Fierce summer

I wrote this gogyohka this morning and discovered that Paul Miltaru had posted a photograph to accompany it. Thank you, Paul for letting me borrow it.

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the wind blows hot and fierce

bringing only dry-leaf rain

to this parched land

fissures gape—listen

you can hear the earth gasp



I’ve been working on this poem for a few days. Seems like a good moment to post it. For the NaPoWriMo pastoral prompt.


We walk in the dark of the wind-rushy trees,

listening to their wind-rushy voices,

solemn and wise and old as the earth,

silencing birdsong and furtive rustlings

from woods, hedges, field edges

and sleeping gardens.

Hands touch, but can they hold it back,

the something, pale blue and shimmering,

that seemed to fade in the dusk?

Wind rushes, rolling the perfume of lilac along the lane,

playing the woodwind of rose and oriole,

bowling garlic flower notes against the dark.

Wind ruffles flowerheads with gentle hand,

my face, sharper, imperious—listen, feel—

then suddenly the stream,

banked in heavy scents of wet earth,

edged in elm and elder,

alder and willow boughs sweeping low,

calls in the pure ringing voice

of spring water running

and the notes, a seamless weave,

leave no space for sadness.


I’m not sure about this dverse prompt—punctuating silence in poetry. To me, words are indissociable from the silences between them. I have used this as an excercise in emphasising silences rather than marking them. I hope I’ve got the right end of the stick…




the wind speaks,

and in its voice raindrops drum on fallen leaves.




earth hums to the beat of rain and wind,

leaves fall and cup the falling drops.


Silent drift—


birds, buffeted and bent-winged, blow

across the field of vision, criss-crossed by the rain.




storm air sings, plucks the strings

that hold the bent-winged birds

in balance with this blast


of silence.



Night wind and the fox



In the dawn damp

at the forest’s edge,

a red shadow glides.

Bird hush breaks

at sunrise

bright as the brush

of a sleeping fox.



and mist blows in from the sea

coating my lips in salt

and the electric tang

of unseen vastness.


In the night,

a cry,

a bark wilder than any dog’s,

and the sterile concrete of the streets

shivers at the sound.


There is a window in the wind

that blows across the river.

Look carefully and you will see

wild swans flying home.