Summer Tides

Far from water, summer tides flow in

on lizard skittering, a reptile sun fit

for the leathery backs of creatures

lost on the highway south.


A solitary magpie in sycamore shade

stolidly unmoved, charts their course

as they slither over bitumen streets

the surface heat of an urban sea


Copyrighted by the author




in which everything turns

In the middle of the afternoon

rain poured down in buckets

just as we’d given up, decided

in fact, drought was here again.


A torrent of water flew down

like bird-words shrieking and cavorting

in a wild sky turned grey

even as everything turned:


colour returned to grass as each

leaf trembled in relief; I saw the ground

breathe deep,  seedlings become

plants, two sycamores


ten cypresses,  shaken with

delight. Only the roses drooped,

their vibrancy caught in a drama

of pain, heads bent to avoid drowning.


Copyrighted by the author



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



Copyrighted by the author

Charter of the Forest

swallows discovered first the green passage

swooping from sycamore to birch, dense growth

marking a playground for squirrel chase and horseman

call; turnstiles come a century down the common path

we’re walking still, along the way to free the land

from tillers and their capital plan.


Copyrighted by the author