Here is a selection of my poetry for MAY



Here come the swallows

Wheeling over the bay,


Bringing African

Blue to replace the grey;


They are towing the sun

Home across the spray,


They are warming the land :

Starting summer today,


Surprising old crows and the secretive jay.


Here come the swallows

Swooping over the town -


Nesting in the barn

Behind the Rose & Crown;


They are spelling out

FREEDOM above the Downs;


They are conjuring shoots

Where the land is brown


And dressing Mother Earth

In a verdant gown.




Along the cliff edge -

Too far to safely reach -

These white bells tantalised

With their strange scent :

A pungent odour on the breeze

Their signature.


Later, in Roseland,

We saw them grown like weeds :

Filling meadows, smothering hedgerow grass,

Covering the roadside verge

Like gentle drifts of snow.


And at St. Just, filling the churchyard there,

Bluebells and ransoms like a haze

On every bank, round ancient graves.


And, through the palm

That grows where you now rest,

A solitary ransom flower had set.


Though far away in miles and time,

The smell of garlic takes me back -

Transports me instantaneously

To that Spring day :

The tiny church, the muddy creek,

The ransom flowers and you.




Immortalised in bronze, he’s caught mid-flight,

rushing to catch the Hull to London train

as if it were that Saturday in May

when what he saw and wrote secured his fame.

On a London wall his words in homage –

launched like an arrow shower years ago.

Would he be pleased with this Kings Cross greeting

or left embarrassed by the fuss and show?

At St. Pancras there’s an old friend waiting,

admiring the station and streamlined trains;

guess there’ll be a divine celebration

at some Elysium bar where poets reign.






Less a road, more a country lane :

orchard, farm and yard dogs barking.

A figure slumped beneath low trees,

sunlight glints along both barrels.


A figure slumped beneath low trees,

orchard, farm and yard dogs barking,

possessions scattered all around :

letters and photos in the breeze.


His phone keeps ringing in the house,

on the stove a kettle boils,

letters and photos in the breeze,

possessions scattered all around.


A hole is where his smile had been –

From apple tree, a robin singing –

On the stove a kettle boils,

his phone keeps ringing in the house.


A hole is where his smile had been,

sunlight glints along both barrels;

from apple tree, a robin sings,

orchard, farm and yard dogs bark.



Poised, alert, motionless,

this watchful hermit waits.

Keeper of this shallow pool :

unblinking, tension fills his stillness…

Swift, the harpoon stab of hunter's beak.


Secretly, herons have designs on us.

Arched winged, they case suburbia -

lone raiders of the garden pool.

Harried by squawking, diving crows -

unhurriedly leave for seclusion.


Out of character courtship -

all bill snap and neck stretch,

slow step, ruffle of feathers -

a temporary slip of Ardean sang froid …

An undertaker partying.


Self contained, solitary, grouped herons

standing silently together... apart.

Eight, stationary as old grey men,

out of reach amid the plough -

glimpsed from the motorway.


Below the lane to Halwyn

nine herons muster : semi-circled

board meeting, waiting for the chair.

He arrives, tacking and turning, flapping

legs and wings - lands : a broken kite.


Giraffing neck, synchronised

with yellow Max Wall legs :

slo' - mo'ing into place, to freeze

eel thin, stationary as the rest.

The tableau waits : business to begin.


Complete, this private gathering -

Cosa Nostra of the wild -

plans campaigns, moves to new territories.

Meeting closed, singly they leave for home

to impose their swift brutalities.


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