Skimming Stones

I thought it was the depths

that held the mystery of creation.


Before, I broke the surface

jaw set, brow furrowed, eyes squinting

to see below the distortions,

to the sea bed of origin.


Now I find myself just skimming

my stones across the waters

taking delight in movement’s now.



Searching the past
Is for explanations
Not solutions
I discover.
No one told me
That I can remember;
All that searching
Leaves me just here.
Cries in the dark
Angry unattended
Wrap me around
In silent fear.
Lock me inside
Dreaming the unexpressed
Now as horror;
Now as beauty
Free and alive
Dancing a dance of love
No scrutiny
To undermine.
But they are dreams.
Fastidious control
Forms who I am.
Find gifts in there

Wisdom bows before God’s foolishness

The world is painted in extremes, outlines
Scored across our minds distinguishing here
From there, you from me, the tree from the brick.
God is seen in the tree’s nobility,
The roots seeking the earth’s vitality;
Its communication invisible
But its words help to build a community;
Its decaying branches bearing witness
To its wisdom rising still in its sap.
The brick is squared off to be forgotten,
Its destiny is to live in ruins
That testify to man’s impermanence,
Housing death’s accomplices, the wood louse
And the worm, until all coherence fades
Draining down into the rock’s vacancies.
Here is futility; there is wisdom.
Here, a cartoon, line drawing unshaded,
Defined, assertive, obvious to all:
There, foolishness hushed before baying mobs,
Silent in the face of power, telling
Stories just in case someone will listen –
A loser, at home with doubt, life’s shading.

The Child Prodigy’s Choice

Do you think she knows?

I wonder if that youthful vision blinds?

The promise floating from the shimmering

Brilliance, the warmth of line – melody

That cuts to the chase, singing the sadness

Of the world, the harmonic mystery

That uncurls the protective thorns hiding

Our fear and need, those seed beds of beauty.



There was sacrifice; it was important

That we knew her links to the great, her prize

Winning potential; not though out of pride,

More to show the question – was her decision right?

Had she taken the stage, turned to applause

From the hardships of family life,

We may have talked of her, wiped the odd tear

From our eyes before a Mozart cadence,

Joined with the general admiration.



She made her choice however, through wisdom

Or instinct I know not. But I do know

Her decision changed me, opened the door

For me and for many others, to life;

To go from watching, listening to others,

To creating, living the music we find

Hiding in places we’d never entered.

So her choice was to live and to give life –

Surely she must know.


Clean the drive, shine the windows, 
Scour the kitchen, beat the carpets; 
Polish the paintwork, wash the sorrows, 
Cover the blemishes, clear the weeds. 
But the spider creeps from its corner, 
Rains stain our shine with Sahara’s sand, 
The wastes of living feed the future 
And for us to flower, the tears must fall.

Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves

Oh yeah! Like that’s going to happen.
Besides, since when did animal
cunning and blind stupidity
cut through injustice’s fat smile?
Graveyards are filled with the corpses
left in the wake of innocence.
The wisdom of serpents stretches
only as far as the next meal.
This marriage though entrances us –
we want to be wise but unspoilt.
But the scars of experience
damage us, gouge out the tender
spots laid bare in our innocence
and make us fit to give and love.

By the Sea Shore

I throw off coverings of convention

And stand in the teeth of the gale

The salt spray sweeps away fears and troubles

And leaves me to be as I am.

Here the toll of bells can summon up no ghosts.

Time is ended by the waves rhythm

The shape of the sea bed and the moon’s pull,

Being breathes beneath Nature’s roar.

Afar, moonlight’s pale wash pits a walker

Against the flat expanse of sand,

One against the innumerable grains

Packed beneath the sea’s constant breath.

One man, a retort to the limitless,

A song in the endless silence,

Sung for the song’ s sake, for love and for hope

A launched message in a bottle.