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Summer Sonnet

Warm waves of sun our body’s breach,
Wild meadow perfumes passions reach,
And heady with a sudden birth
We fall in spirals to the earth
And in that single blink of time
Earth and we are one, sublime.
Now fiery crest on azure field
Dapples colours through my eye’s thin shield.
Pulsating air with life abounds,
Insects buzz and scribble shimmering sounds.
Tall spears of grass wave fleshy lances
Above our heads in slow, hypnotic dances.
The world revolves, a spinning coin,
A spider, going nowhere, pioneers a cooling loin.

Early Morning Coombe Abbey

Sun trickling into darkest places,
Creeping into cold corners.
Green grass spotted with awakening daises,
Plantain roots anchored in some deeper world.
Fallen leaf, curling in the warming sun.
Midges, scribbling random circles of confusion.
White pebbles, wet with night’s perspiration.
Roses, beneath my dangling feet,
Striving with an awesome pothos
To encase me in a thorny cage of beauty
Ere a thousand years can pass yet,
Within a time-warped moment.
Tiny legged spider pioneers my hairy arm
As through another planet.
I am here, not here.
There, not there.
Green translucent water
With puddling ducks in widening wakes.
White eider and the cucking mallard.
On the bank, fluttering sparrows,
Inelegant thugs of path and hedge.
Baby sparrow, voracious appetite on spindly legs.
Mallard young in hydro-legged race
Across the water’s skin
To claim the crumbs, insincerely tossed
By homo-sapien.


Words are traitors in a way,
They break the silence of what I want to say.
The silence of that which cannot be spoken,
Silence, like a still, dark pool.
A silence that takes a lifetime to express and yet
Forever remains unsaid, unplumbed, and unknowable.
The truth that is unspoken between the words,
The sound of silence.
The first word uttered imposes all the inadequacies
Of its own shortcomings upon the silence,
It's own ‘truth’ upon a greater truth.
In silence there lies truth, words become a screen,
So we must find that truth in the spaces in-between.

Great Day

On the great day of His wrath
The earth will split asunder in a frenzy
Of seething, smouldering rage
With the Lord of misrule screaming in our ears,
Bedlam broke loose.
A mighty shock wave will encircle the globe
And fire will engulf every living thing.
Man will become a dinosaur - extinct.
The scorched earth will slowly circle the sun,
A corpse upon the road of night.
A night for all eternity.


Somewhere there’s a purgative
That could unblock my mind
And let out all those words
That are screaming round inside.
Please God, if there is one,
Let’s have a little hurry.
If I don’t have a verbal crap,
A purge of revelation,
I’ll smother in a flurry
Of jumbled words and lexic turds
In academic constipation.

The Funeral
(Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. August 1976)

A white Rolls Royce
Gold plated moves
To lead a hearse
In sorrow steeped.
Behind, a lorry,
Flower heaped.
Thirty limousines,
Black and chrome.
Dark eyed visages,
A world apart, alone.
Hundred guinea suits,
Hand-made leather shoes,
Mink and haute-couture
File towards the pews.
A gypsy wife is dead,
Now brave arrayed.
Gypsy homage rare,
Boldly now displayed.

The Pond

A pond is a tabula rasa;
Patterns on a pond
Are the will of the wind,
The pencil of a capricious god.
Throw seven words into the pond:
The words impose their own pattern,
Their own truth,
But they cannot re-create the truth that is the pond.

Brutes blare their artificial suns,
Hissing, spitting carbon-arcs;
A cacophony of chiaroscuro.


How amazing that I
Should not remember it;
That truly momentous time
When time itself stood still.
A war was done,
Thirty million dead,
And we still here
Gave thanks with silent voice.
Two minutes were agreed,
Two thousand years not enough.
Yet, on the stroke, eleven o’clock,
The world, our world, stood still;
Motor and machinery
Whined to sudden stop and
A nation missed a heart beat
To give a nod to God.
How amazing that I
Should not remember this.
What occupied my mind
To miss this solemn time?
With a schoolboy friend
I played a marble game
And as the world missed a beat
Mine went down the drain!

Act of Creation

An old man, commenting on my sketches,
Equates his own at financial value;
In terms of commerce, of ‘return for labour’.
Blind to pleasure and reward in simply creating,
He speaks of ‘Got’ ‘Worth’ ‘Mine’ ‘Sold’.
A sad epitaph for an act of creation.

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