Miscellaneous Poems


Did girls once dance to you with flashing eyes
and tangled hair?  And did your sound
accompany lovers’ songs and wandering hands?
Were you strummed in a busy taverna while
the red sun set and wine went down?

Or were you the toy of some young Romeo,
breathing rhymes beneath his Juliette’s balcony?
Or were you stroked in drawing rooms, at night –
melodies of Bach by fire and candlelight?

The years have not been kind.  How were you
forgotten in a box; out of mind
and out of hope, a tangle of wires,
splintered rosewood and a faint smell of glue?
What has become of you?

But then, against hope, the Craftsman finds you,
and seeing with a seasoned eye, he hears
your voice in silence.  He sees you still unmade,
and knows your music, yet unplayed.

His love’s labour strips you back to elements –
almost nothing: bruised bowl; broken neck;
and shattered heel.  Some parts he makes again,
the whole, he lovingly recombines.

You live once more.  The memory of past
Adventures now revived in the Master’s hands –
And what new songs of love and praise we’ll hear
you sound with notes bright and chords clear.

(September 2016)



Drab, frozen predawn
And look – the riches of heaven
Are at my feet.

(December 2011)



What new story shall we tell?
Pen poised, ink at hand;
A monk with his parchment,
I regard the taught softness of your skin.

Many tales are told within this frame
Hidden writing, words re-cognised
Re-formed, thoughts realigned.
The surface ready for the shock of ink.

The stylus swoops and dips.
Clause and meaning spring to life,
The subtlety of language.
Tales are interwoven in this place;
A shared and secret grammar;
A mystery; the mastery of form.

(October 2015)


The Wilderness

Your Spirit leads me
out into
the Wilderness,

there are dragons here;
wastes and desert.

And I hold onto
your hand
that pulls my heart,

my mouth is dry
and my
bones turn to dust.

In the Wilderness
You draw me far from all
my thoughts and feelings
of delight and all
familiar faces,
into places
that I dared not go.

Everywhere I look
I see
the Wilderness;

no water here
no food
and I grow weak.

And your staff is
with me
and your words within

and we shout
bursting from the rocks!

 In the Wilderness
you lead me by the hand,
show me treasures
you have hidden and
teach me secret things
of love that
will not let me go;

 In the Wilderness
you are my only life:
my breath, my bread;
my broken heart
your beauty
all I need to know.

 (February 2018)


Shafts of Gold (and other cliches)

The cold steals my breath as I step outside,
skid, wobble, curse, regain my feet
beside the cars; the frost seems an attempt to hide
the ordinariness of this street.

The pavement’s worse.  Dropped curbs make sideway-
slipping, ankle-snapping, granny-traps
that surprise the unbalanced and unwary, delay
the post, ridged with frozen pushchair-tracks.

Then sunlight slants above the rooftops, shafts of gold in
the thickened air, elongating shadows on the ground
transforming this mundane place.  We can hold in
this the instant glory that is veiled around.

There’s more. The icy path before me, brushed
with crystals, catches light, sparkles scattered stardust.

(December 09)



Today I will not write patronising trivialities.

You have been in my heart, by my side,
the vector of desire
the steady gravity of your presence
the day by day of love,
for thirty-two years.

Today I love you.

(July 2016)