squally wind

the squally wind
pinballs up the valley
propelled by who?
by nature? by god?
by the wind itself?

for a moment
all is quiet
the trees take a rest
the birds settle
in their roosts

the tiles cease rattling
the old barn’s beams
steady themselves
the owl inside
shifts on its perch

until the force that will
sends the next
barrelling squall
to bash and bend
and torment one and all

for nature? god?
the wind itself?
are laws unto themselves
and we mere mortals
hang on as best we can

to a world in a spin
out of all control

now doesn’t that make
you feel so small


from out of the sky
the days fall like radioactive promises
unseen, endless, deadly
I cup my hands and drink motes of time
swallowed down by invisible dust devils
who disturb my insides
and make me want to curl up beneath a tree
the pain of solitude all consuming
the smell of mould all pervading
how tight can eyes be fastened
when tiny hands pull at my lids
and spiders weave ropes that bind me
a giant bound by arrogance and greed
nature in all its overbearing smugness
forgetting the passage of sun and moon
the arc of the day’s deceitful covenant
in swathes of earthly lamentations
everything seemingly aghast and lost
there being no stopping for breath
only disorder and irrelevance
I say just let me lie here in peace
dissolving in a fission of acceptance
unable to pray despite looking heavenward

in slow motion

tree falls
in slow motion
death dive

bridge building
in the dark
across the ravine

a vixen
takes her chance
tiptoes over

gives thanks
for richer pickings
on the other side

a storm brews
the tree shifts
falls in slow motion

the fox stranded
accepts new home
raises family

C’mon Nature!

Stop crossing busy roads and getting squashed you numbskulls.
Stop migrating over lands where you’ll get shot, netted, eaten or stuffed.
Stop mixing with cattle and risk being culled for allegedly spreading TB.
Stop smiling and acting like you want to entertain us in tiny cramped pools.
Stop going near Japan, Iceland, Norway, Eskimos and harpoons ffs.
Stop growing your ivory tusks and you’ll avoid being poached.
Stop growing your pointy horns and you’ll also avoid being poached.
Stop swimming in large shoals which are easily detected by trawler men.
Stop being so lazy and get shagging to save your species. D’oh!
Stop eating plastic and sticking straws up your noses you idiots.
Stop burning bright in the forests of the night and get yourselves more camouflaged.
Stop lagging behind in the evolution stakes and get like your cousins instead.
Woolly Mammoths!
Stop dozing in the Siberian tundra and get your DNA checked out.
Stop being dead as a dodo and start making an unexpected comeback.
Stop standing still and start acting like the Ents in Lord of the Rings.
C’mon! Fight back!

in this field

in this sunny damp and cornered field
I tread the margins of the coming yield

a farmer’s hope for summer harvests
his cash crops sold to hungry markets

and find myself by a wooden gate
its surfaces moss and lichen decorate

long abandoned some long time ago
the surrounding hedge now overgrown

like this footpath I dared to rediscover
to dwell awhile whilst nature chatters

the sun well past its point of no return
taking with it the day’s unconcern

there’s nothing much left here to see
except perhaps a slightly swaying tree

that in the late afternoon growing breeze
is gently urging me to move on please

and leave the secrets I have found
upon this green and giving ground

in this sunny damp and cornered field
I tread the margins of the coming yield



the park, the river, the beach
dried leaves from horse chestnuts
bottle tops in squelchy mud
the driftwood of weathered huts

I circle around those memories
like a seagull searching for grub
the trees, the bridges, the horizon
my friends in the cricket club

I’m off to hunt out stag beetles
or mice under corrugated sheets
my day spent in silent solitude
with the birds and bumble bees

the chalk, the grass, the blue skies
marking white arrows on gates
rolling down steep hillsides
watching red admirals contemplate

you can’t take the boy out of the man
the landscape from out of his eyes
it’s ingrained like rings of truth
every year that flies on by


on the fringe of realms

flight paths criss-cross on the fringe of realms
the robin lands on a confusion of chicken wire
looks about before darting in to feed his partner
sparrows and blue tits fly straight into their nests
away up the slope a thrush like an arrow nearing
pauses for one moment on the rusted fencing
then dives into the tangle of hedge and briars

in the bottom field a squadron of carrion crows
they glip and glide and gather in poplar trees
cow tails swish to swat away some pesky flies
seagulls merge with floating clouds up on high
the first swallow breezes in from faraway skies
glad to be back home despite the nip in the air
checking out it’s favourite haunts and meadows

there’s a blackbird with a white tail feather
a mob of magpies making a racket in the conifer
one of those that has grown too big for its roots
next winter it will come down with an axe swing
the wood chopper chops as the woodpecker pecks
chop after peck after chop after peck after chop
sound and motion in natural harmony

later I will draw down the night sky on all of this
with a broadcasting hand I will scatter the stars
the pull of a chord will lighten up the full moon
time for tawny owls to ke-wick and hoo-hoo-oooo
time to take my leave and leave without a trace
for I am not of this world despite all you have heard
I come and go in peace on wax paper wings





a little brown sparrow
flew directly toward me
it caught a tiny black fly in flight
and flew off into the big bright sky

did the fly notice the sparrow?
or the sparrow notice me?
or did the big bright sky see
the drama unfold down below?

it was just an insignificant moment
caught between the beat of tiny wings
and later the day turned to night
and an owl came out to feed