Wind voices

Wind voices

Wind from Africa,
sand-cloud billows,
shakes the poplars dry,

rattles the water-hiss from the leaves,
leaves only the angry crackle of breaking
and the distant tonguing of flames.


Wind songs

Wind songs

Nothing is more eloquent than the wind,
though our ignorant ears rarely understand the words.

It murmurs different words to different trees,
sings different songs with their leaves,

water-ripples through the long grasses,
teasing whispers from waving seed heads,

and the birds weave their counterpoint,
sweet and soothing, even to its anger.

The wind and the rain

There was wind in the night,
in the attic, the chimney,
rattling the house and battering the roof tiles.
We check the leaks and hope for calm.

We are slipping into the dark again,
the water world, the shadow world,
no sky, no moon, no stars to see,
just the charcoal world of gathering cloud.

Folded in crow’s wings,
bare sticks of waiting trees
and the cold stealth of rain,
we are whip-lashed.

The ticking stove keeps the ghosts at bay,
the silence of wet meadows,
the hunger of fragile bones,
and beyond, a whole world watches.

Ears twitch and noses,
hedge drips as they wait
for our presence to fade,
and for our light to dim.

The wind that blew all night

Painting by Krzyżanowski

The wind that blew all night has stripped the leaves
and ripped the ivy from the wall;
its hot breath bringing summer from the south
has faltered, anger in its mouth.
Wild storms will come, I hear the urgent call
of songbirds sheltered by the wall,
and nothing battles in the higher air,
no wings are crumpled, tossed aside like chaff,
the magpie doesn’t leave her swaying nest,
a feathered anchor for her fledgling brood.
I hear alarm in every leafy sigh
and sough of branches, heavy with new leaf,
in every flower head with petaled crown
that fragile, bows, so soon to come to grief.

Spring wind


Wind winds through cracks and crannies, picking at

the insulation around the frames of window and door,


poking frigid fingers into spine and soup, chilling hot

food with a frozen flap of the hand. Wind whines in


the chimney, rattling doors to get in, riffling the pages

of an open book, rustling like dead leaves or flame-


crackle in the stove. Wind wins the battle with defences,

teasing the cracked plaster apart to whisper with thin lips,


This is the way of spring, the bright promises made, the

singing and the shooting, the sharp cut and thrust of birth.

The hand that shakes

A butterfly cinquain that doesn’t quite fit the remit for Colleen’s challenge as I have only used a synonym for one of the words.


The hand

that shakes the trees

is the wind’s, the voice that

calls in the night and stirs your dreams.


to its wild song woven with threads

of moon silver and the

gentle questions

of owls.