Wednesday, 14 February 2018

14th February 2018

The sky is so clear this morning - it is mirror smooth and razor bright. The larches on Sunrising cut the crisp dawn with their jet black crowns. In the hedge beside the window a blackbird tries out its spring song. The notes rise and flute among the branches. Even in its hesitancy it is perfect...

... but now? Now the rain slants against the landscape. Crystal lances. Sharp and ice-hot. And the rooks don't seem to notice.

Monday, 12 February 2018

12th February 2018

Two magpies hooliganing in the middle of a salt-bleached road.

White highway and sunlight among so many browns.

For some reason it reminds me of the seaside dreams of childhood,

that smelt of tar
                  and starfished nets,
                                      and home.

Sunday, 2 August 2015


I am tired of talk
                 of monsters and words
                                             that taste of rusted chains                                                                            
and snare
               this beautiful,
                                extraordinary world
                                                       with a noose of syllables and syntax

And of those who redefine
                                 my hope in words
                                                         that I cannot recognise or understand...

What strange creatures we are:

We find ourselves flung among darkness and stars
Adrift and alone on a spinning globe
in an Eden we think we've lost.
Is it not surprising that our dreams are of fire and light?

And we people our worlds with such gods and demons
That we scarce can tell them apart
                                          or know which to worship
                                                                         and which to fear

So we find patterns among our footprints
and music in wind-blown trees
and we begin to see significance in the lines of each palm
and read our future in the shadow of our past

And we mark our lives with cups of tea
or things more insubstantial and find small
words to reach across the empty space that separates us
So that, for one small moment, the night erupts with the
spun-gold light of our small suns.

'The gate at the end of the vicarage snicket was blocked by cows again this morning.'
'I won't be surprised if a spot of rain will be coming our way.'
'The clock is running a little fast today.'
'I'll see you tomorrow then, God willing...
                                                             ... God willing'

Our globe still spins its path through all that silent darkness.

Come, show me your god
                                         and I will show you
                                                                   your deepest fears.

Monday, 29 June 2015


The summer heat has come, dustily settling across the fields and with it, the weighty, drowsiness that hums and buzzes in the head. The noontime hedges are as still as the night-time ones and the trees click and stretch beneath the sun. But the lethargy is short lived; the summer is still young, it hasn't yet shaken off the new-yeast of spring. The elder that the park-keeper laboured to cut back last month, explodes with green, lacy life, rearing in delight; defiantly laughing at the clean straight edges loved by sheers and humankind.

Two days ago, in the rain, I came across a dead rook - a juvenile, black beaked, full size. It lay upon the grass; perfectly formed, its eyes closed, as if sleeping. The crack willows by the pond were its dripping pall. The jackdaws and rooks were silent. Its blackness seeped into the sodden ground in the way that night creeps across the field, grass blade by grass blade. Penny sniffed around its iridescent body. I felt an irrational sorrow swim round my veins. Will its presence here on earth be missed and its death be mourned? Will its family watch out for its return and feel the stab of its absence? Crows, we are told, can recognise humans who have caused them harm for a year or more after the initial offence. Fields where danger has been perceived are avoided and news of it spread around the entire colony which is then handed down generation by generation. For how long will this young rook be grieved?

But today there is no body. There is no evidence of it at all on that grassy patch. The ground is bone dry as if even the trace of water falling from the lifeless feathers must be eradicated. Still grows the sweet smelling elder. For some, the world is not large enough to contain all this joy and sadness.  

Saturday, 20 June 2015

And THE Cuckoo..

One of those mornings when the air is pearled with silver beads that lift and float with every movement; too full of light to fall to earth.   A sky of hammered pewter brushes the fresh-cut grass and swaddles the trees.   A myriad snails pebble the field; Fibonacci whirls like fossilised Catherine Wheels.   Jackdaws sing scat to the thrush's song; the avant-garde augmenting the lyric.    When the rain comes it is serpent soft, hissing through leaves of spearmint-green.   The dog-rose is in flower and the cuckoo has yet to change its tune.