Utterances. pic


as we speak

we cling like partners in a dance

to our very own alphabet

drawn tight by desire

and we would, if we could

make a frieze of the trick

of language


the swollen air we launch in speech

is full of gifts

and on reflection it is sad

that so many are returned unheard

in the transmission of loss

that only time

in its wise fractions can attest

A player at the gate

A player at the gate. pic.


he plucks at the air

cheese-slicing with the strings

of his mandolin

in a nook in the park

a morning surprise

for dog walkers

the early morning stalkers


like me who walk the dog

and contemplate before the day

is fully underway


that plaintive sound

is like a herald

light on its feet and

with no malice in its whisper

 issues tones like a broadcast on the day

;  ‘the democracy of joy’

how kind of him to lay in wait

and assault us with music

You man of strings

I commend you for giving me

a bright start.

Day tripper


Day tripper. pic for poem

somewhere else

the sun shines

a person smiles


 so today I am drawn

to over there

where they breath different air


 because this sky frowns

blank and grey and sobbing

I am being robbed


 by a rolling crescendo

of  unruly  water

 that parades noisily on glass


 mocking all the barriers

 like stone, metal, or any canopy

that would forbid it


but still I long

for sunshine

and warm, wet lips


somewhere else

that will harbour me

in moments like this


CLOUDS. poem. pic


a rubble strewn sky of

white diaphanous handkerchiefs

wind-blown and shambling

against the blue that knows no distance

mocks me here, anchored by gravity

and my small, monotonous thoughts

but those clouds are drapes to a vision

I can linger in

like that Robin that rests for a fraction

on a branch so near to me

that I imagine he wishes to speak

and share with me a moment so intimate

we both make a vow of secrecy


Memory for Shelagh


after he had gone she lost


the letters from her name until

the M that launched her as a daughter

was left alone

stranded in the space that F

had shared, enjoined with her


Then she slipped away

clinging to that sense of loss

and enters now the land of shadows

and hints

that we can’t change

and so we reminisce

counting clocks and changing faces


the links of a family alerted

by her leaving

draw more tightly on the letters

in their own names

like pearls or beads that hold us fast

together in a daisy chain

of sadness and hope