Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Yea Lord thou knowest (Motet)

London and East Kent, 25 September 2019









Thursday, August 8, 2019

Summer Rain III

East Kent, 8 August 2019


School had ended, childhood too
our seventeenth summer
a flower of uncertain hue
we made sure every day
was minted new.
Your wide brown hips
were a fresh-turned page
we swam at midnight
in Port Phillip Bay
encircling arms around me clung
your smooth round brow
salt taste to my lips.
The time soon came
there was nothing to say
you had your travels
I would take another way
the memories that stir
can never be erased
but love, ah love... 
that would quickly pass
as easily as summer rain.

Summer Rain II

East Kent, 8 August 2019

Sand in the shower tray
Beach towels on the line
Rain on the garden steps
Dogs laid flat on the floor
Catch-wind curtains
Puffed out like
Dizzy Gillespie cheeks….

Must be summer.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Night Thoughts in Spring

East Kent, 3 July 2019


February has a long face
but March is lit by a smile
snowdrops in meadows
jostle for space
jonquils and daffodils 
grassy banks beguile.


Lying still in my bed
weary I yearn for sleep
wakefulness takes me
hostage instead
in a room faint-lit by stars
this world now mine to keep.


Somewhere a cat flap
swings like a metronome
insomniac musings
to wryly entrap
rhythmic breathing beats slow time
In my sleep-drenched home.


Suddenly a thermostat
gentle gurgling will trigger
letting out exhausted sigh
a fridge falls inanimate
tyres squish on wet road
carrying home an adulterer.


Waves uncoil on stoic shore
futile repetitive protesting
till at just about half past four
in tangled ivy and sycamore
such a bird-chorus as to hear
wonder in their singing.


February has a long face
but March is lit by a smile
snowdrops in meadows
jostle for space
jonquils and daffodils 
the grassy banks beguile.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Yea Lord Thou Knowest (Motet)

East Kent, 22 May 2019


Yea Lord thou knowest
That I love thee.
Yea Lord thou knowest
That I love thee.
Yea Lord thou knowest,
Yea Lord thou knowest,
Yea Lord thou knowest
That I love thee.


Peter told the Romans:
I don’t know him.
Peter told the Romans:
I don’t know him.
Peter told the Romans,
Peter told the Romans,
Peter told the Romans:
I don’t know him.


Jesus told Peter:
Feed my sheep
Jesus told Peter:
Feed my sheep
Jesus told Peter,
Jesus told Peter,
Jesus told Peter:
Feed my sheep.


Jesus asked Peter:
Dost thou love me?
Jesus asked Peter:
Dost thou love me?
Jesus asked Peter,
Jesus asked Peter,
Jesus asked Peter:
Dost thou love me?


Yea Lord thou knowest
That I love thee.
Yea Lord thou knowest
That I love thee.
Yea Lord thou knowest,
Yea Lord thou knowest,
Yea Lord thou knowest
That I love thee.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Pear Tree

East Kent, 14 April 2019


A songbird in an old pear tree
is more fun than watching TV.

It’s true that both are unprofound
but Nature has the kinder sound.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Butterfly

S.W. France, 27 February 2019


I rescued a butterfly
trapped behind glass
cobweb-ligatures
like chains were unclasped
in crafted chaos
of an old plank shed.
Door kicked wide open
daylight burned my eye
cupped hands unfolding
he climbed to the sky
freedom unsurpassed
for me and for him.


Big things empirically
at the last
in small things are hid.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Winter Roses (Sonnet)

East Kent, 17 February 2019


See the timid winter roses
Buffeted by snow and wind
Shy debutantes, geisha faces
Imperilled but undimmed.
On each tiny threadlike tendril
Forever buds show rub of rain
Daubs of pink are pricked at bridal
White with cruel stain.
What can it mean, I question?
Forbearance, to be sure
Modelled prettily in my garden
Why then look for more?
Caprice of beauty, this quiet refrain
Lodged implacably in my brain.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Go Home X


East Kent, 9 January 2019



At hospital corridor’s cluttered end
Your bed was veiled like a Muhammadan
Tubes not talk ushered from your mouth
My soliloquy in time ran out
A murmuration of medics began to close
You spelled a message with your toes:
G-O-H-O-M-E-X.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Summer Rain

Cornflower skies of
truculent blue
give way reluctant
to po-faced grey
inkspots splashing
on hot stone flags
above our heads
sunshine and behemoths
in open warfare
holiday-wrecking rain
parched earth craving
pinch-penny cloud spill
calling out for more
this great pantomime
delicately lifting
my mood - the sea
suddenly swept
by sheets of rain
gotterdammerung
black clouds angry
gathering over
unknown places
then as quickly pass
like spurned strangers
showing their backs
till conquering sun
triumphant returns
in air scrubbed clean
steaming ground
once more gives up
its ghosts - tramping
children on pavements
in swimmers and flip-flops
clutching bodyboards
big as themselves
beach towels draped
like bright-coloured
medieval banners
on balcony railings.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Blackbird

East Kent, 24 July 2018


Blackbird carolling
on chimney pot.
Summer set to pass.
Daylight draining
like this yellow-green wine
in my glass.


This is Nature’s bidding
I well know that.
He sings for a mate.
Or is this trilling
some mark of joy
at our shared fate?


The season that is ending
with memory coils back.
Scruffy seaside rentals.
No more lounging
on the old cane chair
skyborne recitals.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

We Always

East Kent, April 1 2018


We always hate
the ones we wrong
and never will
forgive them.


We always love
the ones who wound
and pray that they
forgive us.


If we could just
stop doing wrong
and they could just
stop wounding,
then all the pain
and hurt
and wrong
would vanish
like this verse does.

The Swimmer

East Kent, Sunday 1 April 2018


Out of East Cliff’s
tired and tangled streets
with sea-locked central parting
Plains of Waterloo
the swimmer strides
as from the Acropolis
Doric columns
slipping fast from view.


With heavy, tumbling plait
wound up into proffered cap
pale blouse and saree
washed-out pallid blue
feet brown and bare
picking past the town-wrack
she pads down Jacob’s ladder
like other swimmers do.


Little sculling strokes
propel her quick and cleanly
into deeper water and
light too bright for seeing.
Geometric arcs and lines
on painter's perfect sea;
homage paid to nature and
the mystery of being.