after flanders

there is peace of a kind

in the early sun that wakes a quiet world
and the rolling green oak spotted field before me
crocus carpet patchwork slope that lay here waiting
while I was away in the worst of dreams
with wingless birds that sang their deadly song
and flocked to undo earth and men

there is peace of a kind

in the clear quenching flow of water at my feet
sinuous on its journey
giver of life
master of its course
untouched by the blood of the disappeared
no sickness to be carried away now

there is peace of a kind

in the benevolence of the air
pollen filled drift of warmth
that allows my eyes to smile and close
without wreak and havoc
breath cracked
sounds split and muted
torn with screams of the maddened

there is peace of a kind

but views of my world are skewed and drawn
innocence lost to indifference
this beauty that I see I thought was lost
these tears that fall are for the shame of us
and all that is gone
dust to dust

marsh flats

‘Wader populations are declining worldwide, with causes often being linked to the loss and degradation of habitats, increased predation, and a changing climate.’
British Trust for Ornothology


I am whole
where the wind washed
water runs in
seeking familiar homes
among the glassworts
marsh runs and rivulets

I am a singular audience
of plovers and godwits
scittering before the gentle flood
exciting the curlew’s curing trill
a salt scented avowal
that nature holds on

SS Lager Sylt

I walked over verdent green
a soft carpet
a thin covering

I felt in my hackles
voices not forgotten
pain in the silence

though a gentle wind
may have passed through
the twisted brambles

and birds fret
as they must have then
urgent in their persuit

of the life they know
you must have seen
these very same things

but the collar on your neck
would give them a more
desperate meaning

than I could know
who walks in answer
only to heart yearning steps


gulls hang languid in the air
muttering their sorrows
and laments for the lost
their feathers flick as they
dip and drift in answer
to the vagaries of the wind

and marram tufts shudder
with each waft of warmth
needle threads of stitch
root meandering sand
with a sea of inward smiles
into these transient hills

as our innocent echoes spill
as sweetly tumbled weeds
down these golden banks
and up again to stand
panting proud and free
king of our beautied blithe shore

my path to the sea

the breath of all my summers
tousled as drowsy sprites
ushers me down the path

familiar in all it’s secrets
the crisp moss coated pines
squat bent and close

harmonising light and air
that hold their bewitching lines
and guide my naked satiny steps

through salt gorged grasses
that bow their heads to
the wide zephyred brilliance

barreling her curls of teal
and fraying her edges on
the undiminished rocks for me