Innocent country;

these hills are content in their folds;

the winds play happily

as the rains wash field and stone

inside and out.


Grey echoing grey

stone barns meld with mists on cloudy days,

lingering in sympathetic

harmony when sunlit walls

frame quiet trees.


Men, lone and silent

brace themselves against the same winds

that lift lapwings in play,

like exuberant butterflies

but chapel clad.


Only as daylight

is blown away, do darkening

thoughts gather with the crows, circling

each other like restless fears stung

to life by night.


In the black of night,

scavengers gather to clear out

all thoughts of blood and death,

whilst the silver light manicures

all savagery.


And always the flow

of streams, dancing to an endless

rhythm of life with youth’s delight,

now hiding, now bursting into song

in growing choirs.


Mid-Winter Night


The night wrapped its bitter cloak
Around your shoulders
And took you where the frozen
Gods spread their beauty.

The marks of men do not touch
The scattered magic
And the tree bears its burden
Of white in the stillness.

The snow may hold memories
Of the day’s living
But now it waits in the night
To slake future’s thirst.

You watch alone with the light’s
Faint glimmering warmth,
Letting yourself be absorbed
Into mystery.



The tree dies, dispensing

Decorative detritus,

Depth and disguise

To become form – diagram.


 On death, shape is ragged

Violent in its skeletal

Splinters, cutting

Into the demure softness

 Look away – to the hills,

To the smooth slate greys, cloud formed

Where comfort sleeps

To wait for the seed to crack.


I see no path through these dark woods,

Where I am trapped, blinded by dreams.

Sun, do not shine, and tantalise –

With shafts of light, crowning the trees,

In gold; and views of distant hills

Misty and peopled with poetry.


I wrap myself in darkness, moods

Softened, curtains drawn, so sunbeams

Make no assault on my dry eyes.

Only the mild caressing breeze

For company. My dream world fills

Misty and peopled with poetry.



Yet my spirit needs other foods,

To face the world; with peopled teams

To share the pains and show how wise

And joyful truth can only freeze

When locked within a dream that thrills

Misty and peopled with poetry.

Soft Focus

It’s just like life, I think, as I wander

To the local line of shops. The roadside

Trees are faded shadows in the grey mists

Clouding their branches. The future trails out

Into a wash of dishwater. I see

The world vaguely; colour is drained away

And the scene stretches its hand to summon

Memories of a black and white history,

As if we all sat with Miss Havisham

In a cobweb draped decay, life muffled,

Mind drifting into private delusions

Land of Hope

The traffic groaned, we did not hear,

We wandered gravely furrow-browed,

Oblivious, our minds unclear,

Our senses numbed, our shoulders bowed.


No blackbird song can pierce our world,

Our thoughts were fixed on stranger shores,

Where truth was dreamt midst currents, hurled

By home events and distant wars.



We stumbled on; we stumble on

As if we had a noble aim

In view, whilst nature’s treasures shone

In sunlight’s golden evening flame.



The track leads up towards the woods

Whose shade and dappled sunlight kiss

The lids of tired eyes, cool the blood

That haunts us with its silent hiss.

This dusty path is marked by those

Who comfort with their lolling tongue

And pleading eyes; in the hedgerows

Lurks the nettle’s sting, cobweb hung.


At last we come to where the view

Unfolds, and draws us out to scan

The distant hills, no longer blue

But vague, where our ambition ran.

Dawn chorus

What we do not see stirs the woods to life

The hidden spark of dawn fires a babble

From survivors of the darkness.

Music it is not; just a cold rhythm

Crying out in fear and hope for the light

For safety in enmity.

What if the light came to hushed disregard,

If the first cry was met with indifference

And no bird sang in reply?

So, safe in the crooked branch of the tree,

No one to challenge his supremacy

He must surely die voiceless