poetry diary

Reflections of the moment

At sea

I used to scan the undulating waves for whales;
imagined tails and dorsal fins
just missed in swirls of sudden foam
that spoke of some creative force –
willing, but uncome.

But now I know the whales are gone;
eddies of another age
and chances missed.
The surface of the sea is wracked by sobs,
and the deep, slow, swell
of despair.


On the Caen-Portsmouth ferry, Sunday afternoon. Possibly not in my normal optimistic mood.

A rain storm in May

Across newt-kissed pond
floating apple blossom spreads,
and grey skies turn blue.

Remembering Hj

You helped free a poet.
contemplating a vase of flowers;
and again,
by candlelight.

A flickering
presence in those moments
shared (such a big word)
in small words (scared.)

Freedom is only the start.

(but thanks, too.)

Climate change

Outside my window,
cherry blossom, these four months.
Confused, our bees die.


In the leaves, perhaps,
or the lines on your face?
The air vibrates, and a distant dog

I try to listen; to find a voice
amongst the noise.

In the leaves, the wind.
Lined faces look away.
Empty air – or food – silences
the dog.

I cannot hear, but feel a voice.

A beginning

There was no story –
a rose unfolding in the mist;
a thrush, unsinging, flies.
Wet grass:
fallen tears,
or last night’s rain?
Dark earth, warming, damp;
a microbe stirs.


The dawn last Monday was beautiful, as I drove to Warwick University.

A Christmas Cake

Africa! In the first mouthful a cry,
exuberant and rich, like the joy
of the suited businessman in the hall
when Mandela came to Oxford (I was there
– sixth from the right in the back row, 2002)
which still makes me weep. Dates and almonds
from Morocco, sun-suffered and strong.

Aromas of Asia in the air;
cinnamon and ginger – thoughtful
and intense – flavours in which to swim;
always wanting more and yet too much:
I think of India’s smiling crowds,
her warmth and ‘welcome home’, the noise.
Delicate nutmeg; ancient, wise and human.

Sensual sugars from the Americas,
sweetness swamping tongue and taste:
confident and bright, like Carnival in Rio,
or Miami Beach. Impatient
as the traffic in New York, raisins
from California everywhere,
like yellow taxi cabs.

Europe comes through later, an aftertaste
and reminder to forget so many things;
so many things – that tang of alcohol,
and practised mellowness: a hint
of leather armchairs and smoking guns,
conquistadors and sailing ships. Spanish
sherry – oak-aged and waiting just for this.

Our Christmas cake.


Every year around this time I bake a (very rich) traditional fruitcake for Christmas with my two children (we’ve done this since they were extremely small, and we all know our roles). This will sometimes last until March. Recipe as above (approximately).

Posted on Poets United.

On raking autumn leaves

Each leaf a life, accidental
and fallen. Damp-collecting,
for composting or burning.
Recalling summer skies; brushstrokes
for laid-back lovers – grass in their hair,
green against blue, waving gently
from sap-filled willow wands: a kiss –
her moment in time; another life
accidental, and rising now.


I was raking leaves off the lawn this morning and suddenly felt like writing again. It’s been a tough couple of months, but a rest and break over Christmas is now in sight.

In the summer, I sometimes like to lie under the trees and look at the sky through the leaves.

Posted on dVerse.

City life

Rain on my windscreen;
crooked blue and white light trails –
sirens in the night.


For September Haiku Heights  – today’s prompt is ‘crooked’. That’s it for this year – it’s been fun and challenging as always. Thanks to all at HH for the prompts and comments.


A child’s eye widens;
jagged sky bites writhing Earth.
Hold my hand.


For September Haiku Heights  – today’s prompt is ‘mother’.


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