My poems explore life and loss, the joy of being alive and the rhythms of the seasons. Often I find myself writing about daring to have a voice. The starting point is frequently something I notice, a sense of connection between the natural world and human life. A dead leaf in summer and mortality. A dalmatian jumping into a pond spotted with rain drops. Noticing shadows tattooed across daisy petals before going back to work at my desk. Bubbles at the tide’s edge and wanting to dance. Some poems are written with other people in mind. Sometimes they grow out of my own experience. Sometimes I’m not sure where they come from.
Slow Day Dawning
I will wait as the birds in you take flight
I will wait as you say farewell to night
Early cars seer the silence, planes paint lines across the sky
Your wings no longer clipped, I set you free to fly
Sky purples, gold gathers, grey clouds shift
Sheep watch motionless, poised in morning mist
Fields lighten in folds of fading blue
Set the sky singing with the song in you
Glory burns too bright for me to see
Come, come, my daughter, dare with me
I will wait in this slow day dawning
Now! Now it is morning!
The Search For Order
Some people like boxes,
with corners, locks and lids that shut—
keeping things contained.
Some people like files
all labelled, ordered, tidy, clear—
keeping things restrained.
Some people like paper in gathering piles—
looking like muddle, looking like mess.
It gives them freedom, chances to digress.
Stepping in spaces across the floor—
always the promise of something more.
I’ve no answers to your questions just today.
I’m off to play
watching sunshine drawing jungle shadows on the leaves of daisies,
painting stripes across their brightly-coloured faces.
Black and white puppy launches into a pool
pocked black with rain under a white sky,
white sun a circle blazing faintly in the leeched-out light.
Suddenly I see the world is spotted.
Mushrooms on the forest path,
light caught in disks of wet leaves—
saucers of bright on dark;
birch bark—freckled, black on light;
rain on coatsleeves—star-speckled night.
Pointillist, I even hear in pixels—
raindrops beat a dot-dot-dot tattoo,
insistent drum, pianissimo.
The tin-tack rattle of a single leaf,
emblematic of the year’s end,
fallen in high summer.
Why, the oak wood’s greeny billows
have scarcely faded,
spring’s ochres, limes and yellows
were only weeks ago.
This is too soon for winter
and the long dark.
Watching You Dance
A girl, lithe and slender, tiptoe and tender,
picks her way, careful, at the edge of the tide—
a delicate dance along the lace border,
boundary of bubbles, hem of the skirt of the sea.
Her dance takes up the roar of distant breakers
plunging to shore. To an unheard beat, her feet
weave a wild tapestry of heel and toe,
wet skirts swirling. Abandoned, exultant, free—
and unaware of me.
not cause and neat effect,
not geometric stages
not progress on a predetermined path
not sudden rectilinear love or death
not measured sudden rages
not calculated turning of my life’s so finite pages
am not confined, no, nor am asked to be
instead the double helix swirl of DNA
like sunset splash of paint against the sky
spring willows weeping down the wind
a gauze of green, and ash seeds twirling
winding stream, and swallows swirling
and thistle silk adrift upon ten thousand paths of air
you only ask that I should see
and recognise you beautiful and fair
and understand that I have heard you calling
in a thousand autumns in their golden leafy falling
and with your quiet gaze upon me
know that I am seen, yet choose to stay
no, I am not confined,
no, nor am asked to be