Paperback

Before entering the book,
Lying in the almost dark,
I thought about the comfort
Of an ordinary life,
But, all things considered:
The page wrapped smooth
About me. I remember excitment,
and a sense of belonging
in that desperate landscape
of unfamilar words, lit only
by a spark from an inward torch.

Gale

When this feisty wind blows, how is it?
Will our bonds fall? Our stays loosen?
Will our breath slow? Our fists open?

For sure, our bonds will not fall, nor stays loosen,
nor our breath will slow, nor fists will open.

We must pitch our tent then, tied and tethered?
We must build our base then, trussed and trammelled?

Ah, but unpinioned thought will out and grasp the gale,
shaking the land-lashed by the ears,
unleashing us, in all honesty, blow by whipping blow.

On Writing

Sweet words chew me

like tooth-clagging sticky toffee

in their luke warm ink shower.

Poetry addicts, they get in the flow,

spilling me out more tastily

than life intended. It is in their interest:

these gourmandising friends are wise advisers,

but their candy grabber misses often,

only occasionally dropping good.

Hotfoot

Thing about souvenirs of time gone past
you make to move they try to hold you fast
the hands they used to tie her with their warnings to the gate
brought out the knife to cut her tether and a reason for escape

There is no running when your feet are bound
those too full arms will pin you to the ground
she would wear no shoes of lead now or the wishes of the dead
now running free was playing on her cards and dancing in her head

Turns out running is a thing she had to do
because this life was in a hurry she was too
she ran till no-one tried to stop her then she stopped –

Thing about travelling life so hard and fast
is the love you leave behind your running past.

Significance

Each hair-fine twist of a writer’s wrist
the least tiny parting of every pair of lips
may hold the latent energy of an inky thought
excavated by curiosity or care with great import

Each gardener’s slight leaning on a spade
an individual swimmer’s push through pregnant waves
may leave a lasting deep pressed indentation
enough to drive a wedge or heal a nation.

Harvest

We may all be wasted seeds
blown along by the autumn breeze
scared and scattered
scarred and shattered
but if we work together hard enough
if we plough and sow and reap our love
there will be sunflowers this time next year
there will definitely be sunflowers, dear.