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.

Isle of the Dead

Sitting, muttering as life hurries by,

My hope is to catch the pulse of the sea

Rolling in the deep ocean where the wind’s

Whip calls to the lone horizon’s searching.


The pull of the tide draws me to new lands.

New lands where puffins burrow to safety,

Where shade cools my eyes and herbs fill the air,

Where peace gathers me in beauty to rest.


I dream and the swell takes hold. It carries

Me down to the cold currents in the depths.

Here all of the world is dark. A living

Soup moving to some alien rhythm.

The teeth of the isle, flossed black by the salt

Lie low. Innocence, unseen in the deep

Holds hands with the moon’s cold force to reveal

Nightmare’s appetite, the rock’s gape, grinning.


Spare me from the wreck; bear me to the sands;

Set me on the shore to pass from the world

With waves as my dirge, the wind as my song,

All grief set aside in the cool morning

On passing Tryvan

imageThe old man slept in the clouds

Nose turned to find the scent of heaven

Beyond the reach of my footsteps.

Spurned, I sped past, intent

On the same search by a different route.

Not that the raw simplicity,

The bare rock and the wind,

The strain of muscle and sinew,

The idea of completion,

Did not tug at me.

But I sped past, intent

On finding the still voice

In the interplay

Of melodic lines, rooted

In human endeavour

A Life of Freedom

In the rhythm of the sea

With its moon fettered roll,

The old sailor can lose

The dead weight of his soul.

He can carry the beat

To the heat of his bed

To be borne through the night

Past the deadening hours

To the comfort of dawn.

In the roll of his gait

He can move with the tide

As it flows in full spate

With no purpose in view.

It just beats against time’s

Tireless ticking.



In the swell of his days

The indifferent flow

Of hot currents despatched

Lurking doubt to the wake

That his youth left behind.

He could fight the cold winds

And defy the hot sun

In the call of the waves

And the screech of the gulls.

He could feel the strong beat

Of the blood in his head

And the boat in its surge.

He could head to the dreams

Whilst he drowned sounds of time’s

Tireless ticking.


Just before closing the door

I looked round

Eyes squinting against the morning sun.

Scattered across the floor

Were the lost papers

Skim read and abandoned.

I could have waited

To find patterns,

To wrap stories around bones of words,

To let my half closed eyes

Construct some kind of truth.

But there was too much there

And it was time for my eyes to close.

Easter Monday

Well, is that it then?

All the drama packed in a few months,

Birth and death compressed

To fill the dreary hours.

Now the sun warms and the bud swells

No one wants to know

What happens in the ‘happily ever after’.

Passion and romance

Are enough reality for us.

Evil conquered can be forgotten.


But we must go on

And tread the path we choose.

Our packs are our own.

There is no one for us

To follow beyond our memories;

No destination beyond our dreams,

Just the next step, the wind’s whistle,

Unreasonable hope

And the scent of the sea.

Yet the story cannot be untold.

It must flood through us with each touch

Of kindness, each gesture of compassion.


Walking in circles in forgotten streets

Fog shrouding my crepuscular paces,

Faces loom, leer, leave, to uncertain beats

And I blink, walk on whilst my mind chases

Some words to throw behind me, like breadcrumbs

In the forest. Here I can live unseen.

Safe, alone, save when a flailing hand comes

Out of the mists to touch me; what has been

Sits heavy on my shoulders, whispering

Plausible nothings. So I sing my songs

From this hiding place, blindly staggering

To nowhere, where wordless silence belongs.

Yet I send words spinning through the air

A flailing hand, a sign that I was there.