Wednesday, 21 December 2016


Isn’t it about time
After a lifetime of paddling,
I went to the river?
Sit by the untroubled water
And just be?
See who’s written there
Upon the clear surface?
Do nothing but look?
Meet me there?

Tuesday, 20 December 2016


No me
No mine
No problem.

Friday, 16 December 2016


Nobody knows
What the kingfisher does for Christmas
Whether, perhaps, holed up in Klosters
With champagne and smoked salmon
Or if, unknown to the tax man,
He has a hideaway in Mustique.
Hibernation seems unlikely.
The bulldog, on the other hand
Ought to be predictable:
A pie and a pint in the local,
The Queen on the telly,
Turkey. Sprouts. Gravy.
But, no.
He’s skiing in Val d’Isere.
Which makes you wonder
If the kingfisher
Is in Barnsley, or Basingstoke.


We'll see.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


"With a mind like yours, you should write," she said,
"You know, books."

"No," I said.
"No. I don't think so."
Excellence enacts devotion.
Devotion enacts excellence.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016


We go to Maguelon,
The sky dark with salt,
Black in the south,

And the Middle Sea tearing at the shore.

The pink question marks

That are flamingos

Unfold into exclamatory flight -
Prehistoric dashes in the grey air,

Red certainties punctuating turmoil.

By the canal, boat debris,

And a café for travellers,

Shut for the winter.

We are here when my questions

Do not find answers.

None found in the cold cathedral.

And, in the etang,

The flamingos land,

Becoming question marks again.

Friday, 9 December 2016


Once, I sent a bonsai,
And the man who got it
Brought me to his home
Where the bonsai was on show,
With all its leaves, midwinter.
When I saw it he coughed
And his wife said they all fell off
But knowing you were coming
I made paper ones
And stuck them on.
That, to me, was love.
And I’ve had loves where the leaves fall off,
But no one makes new ones.

Some trees lose leaves.