Light is Falling

Posted: February 24, 2015 in history and art

at today we’re writing about a medieval tourney with knights, costumes, games, art, courage … so this is my take

Light is falling through branches
and the knight’s horse is all muscle and nerves.
It shifts and twitches,
hamstrung by the joust field hum
where colours and sound are swirling around.

In his corner tension shreds the edges,
the groom constantly pouring whispers
into the destrier’s ears, patting it flanks,
wiping off sweat as it pin-pricks the flesh.
He puts on its heraldic caparison, blood red and gold
flowing off its back, places the chanfron
over its head, while the knight
is armoured by his squire.
Breastplate, gauntlets and hauberk
swallow him up.

He fills his vision with the endless sky then
puts on his helmet. Crowd noise is reduced
to distant surf; the day reduced to a slit.

Everything framed in a rectangle:
the ground,
a mailed fist and the butt of a lance,
his charger’s head,
an opponent at the end of the line.

A storm blows up. A ton of metal,
horse flesh and humanity unleashed.
After the crashing and splintering there is

for the knight

a moment of no weight in all that plate,
as if gathered up by a breeze.
Then he recalls a shudder and pain
before hitting the ground.
Somewhere light is still falling through branches,
he stares at the letter-boxed sun,
watching it fade,
knowing it will shortly be gone.

Seven Poems

Posted: January 30, 2015 in nature poems

So let the stars stay up there,
you can still touch them in the river.
After the storm
nature silently surveys
her violence.
In the dead of night
only the river
talks to the moon.
Out of a slate sky
rain hammers nails
into the window panes.
Rain so fine
it’s dust in the air,
cobwebs in my face.
If we bothered to listen to it,
the river would tell us
about an epic journey from the moors.
Pen held out in the wind
and ink streams away
scrawling poetry across the sky.

Chasing the sunset

Posted: November 25, 2014 in default

at today we’re stepping into the world of fantasy ~ see how our imaginations are running…

Two shotguns let go
and echo through woods.
A thunderclap of crows
explode from the trees,
flecks of soot
swirling on the breeze.
Gathering their wits
they flap slowly over fields,
drifting low as if flying
is not worth the energy.
and gradually this flock morphs

into dragon smoke.

It catches an air current, writhes
down river, chasing the day
to its flare-out point.
This sinuous darkening cloud,
as it smokes downstream.

Heat draws it on
to the setting sun.
As it reaches the estuary
a glow beats in its heart.
Turns into a flicker,

Flames swallow smoke.
Dragon fire blazes,
then flares apart.

And a of flock fire birds heads out to sea.

Piano man of Valletta

Posted: November 19, 2014 in urban poems

piano man bw 3

A straw hat tilts over his eyes
and sun weaves
through the square’s umbrellas
to bounce off his white shirt.
In this gentle flare we sip our lattes
and Americanos as he seamlessly
slides through a practiced repertoire
on an upright piano that has lived

in a different age.

And she,
she dances barefoot
outside the Café Cordina
while the hum of our voices
rises and mixes with music,
pigeons, Maltese flags stretching
in a gentle wind.

Looking down on us all
from the wall
of the Casel Del Comun Tesoro
a plaque tells us that
Coleridge worked here for a year

where I am working now

where a thousand poets and writers
have worked in between



Posted: November 6, 2014 in nature poems, urban poems

Northern grit glints from his eyes;
they are those of the hawk he gazes at.
All that bolshie bluff evaporates
in a moment.
He confronts a single-minded raptor which
at this point
is dull-eyed.
Switched off.
But the boy with wonder-
consumed vision is lost.
His brash world of
and rough brotherly cuffs,
pissing off teachers,
flicker into a backdrop.
He has engaged the front line of nature.
Tamed and yet untamed.

This is the result of a poetry forum prompt about films, and a still from probably my favourite film


How to dig a hole

Posted: October 23, 2014 in default

Selecting a patch of ground is critical;
you certainly don’t want to be turning stones.
Do you really love me?

And don’t use a shovel, it is a loud-
mouthed tool fit only for the building site.
Of course I do.

A spade is the boy for the job. Stout wooden
shaft. Broad shoulders to take the weight of your boot.

Spear the ground, tense and push. The blade
should slice pleasingly through the earth.
Because I do.

Gently lever it back, this is all about
fulcrums you know, then lift.
What is it you love about me?

At this point you should have a heap
of soil on your spade blade. Now a decision.
Well you’re thoughtful about people.

Where to toss the spoil. Pick
your place and chuck it there.
Is that all? I’m thoughtful.

This is tricky now. Having to decide
where to make the next strike.
You always make me a cup of tea first thing.

The choice is made. Blade placed alongside
the first break in the ground.
I make you tea, that’s why you love me.

Push down, lever back, lift
and add the soil to your heap.

You have now begun to dig yourself a hole.