Category: Poetry

After the Storm

Some thoughts about the aftermath of the two fierce storms to hit us so far this year. The photograph is of Highcliffe beach, looking west towards Hengistbury Head.


After the Storm


Nothing will be forgotten.

The storm is over, but the sea remembers.

Beneath the hammered silver surface,

within the roaring of the undertow,

nothing is ever left to chance. The waves

swallow the seething anger of the wind,

drowning in deep green memory.

And all may be recalled again one day,

as broken jetsam washed up on the shore,

abandoned by the cold relentless tide.

Nothing will be forgotten.

The cold relentless tide abandoned

as broken jetsam washed up on the shore

may be recalled again one day.

Drowning in deep green memory,

swallowing the seething anger of the wind,

the waves are never left to chance.

Within the roaring of the undertow,

beneath the hammered silver surface,

the sea remembers, but the storm is over.

Nothing will be forgotten.

Elementor #976

A few days ago, I went to see the Da Vinci exhibition at The Southampton City Art Gallery. There was also an exhibition of drawings by artist/musician/poet Greg Gilbert. I found this extremely affecting, intriguing and inspiring. For some reason, images of paper aeroplanes from some of his drawings reverberated in my head and this poem appeared:

Paper Aeroplane



Take this blank white sheet,

mark it with black characters

coded in straight lines.


Each in its right place

signifies something: some loss,

some celebration,

some deep connection,

or helpless disconnection,

some need unspoken.


Fold this printed sheet,

flattening each careful crease,

the shape emerging.


And where would you aim

this new, childlike artifact

with its rash message?


Into the silence

and the mercy of the moon;

the cold, ruthless sea;

the terrible sun;

the white noise of the deaf world;

Into empty air?


Somewhere there must be

reckless hands outstretched to catch,

Fearless eyes to see.

The Winter King

The Winter King

I am currently making a visual, mixed media art piece with the working title “The Winter King”. It includes the photograph above, which I took in Broadley Inclosure in the New Forest a few years ago. Thinking about the piece, and trying to make it, brought this poem to the surface. 

This seems to happen quite often. I write a poem and it leads me to make a 2D or 3D art piece, or I make an image which then leads on to a poem. In both cases, I’m still trying to make windows into the world, for myself and for others who might wish to look through.

The Winter King

The old Winter King

beckons you

and you must follow

between these

brittle waiting trees

into the dark.


Step hesitantly

beneath bone-

bare branches bladed,

sharp white cold

and pale gold haloed,

into the dark.


The fugitive sun

falling in

to sanctuary,

the silent

forest drawing you

into the dark.


Your nervous footsteps


Do not look behind.

At your back

the whole world falling

into the dark.

It’s that time of year again.

Samhaine Song

We sit here tonight

At one more year’s turning,

We hold our friends close

In the darkness returning.


Samhaine is here

And the great wheel is turning.

The apples are gathered,

The leaves are all scattered,

The bonfires are burning.

Samhaine is here again,

Samhaine is here.

Inside there’s laughter

And firelight and candle-glow.

Outside is the night

And the rain on the window.

(Repeat refrain)

The grain’s in the barns

But the Wild Hunt is running.

The apples are sweet

But the sharp frost is coming.

(Repeat refrain)

The Lord of the wood

In the Shadowlands, waiting,

Like seeds in the earth

For the new light’s awaking.

(Repeat refrain)

The Lady, the Crone,

By her cauldron is spinning

The thread of our lives

Through all ends and beginnings.

(Repeat refrain)

So set a spare place

For the old ones returning,

As we sit here tonight

At one more year’s turning.

As we sing here tonight

In the darkness returning.

(Repeat refrain)