poetry diary

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

Month: October, 2011


I can watch golden-crowned clouds flee today’s
rebellious sun,
but who can I tell without you?

I can face yew trees at dusk, scent-swamped
and proud, beyond time,
but who can I hold without you?

I can drive north across hills, sensual
like flesh, and warmed now,
but who’s hand to touch without yours?

I can dream and wonder, imagine you
with me, yet you’re not,
and no dream can match your last look.


Sunlight-etched hair swims in china sky
and frames your blue deep water eyes.
My senses shocked smooth by river’s zest
have space only for you.

I close my eyes as you kiss me,
feel your lips on mine; the tip of your wet tongue,
your body’s warmth, breasts against my chest;
stretched out together – my hand on your head,
stroking your river-washed hair.

You ebb, and the calming waters sparkle
to the swan’s caress,
reflecting autumn trees,
yearning hopelessly for a fish’s kiss;
making empty rings in the evening light you love.

Now the light drains into the waters,
and the river moistens the darkness, expectantly.


Naiads are river nymphs.


I can’t recall your name;
you, who come with willing eyes and eager heart
to fix my laptop,
and almost always find it
slightly more complex than you thought –
but that just makes your eyes shine bright,
and your heart easier to like.
But, sad to say,
and though your face stands out –
I can’t recall your name.


At some point in the last year, I’ve met so many people in my work, I can’t remember names any more – just faces.


Born in my spring, of timeless histories;
searching for love, like a forlorn moon.
I am a river, wetting your cool earth.

My life is a flow, like a song in June;
playing in the mountains, dancing with light;
joining my sisters, challenging cold rocks.

And in the valleys – how I miss my youth –
I meander amongst cow-stained fields
and kiss your banks, fertile warming soil.

Darkening and chattering, eddying onwards,
carrying your mud, tasting your soft silt,
and giving succour to silvered fishes.

It is the sea, the sea, the sea I seek;
at last dissolving to wholeness with you,
and we are one in salt, and surf, and sand.

Autumn in Berlin

Connecting, Unter den Linden
with fallen lives and loves, like leaves,
scattered on the pavement – these wide streets
rolled flat like tank tracks; compressed history
conquered this autumn, as every year
by falling, floating, yellow leaves from trees
who’ve seen it all before (and after too).

I’m glad the trees won here, and imposed
their gentle victory parade and rhythm
on this great city: leaves, like fallen lives
and loves, and buds like people passing through,
this autumn evening,
in Berlin.


A city I’d like to go back to one day.