calling the muse

this unused muscle
my muse has rested too long
shake off apathy

banish lethargy
time to get into training
or he’ll atrophy

out of my brain’s reach
hide under he autumn leaves
I’ll poke him gently

hoping that winter
contrasts of sun and shadows
will waken this friend


Early Summer

A warm day at Machrihanish, Kintyre, May 13 2018

The scent of bluebells, blue sea, gorse,

sand, sea pinks, rocks,

oyster catchers
surf breaking
blue sky, white clouds.
Across the water
Islay and Jura’s paps profiled.
A cuckoo calls.

Heading north

The rain fell steady at the start

A cold wet tailend of a long grey winter

We drove north, behind lorry spray

Headlights on at midday

Colour returned to the world a little later

Patches of blue sky, green trees

And crowds of cowslips on the verges

A long delay was promised,

so we took a long diversion,

crawling parallel to the motorway

Not very diverting

When we left the trunk roads

we noticed daffodils blooming

We’ve travelled back to early spring

The trees still in leaf-bud

A different breed of sheep and younger lambs

Lapwings flying over moorland

Stone walls embroidering the fields

Bare hills, the bone structure of the land

the bubbling call of curlew

carries through the quiet.

Going back

You try to tear the thin patch in the cloth

to rip time open

but it shimmers

just out of reach

beneath the new buildings

and other trees

its sounds drowned by the motorway roar

where once was only woodland and canal.

The view has changed

new houses, too many people, too many cars

The sea still gleams down in the distance

but the frame has shrunk.

New Years Day

Bright, with a keen wind and showers.

The Welland runs high after rain and snow,
irs valley a lake of sodden fields.
In Belton birch branch reindeer
are dotted around the village.
Some trailing tinsel after the party.
Loddington has a pair of mini-deer –
decorations look daylight-tired
We stop at Burrough Hill
to walk along the farm track
where tractors and beasts have churned
the mud to shallow soup.
The fort is grassy
exposed to the chill wind
the sun moves towards sunset
as a heavy shower mists out the distant hills.
The sunset disappoints today,
but in the east the full moon rises
above fir trees
like a scene from the brothers Grimm …
Returning home in dusklight
we brake for rabbits, then a hare
an owl glides by.
We recross the Welland flood plain
and head home.
01 January 2018

First snow

The night was cold

by morning the flakes were falling soft yet damp
the yew tree branches bright with snow
the house is warm as I sip tea in bed
wrapped in my winter cover.
Our neighbours’ kids are thrilled
their mum as well –
it doesn’t snow in Thailand
and last year none lay on the ground.
They’re making a snow dragon
with gourds for eyes and carrot nose
the wings present a problem
and they settle for the normal
huge round body, smaller round head.
But throwing snowballs at dad
is the best fun.