poetry diary

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

Month: January, 2012

After the time of the bees

It was after the time of the bees
she bloomed alone, a single rose
among thorns; scented and white, I see
her petals, pink-edged in the dawn light
of those final days.

I could have wings, and buzz, a bit, at
least – or hum. My shorts are yellow too
and I have a stripy shirt. I like
honey, and flowers, and I dream of meadows,
despite my being a man.

So I landed on your petals, and
sipped your dew. Scented with longing, you
helped me sleep, and we dreamed together
alone, of times of bees and roses,
until your petals fell.


Posted on dVerse Poets, open link night.

From the train

Sliding from the station
in Stafford, past empty brick-built
passions from a faded, failing world:
they dreamed of industry
and power, forgetting people, history
and time – as all who seek to change
and build, must.

Faster through the sensual farms
of sleeping Staffordshire,
with woods and birds and village halls;
two walkers, and a dog.

The morning light on English fields
is gold and green today;
undisturbed, from where I sit,
by any passing train.

We are so good at self-deceit,
in England, where we kill
with ancient dreams and paper knives,
each brick-built works at will.


On my way to Liverpool, feeling wistful. Posted on Poets United.


Pavement puddles catch
me, unaware in the dark,
on winter mornings.


Finding life once more
takes the rhythm of haiku,
is a beginning.

Optimism II

He was there again
today, in the rain; singing
louder. I smiled.


A single songbird;
winter melody rising
over braking cars.


Walking to work this morning. There was a single songbird at the top of a tree at the end of my road.

Never leave burning candles unattended


silent like swans;


Your candles:
warm light


slow shadows;


ancient ways
of seeing

through darkness,


Remembering, like candlelight.
Keep away from children, and
handle with care.


Posted on dVerse Poets January 24 2012

On the wreck of the Costa Concordia

Waters lapping at your door,
and your ceiling is the floor.

This fantasy you bought, built
on paper-trails and silt;
techno-arrogance, un-gilt
by respect for earth’s will –

has learnt her lesson now,
and bows.

So the waters lap softly and clear:

like kisses,
with fishes.

You will remind us for a week,
that we should be more meek.


A very complicated and expensive piece of engineering and marketing tells a simple story in the Mediterranean.


Moon frost bright white
light holds cold lives
against new blue morning.

Still lives chances past
lived last spring summer
frozen know how futile.

Cold moon frost white
light touches earth
despite darkness hope.


An experimental poem (like them all!) inspired by the brightness of the moon and moonlight in the last week or so, and frosty mornings here in England at the moment. It’s cold and still, but somehow already warmer and less dark, more hopeful than December. I’m thinking of all the frozen plants in the first two verses. Maybe it’s a metaphor for human life too.

Mirage my memories

Mirage my memories,
murmuring mirrors, I

see shifting sand dunes; storms
sweeping shapes skywards, you

changing constantly, cage
chaos-created, my

emotions encircling
each entrance and exit.

Feeling for fixed frames, I
fly forward, finding me.


I was given a book for Christmas called “Proust was a neuroscientist” by Jonah Lehrer, knowing nothing about either Proust or neuroscience. I now know a very little about each; it is an excellent read, stimulating some new ways of imagining how memory works.


To live with integrity
despite weighting history.
To love and be loved in turn –
self-affirmed, yet completed.
To create and contribute;
to change and destroy (which is
to let new life and hope through)
and above all, to turn pages,
run through dappled trees and leaves,
and feel this world’s living wholeness.