English spring

High sky
clouds fly on the
edge of spring.

Ducks preen, moor hens
croak & the willow strands
the stream: hair entwined

fluorescent green.

This English spring
fragile as a lamb’s breath
windblown, storm laden.

Old ladies drag their
feeble dogs, grey
whiskered clog the green

blossom blown to
sodden blood
dripping on the side walk.

Consumer guide

In January I buy lingerie
to chase the winter blues from me
when Feb arrives it’s swimwear time
& thoughts of blue sea foreign climes

March & April slip past fleetingly
summer dresses hung with winter wear
but May time’s full of flower’s sweet bouquet
the lambs are fattening in green fields

June July & August pass in hope
that this year will be a heat wave
sun sublime just like St Tropez
without the price

September’s time to take the train
or boat or even plane to run away
from the thought of Winter wear
another year, another thermal vest

to hide the lingerie I bought in January

Question time

Are you a plaything in the dark
while my heart slumbers,

an arrow’s flight that circuits strata
leaving thin white line,

won’t you give yourself the time
to breathe the scent of purple flower
melt thin icicles of doubt that blister leaf’s tendril.

Don’t you want to turn and shout it out
this galaxy glimpsed from supernova,

tear cocoon and split apart
dry dampened wings learn how to sing

as if this was the first love.


Clouds roll in; each one is its own mountain

I look to the clouds for you, ten years gone
but eerily with me.

Your small grandson wears your skis
& I wish you could see

snow clouds roll in obscuring light.

Snow fields tracks. Can you see them?

How does it look this desert of life?

Cold, blue like you, the last time I looked
bruises around your eyes in your deep snow sleep

where you hid from me.

Mal de Montagne

I follow the herd into the cloud
trees shimmer with crystal, the mountain glowers.

Through soft spray of powder
skiers glide like so many crows

descending into the cave of the valley.

My limbs ache, stomach falls away
as the white dust settles on waxed jacket.

Above the cloud the slopes disintegrate
into a void of indistinct movement

black ants traversing the wind

I want to scream my name
untie my brains and lay a net

of safety over this awesome immensity.

Later, legs heavy we trudge the après ski streets,
the odd or beautiful girl turns heads

we melt into the night like hungry phantoms
searching for our bodies.

I miss….

I miss those normal clichéd things
tactile darkness of your skin
smile that lights your black rimmed eyes
warmth of body curled like bear
tight around my whiteness .

Can’t have the best without the rest
grim shadows of your violent past
that load the gun of childhood fears
cultures curse of class & race
it rules the white line of divide
we hide behind .

Jukebox blares its blatant rap
& life untangles like a ball of yarn
I’m on the threshold of some dream
that’s dreaming me
sadness sweeps to runaway
down swirling gutter’s possibility .

I miss the part of you that made me whole
if only for some silent moment ,
& words can’t catch the wonder of first promise
recognition stunning like the spring’s new sun
on tight curled shoots.

Every beginning holds like hidden dust
a middle and sharp ending
love brands us with it’s searing rod
then leaves us gasping shallow air
like fish thrown clear from water .

Each time it chimes with different rhyme
shatters known illusion ,
& for every love that’s made its home
engrained my tender tissue
for all the joy that I have known
I pen the small lines of this verse

to say how much I miss you .

Fish cloud

Grey on grey sea slate
surfers hover under harbour wall
behind sea spray light dove grey
I saw a ‘fish cloud’ hanging in the sky today.

Yes its’ hardly Bondi but they
brave the squall: rubber suited ecstasy
for those small moments
of wave crest supremacy.

The pup chases paper, eats squashed
fish eggs the beach a wonderland
of untried treats & I’m as calm
as the rock as relentless as the sea

as out of place on English coastal strip
as my solitary ‘fish cloud’.