poetry diary

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)

Month: May, 2011

Meditation – Warwick Castle Sunset

Clouds streaming like armies from castle walls
dissolving into still futile beauty
of a sunset, raw red like war, westward.

They will never return.

Unlike this sunset, which will come again,
and war fall, like rotting pears on the quiet lawns
of middle England, unprepared once more.

And still the fortress stands.


This evening was still and beautiful in Warwick, with storm clouds receding and the sun emerging for the first time in a few days. The days are longer now, and the sun doesn’t set till round 9pm. The first lines of this poem came to me while playing tennis, and watching the clouds (I’m not a very serious player) and the rest is a slightly random meditation. I have no particular premonitions of conflict, but the future is a safely long time. The English are rarely prepared for change, I feel.

After the storm

It’s when water drops from re-born leaves
frustrated petrol-grey clouds turn to pink
and the scents of sodden concrete mingle;
mixed now with earth, and grass, and life, and air;
senses sharpened and bright to fight the storm
are too awake for this – a world returned
to peace and light at last:

just like after making love
the sun breaks through,
and the world is new


The storm and earth lie fulfilled.


This poem is for Jingle Poetry Potluck “Thunderstorms, floods and water fury”.


Reaching through the fantasies and patterns
of an ordinary day, you touched me.
I was grateful. Time changed its usual pace.
Soon I found myself looking back towards
the place where you had been.

I could not say, at supper, where I was.
I spoke to others; the long evening passed –
lingered before I went to bed – still there,
something intangible but warm. I slept,
quite well, but as I woke I found the shape
new in my soul, and clearer now, was you.


Submitted to http://gooseberrygoespoetic.blogspot.com/. August 2011.


From nothing came something.
The difference?
Merely their imagination.


A very small, and quick, poem for Wewritepoems prompt 55, “Everything, and how it all began”. I feel ‘their’ is the most important word in this poem. One is not enough.


You stood out from the crowd only slightly,
and the fear of loneliness came to me
and said “you cannot go”.

You waved, and held your hand to me. I cried,
but said nothing, enveloped in my fear.
The seasons passed us by.

It was warm in the crowd at first, I felt,
and the superficial kindnesses built
some semblance of loving.

Until I discovered the way to love
must pass through loneliness first; that dull fear
destroyed by true lovers.

It’s a long time since you waved, and the space
where you were is lost now, in the cold crowd.
It’s my turn to stand out.


Submitted to Poets United.

Warwick Castle – Friday evening in May

Ramparts against ebbing light;
clouds like sands.
Is this a fairytale come true
or folly on the beach?

Denying time and space;
towers like hands.
Holding this hill and place;
too much to teach.

Laughter dulls against your stones;
gates like frowns.
Fashion passes by and dies,
silent walls impeach.

Lost in time, waiting for wars,
which passed like thieves.
You can’t move, cannot change;
you’re far beyond my reach.


The light and clouds yesterday were fantastic, above the castle walls, and looked just like the pattern you get on beaches, after the tide goes out. (I play tennis next to Warwick Castle most weeks. This time we lost our tennis match 6/0 6/3, but I can’t blame the distraction for that.)

Submitted to Jingle Poetry Potluck. This is one of an occasional series on castles I’ve been doing since last year.

Feeling like van Gogh

Under this awning, feeling like van Gogh.
People of the city passing, watch me
with empty eyes, seeing only others.
Beer on the table, a scooter passes.
Noises, unlistened to, become stronger
And everyone seems alone, just like me;
lassoed momentarily by this light.
Under this awning, feeling like van Gogh.


In London for a conference.


I wish the world were
simpler than it is, he said,
and she smiled, sadly.


A haiku, for one single impression.

The unknown bride

Behind the veil, like shadows on the moon,
her eyes dark above waiting cheeks and lips,
the unknown bride arrives, collapsing space
and time – focusing all the world on her;
mystery still, after each thousand years.
A father felt he knew the girl at last,
until this moment came. Behind the veil
she is apart, that special place between
old lives and new potentialities.
Pity both father and the naked groom
(it is not fair, this deal, this power, her light);
ski poles to her great slalom of delight.


Possibly a meditation on recent weddings, but intended as more general reflection I think. Submitted to Poets United.

Moss in the forest

Unsure of his direction, he sought the sun.
Long gone, the shadows of treetops teased the moon.
No compass but your own, said the fox, bright eyed in the dark,
and vanished after a shrew, under a holly bush.

Sounds suggested purpose elsewhere, sharpening his gloom.
The clock ticked, and ticked again.
It was suddenly cold.

In the morning, his neighbours found a new tree in the forest,
covered with moss.


My contribution to this week’s Thursday Poet’s Rally – free verse.


Thank you for the Perfect Poet Award – you can find the other winners here.

I nominate Emily Jane.

Here’s a little haiku about poetry for Jingle.

Without poetry
a grey world eats everyone.
You make it such fun!

Thanks again.