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

a peel of bells

the lives of ancients
whisper in my bones
calling from a distant mist
they sigh across these
lush sinuate fields
seeping into musty
stone flagged towers

with hands that have caressed
these gnarled knots of oak
centuries smoothed from
green lanes that wind
through every albion fibre
and myriad ribbons of water
salvaging what has past

I step in their shadows
and know their hearts
with each drop of rain
and whip of wind
I am transcendent, lost
in their peel of bells
throwing joy to the sky


the sun always shines on this day
bathing now empty echoing streets
they breathe silently
ready to receive dark memories
from trench and desolate field

white lions of inglorious empires
look down at Portland faced mansions
witness to bearskin and boot
their coated ranks rooted in solemn lines
faces to the empty tomb
waiting for the million dead to come
then raise brass and drum
to whisper Nimrod
and sooth their tortured souls.