Jack the Hunter

As the swallows gather on telephone wires
I wake out of my summer slumber
and start to trace the lines of the breeze
while I drift among the trees
cupping the leaves within my hands
I  breathing on them
turning this one red and that one yellow
they remain a while glowing in autumn sun .

 

When they start to fall
my shadow stalks
in twilight airs
careful not to step too heavily
on rain-sodden ground
I linger amongst the  bare trees
wary I listen
caressing  the grass
til each blade is outlined in white
waiting until the ground is quiet
and then on a clear night
I fall.
White traceries mark
my touch down
but seeking
the  resting place
of the dew waters
I dive deeper,
until I have
the earth
in my grip.

 

This poem I published in  “Scissors, Paper, Shadow, Stone” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2012

South Rhins

I turn south at the isthmus
and move into the fog-laden peninsula
as I approach
scavenging rooks rise
from roadkill carcass
trees grasp overhead as
the road clambers onto the ridge
the curlews call from below
along the rock-strewn shoreline
while in single road villages
fuchsias flower on flat-topped walls
sparrow crowds cling
feeding on pampas seed
and when they are no more
beside the white pillar gate posts
marshmallow roses bathe
in Virginia creeper claret.

This poem I published in  “Scissors, Paper, Shadow, Stone” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2012

List Making

In the time
that does not exist
between me getting in
and having to be out
I am planning
a list of jobs
that I will
postpone.

This poem I published in  “Scissors, Paper, Shadow, Stone” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2012

Shrove Tide

Between the lighting of
a candle and
the beating of
batter,
at the barren bound time
when the cold iron air
hits the hard flint
earth
a spark
is created
that will light
the spring fire
of the coming year.

This poem I published in  “Everything Looks Green From Here” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2010

Ice Ages

Sprite child on sighting snow
dances with delight
at a miracle not seen before
each precious flake hoarded
to build an eight inch
snowman

Students delight in time
out of school, vying
to build the best igloo
or using compressed handfuls
in their own power
struggles

Adult involved in balancing
complex priorities, choosing
between the demands of safety
and the necessary tasks
deciding what to let
slide

Elderly trapped within
the icy waste around
their own secure home
unable to step beyond their
front door for fear of
failing.

This poem I published in  “Everything Looks Green From Here” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2010

Deer

Seaward driven by winter’s hunger
twig thieving from a barren hedge
our headlights capture you
a frightened harbinger of snow.

I published  a different version of this poem in  “Everything Looks Green From Here” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2010

Winter in the Park

It was cold when I set out
the sort of cold
where the air feels dry
as the moisture freezes

The park fenced around by shadowed
black railings kept no one in
the remains of a forgotten hedge
did not stir to the fluster of small birds
nor children call to their parents
from the play equipment
even the students, who I’ve seen
on other nights drink wine
together on the communal swing
had not ventured out
no drunks shared cider on the empty bench
and beyond though still floodlit
the playground was deserted by
cricketer and basketball player alike.

As I passed the orange  haze of
the street light
a few flakes of snow
drifted down through the light
and I heard the rhythm
of South America drums echo
through the surrounding houses
the smell of Chinese or Italian takeaways
drifted out of hot shop doorways
mingling with the yeasty
smell of the overcrowded local
a ring of Hindi jittered from a passing taxi
the far side of the playground’s dark mesh.

This poem I published in  “Everything Looks Green From Here” a collection of prose and poetry from Broomspring Writers in 2010

Pilgrim Path

past the water channel
that marks the boundary
of the arrow-grass salt marsh
we finally step out onto mudflats
then awkwardly hop about
as we remove clumsy boots
tie  laces together
and hang them from our packs
then roll our trousers above the knee
in preparation for the traverse
cautiously we move
trying to avoid the glasswort
in case it is slippery seaweed
towards where the poles
point heavenwards
in an otherwise horizontal world
the left behind causeway becomes
just a distant murmur of traffic
drowned by the keening of seals
hidden in the light’s vastness.

sanderlings flicker-feed beside us
a heron languidly flaps by
black-backed gulls speed overhead
between blueness of sky
and its browned reflection in the sand
we walk between masts that mark
the safe route across this unveiled
sea-wilderness that stretches
the horizon

broken shells sharp against our feet
seagrassed mud-mires grasp our legs
firm bottom runnels cool our calves
soft sands ooze between our toes
each step a different experience
each step a repeat of all others
a pole in front
one behind
mesmerised
there is no map
or sense of distance covered
only the journey

yet this too is finite
eventually we come
to the point
where marram grass rises
above sand-dune
and we reach landfall