in which rain startled a plover

from repose. High above


I saw the plover like a dot hovering


and then settling quietly on the willow

outside my window. I was somewhere else

dreaming in front of a screen of workday

nothings, brooding on lingo from management graduates

we’ve all become a project plan in excel spreadsheets

practitioners of process,  grumbling thoughts

disturbed by rumbling outside and then the rain

poured down, the sky simply wept, opening up the world

to a natural deluge, a pure torrent of freshness that drew me

to the weeping branches, drew me to the gaiety of umbrella-less workers

draw breath and run, and the plover, disturbed,

shakes its neatness like a business suited bureaucrat,

toffs its head and flies off leaving the grass trodden and damp

the tree rocking and shaking, the ground greening and fertile

my single thought to wing it too before we all turn to stone


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a tree bends an arm across the patch

extending an offering of berries

to baby miners darting around

my lengthening shadow elongating

underneath the leaves of the olive

as the warm sun settles westwards.


a poem accepts these small round fruit

of another terrain which lays bare

its abundance in my hand,

placing me somewhere where Athena

rests her spirit in the wings of an owl

writing an odyssey across my wordscape.



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Reflections on A Luna/r Eve

I am dazzled tonight

By a certainty

Of a half-moon

Carved with such definition

As to clear the stars

To the ends

Of the earth.

The chorister and I,

By chance together,

Reflect uneasily

On the harbour

Tidings of two


Next to such singular


Leering forever

At the endless

Ebbs and flows

Is the face we both

Could not face

That seemed to face

Us whenever we

Crossed from

Place to place:

That grotesque

Welcome to our city.

Round and round

Goes the ferris wheel

Behind the face

Round and round


For an escape


To outer space

Away from

That vast monster’s

Gaping mouth,

A huge black hole.


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Strong salvias droop

in the unexpected

early autumn.

I provide what I can

taking in

their latent vivacity

happily, far away

from desk life

with it’s constant

patter of people

in all their perennial


I sink lower

into my revolving chair

still listening,

still caring

as I hear bureaucracy’s

wounding howls

even at a distance.

The office becomes

a floating lily pad

for lost souls

hiding selves and platitudes

in the shortening days


for the clarity of rain

to pitter down

on us all.

I watch for signs

of returning life.


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B Flat Minor

The young physicists sat around the table

Eating and talking signs and symbols

While I fussed and rumbled around

In B flat minor, a curmudgeon of sorts

Shuffling five flats up and down the path

Counting backwards in scale to the past.


Starting again presents an harmonic note

An A sharp and a breath and a laugh at myself

Remembering how being can equal joy times x.


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then there was grace

our detritus is discarded in heaped

bundles on unborn verges of lawn


strewn across an aged and tender land

treeless and reddening in the desert sand.


waves build banks across vast stretches

of seething nothingness filled with waste


time in the sun numbs, we have dumped

our thoughtlessness in barren, arid land.


yet the desert adjusts its swollen face

sores, heaving and rolling over landfill


to cover man-made mounds and little hills

with gentle, infinitely returning specks of grace.



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I work like a piano tuner

c, c major, d,e, b minor,


listening choosing

hands stolid and plodding


you hear, you play

from augie all the way back again to bach and debussy


note by note the piano becomes a croon for you crooning your tunes

your bach blooming logic in a mathematical swoon



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in which a few branches are lopped

and light appears. A gap, a space


like a shift in time, an equinox of division marking

then and now, a maturity of growth. The chorister

stares out her window, a streetscape of everyday

passing by: the dog-walkers, the verge talkers, still

a postman, let’s imagine two chooks and a goat

previously unseen now vividly open to be written up

eluding exclusion.


the cherry breathes again; the sycamore was pruned for you

for blossoms in spring; your September blossoms

our September, our Octember when anything

is possible said Dr Seuss, even us walking and talking

with two squawking chooks and a sleepy mountain goat

it will grow back I tell you as winter’s bare branches stretch ahead

and you apologise



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