The answer lies in that elusive glitter
silver-blue that twists its corded
and chorded plain chant notes
falling like drops of stream water.

If I listen hard I can hear
that pure song answering.
But I will never hear the question.
It blows distant now on other hills.




Ooze is this brown leaf-squelch
beneath booted feet
where green shoots spring.

Uisce, the limpid or turbid,
rolling, honeyed, bottle-poured,
fiery essence of all life.

Ouse, the river running
by my childhood town,
slow and dark, mud-sluggish.

Eau, now, here,
runs and trickles and lies
in hollowed pools,

all are water-life, water-strength,
water-words, rolling, slaking, washing,
filling the veins of the earth.

Water stories

Inspired by this magical photo by ©Paul Militaru

The green light and the blue
fly with bird of paradise wings
singing water songs through
thronging shadows in the stream
and dreams weave corded, threaded stories
of life and birth and new things forming
beneath the moonlight and the sunlight
of a million yesterdays.

Nights and days follow, circle,
and still the weaving is not done,
not unravelled in secret silence
but renewed, reflected,
revealed and replenished.
Perhaps if we grow wings,
we may catch the flying threads and read,
before the waters rush us, grass-stalk light,
into the gentle darkness,
over the edge of time.

Almost spring

full ditch

From drought to flood this little world has shifted
the brilliant blaze of blue and brazen light
submerged in the undersea gloom
of swaying green fronds and the air is a river.

No sound but the soughing of the heavy boughs
wind blustering with gouts of rain
and silent cloud-clash in a sky grey as doom—
no pigeons shake wet feathers at the unseen sun.

But water runs again that sound a song
of spring remembered
when the paths are streams the ditches brooks
and the stream a raging torrent

the water song that bubbles up
from laden water table running
off sodden fields filling
the matted roots and stalks with silver ringing

bringing a promise of another spring
a green bright as sunlight gratitude
in the soaking supping of tree roots
and so much more to come.


More waterfalls. A cascade poem.


Water falls in echoes of the spring,

the rushing crystal tide that soaked the earth

and flooded green and growing seeded soil.


Beneath the summer sun, the ripples run

in ghosts of rivers, pattering of rain-

water that falls in echoes of the spring.


Ditches dry as dust, now hard-baked mud,

shaded by green spears, deep roots recall

the rushing crystal tide that soaked the earth.


I listen to the hiss of poplar leaves,

the susurration of the torrents past,

that flooded green and growing seeded soil.


The deluge ended at the end of the afternoon and the sun came out briefly. I took some photos of the wet. Unfortunately they don’t do justice to the scale. They only show the fast-running water and the deep lakes of it. They don’t show the sound of boots sinking into water and mud at every step, nor that the ditches are too wide to jump across and too deep to wade across. Fierce weather! It’s raining again…


This is the water running down the ditch outside the barn,


spilling over into the path that leads down to the bottoms


into another very fast-flowing ditch

full ditch

along the willows.


The stream stayed within its banks at this point though it has carried away the dam made when the woodpecker’s tree was blown down. Just a part of the trunk is left.

dam gone

There is now no culvert. The tufts of sedge mark where the path should cross the stream, which now flows straight over and cascades down the other side.

Caillou full

Between the ditch and the stream a lake is forming. Too deep to wade across in places.



more waterland

It’s a lovely natural milieu, but it won’t stay like this. The farmers upstream will have dammed up the source of the stream and it will dry up completely if the summer is as dry as last year. There won’t be a drop of drinking water for the wildlife, nothing for the trees. The frogs will do whatever frogs do when their water source dries up, and the ducklings, well, I don’t know what will happen to them.

There are natural events and environments.  Sometimes they get a bit out of hand, like at the moment, but everything goes back into its bed eventually.  The willows were planted along the bottoms almost a hundred years ago because there is always water there. Except that often nowadays, when the maize or the sugar beet takes priority, there isn’t. It’s when we tamper with things that lasting damage occurs. I’m hoping for at least a bit of rain over the summer.






Chunter of the wood stove, perpetual

sound and motion of disintegration;


ash falls with small explosions, red

flowers before the grey and dusty end.


So many days we have not seen the sun,

and the sky moves sluggish and slow,


the flock thickens… This heavy soil slops

under water where boots splash, and if you


listen hard, you can hear it pop and sigh.

Birds sing regardless. Spring is coming.

Rain runs

A watery poem for the dverse prompt. And a Redon painting because I love it.


Rain runs in rivers into

prismed oceans of rainbows

cerulean cells fill sky-mirrors

with silver scales scintillating;

life laughs in a glass of water.

Pull me down an arid star

and arose it with sparkling seas.

Watch it burgeon and burst

in thunderbolts and floral fountains.

Lap up a desert

dust-dry, wind-whipped

and delve among the debris of thirst.

Source springs skyward


with its liquid seeds.

So many crystal forests

draped in green garb

weed and moss-clad

echoing with seal shanties and siren songs,

tossed in the dewy air

into the throat of this thrush

trilling in the tree top.


to his water music.