Day rises out of night-chill
and white frost
bathed in frozen fog.

Pearled sky blues, touch by touch,
beaten by kestrel wings
searing the trailing mist

until on a sudden,
in a wing-flash, white as egrets,
there is only light,

green, blue,
and between, the kestrel god
hangs in splendour.


Days of water

An Imbolc poem for earthweal.

caillou Brigid's flood

Days of water
nights of rushing wind
and only thoughts of fire.

Winter runs in these cold streams,
dull browns and mud-grey,
sodden with cloud-spill.

No light, bright and sharp
as whetted steel,
no gold glints among the weeds

or the mud-stirred ditches;
winter runs still
in these cold veins,

only the birds,
colour of sunglitter and holly berries,

dance to the music of Brigid’s footsteps,
settle on the budding twig-snap
of her fiery fingers.

A time of waiting

For the earthweal open link weekend.

january dawn frost

This is a time of waiting
for the light then the lit fire
the cold chased into the far corners
and the sun to rise perhaps
above the banks of fog.

Of waiting for the night
to close
then open on a million stars
and the cold to sharpen like
badger claws in the frozen bank

A cold time of watching
for signs that warm is swelling
the quick bursts of birdwings
and tracks through the frost.

This is a time of dark brilliance
shadows behind the sharp edge
of every blade, a blood-slowing deep time
and I long for it to end.

Hope in question

Posting this one to earthweal.


Cold comes in the answer
and snow in the wind,
furrows fill with white, while
growling incandescence consumes
branch and twig
in our invocation of the sun we have lost
in the dark night of winter.

In the morning,
the embers cold and pitted with deer tracks,
ash streams, the wind still bitter.

Ice cracks in the north
with a dark voice full of teeth,
and in the wood
a thrush is singing.

Winter chimes

For the earthweal solstice bell challenge.


No bells rang here to break up the cloud
with silver sound, the echoing notes
of rivers flowing beneath earth and rock,
weaving veined chords from then
to now and beyond.

Sky squatted dark and heavy-jowled on the hill,
swallowed moon and stars, and how will we know
the time, how measure this great darkness,
how know when it has ended?

No bells rang to summon or alarm,
but the hart, sharp-hoofed, ran about the house
across the weeping grass and leapt the ditch.
Fox slipped through a fox hole, while the rain fell
cold as an empty seat in an empty house.

No bells rang here, no call to bow the head,
only the bull-bellow of the wind
that marks the turning of the world from dark
to light, and whether tomorrow comes bright
or grey as the pits of the sea,
the robin will sing in a poplar tree.