letting words slip

words slip from drowning sailors beneath the waves
bound in their own Bible book cloth

from the lips of dead poets they slip into the dark soil
echoing for a while in coffins and Gothic vaults

lovers exchange whispered words of deep devotion
slipping over the edge on scented night air

a peasant’s prayer that falls to the ground lies silent
hunger slipping down his throat in dry clods

the soldier let’s slip his deadly round of rat-a-tat words
letters of condolence litter the field

I write and write and I write some more
letting words slip from my fingers to save my life

three girls on the bridge

the three girls on the bridge
toss their wishes into the river
and just as pebbles would make ripples
so their wishes dissipate and float away

unlike the linden trees on the bank
they are not rooted in their surroundings
in a sudden they will have flown
their wishes sunk or saved in the current

shadows of mayflies follow in their wake
and the bridge will see many more visitors
its wooden slats are ancient and worn
with gaps that swallow stray thoughts

if you stand here next to your lover
remember the three girls and their wishes
for time and tide carried them away
the sea of humanity waiting


apologies in advance

all them words
all them books
all them poems
never did you no good
all them blogs
all them tweets
all them posts
never did you no good

all them likes
all them shares
all them comments
never did you no good
all them photos
all them videos
all them paintings
never did you no good

all them notes
all them quotes
all them thoughts
never did you no good
all them chats
all them spats
all them emojis
never did you  no good

all them friends
all them lovers
all them followers
never did you no good
all them steps
all them breaths
all them beats of the heart
never did you no good

(apologies in advance
if you catch me crying
when the planet dies
I’ve done my bit
now I’m tired

and it’s just complicated
that’s all)


when I was born
my mother wasn’t there
the clouds parted
I tasted my first air

when I was a child
my father chose to die
the country widened
beneath an open sky

when I was a man
my love abandoned me
the birds began to sing
setting my soul free

when I was old
my heart declined to beat
the setting sun burned
consuming me in heat

when I was reborn
my life began once more
mistakes and lessons learnt
repeating like before

guiding light

I would crumble under her gaze
two eyes as black as moons absorbing
the universe and she the centre
me the broken debris of a comet’s tail
breaking apart in every aspect
like a moth caught in a candle flame
the golden ratio disproportionate
distorted beyond the rainbow’s end
where her flock grazed on purple clover
and pitching camp she would weave
stories and willow baskets into the night
that I could ever keep up with her
ah heaven knows I tried and failed
I may as well have been a blade of grass
amongst the many pastures we traversed
she leading, me following, the way onward
never knowing if she loved me or not
never knowing what lay ahead
I would crumble under her gaze
and would now if she were here
to guide me

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

even the geese have flown

it was as I suspected
it was as I had feared
the footpath was deserted
the mountainside was cleared

empty were the pastures
where her goats had wandered free
the tinkling of their neck bells
no longer calling me

and in the valley woodland
I stood beneath the tree
where she and I first surveyed
the grasslands growing green

it was as I suspected
it was as I had feared
no more her lips to savour
no more her voice to hear

but will the spring return her
to my arms and to my side
in all my dreams I will conjure
my shepherdess, my guide

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)

Shepherdess II

I wear the fleece of my mother’s skin
around me wrapped like a body blanket
a bag of gifts and good intentions
warm affections and familiar smells

no sacrificial lamb am I
for through this needle’s haystack eye
do I travel through the birth canal
my Shepherdess has opened wide

(to read more in this series please click on the Shepherdess tag below)