broken guttering


by the pool of rainwater

murky brown with mud

a fire salamander gleams

exotic rainforest sprite

sharing the deluge with toads


awash the grass

the lane aflood

and hares race

oblivious to the downpour

the water veil of fading light

Head in the rain


Listening to the drip drip of rain on the migraine

and feeling the earth soak beneath boots, sinking


unstable and the air full of shimmering, I walk

beneath dripping trees, where birds watch for worms,


and the background noise shrinks to the song of

nightingales, tirelessly ignoring storm and downpour.


I walk a path between grasses shoulder high, bowed

by lead crystal drops, and the clamour soothes,


cooling the blood with rain drip dripping

from the pigeon-grey eaves of the sky.

Passing storm


When the promised storm passes

on dark cloud wings,

and the sun sets in fire

on the meadow grasses,

and the soughing of the trees becomes a sigh,

you and I at the window listen,

waves of song in dusk-light glisten—

dauntless nightingales are singing

to the restless air.

The endless song in moonlight winging

from the hedgerow, soaring higher,

nothing in the night has ever seemed so fair.


Haibun for wind and water


We close the window shutters to keep out the rain that lashes the panes and runs behind the frames, pooling on the floor. We lay a rudimentary barrage across the porch where the torrent, running down from the fields, following the driveway, joins the cascade pouring off the roof and edges up towards the door. Ditches and pathways are raging watercourses, turning the bottoms into a grassy lake. If the stream bursts its banks and joins the lake, the water will reach half way up the hill.

We do what we can to keep out the water, but we cannot keep out the roaring voice in the chimney. Listen, it says, to what I can do, and remember Ozymandias.

soft sunlight was

where rain beats—dandelion