Friday, 30 October 2015


Days when the sky
was all scudding cloud
and space –

the rate of climb
of those pioneers
like Mum’s dad,
flying flimsy string
and canvas contraptions –

were there again
when you stretched
full length on the hill,
lay back and thought
of eglantine –
was that the name?
– and thick masks
of colour back home,
the profligate spill
of climbing plants,
reaching for the sky
and above you
the space
of scudding clouds.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Нов семестър/A new term

Somewhere up behind the pub
beside the roundabout, the road
dithers between cycle paths
and rattling cattle grids.

In the pre-dawn’s early light,
I’m hashing together lecture notes
and thoughts I might need to have
under transitional cloud cover

until here, with stumped old trees,
I should be at a loss. Not so –
I’m on this particular corner
of the road and over there,

like some well-placed opposite,
this reminder, pollarded from last year.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Между народите/Between nations

Endlessly, the trees behave.
Each branch and twig
might draw the line between
crisp breath and the mist.
Guards stand and stamp
at this point where worlds
collapse into a border.

Beneath ghosting
frontier architecture,
passports are handed over.
We each have our case,
a claim to an identity,
which someone somewhere
in ministry or embassy
will accept, will condone.

Outside the windows
of this sweaty minibus,
a forest occurs, declining
into atmospheric effects,
a foggy weekday morning –
and us, we can’t see the wood
for the proverbial trees.

Friday, 9 October 2015


 Between whatever else happens,
we might be straying across
what’s marked out – the given
delineation of boundaries.

Up in the woods there,
where trackways are signed
and somehow we’re brought out
to a picnic area’s designated space,
we’re talking too of dens
and interlaced branches,
traces of those who’ve been
and gone before – and, of course,
those other distant woods.

Through the trees,
some light effect suggests
a geography of displacement.
Mushrooms grow out
of punk timber like antennae

and we’re coming down
through leaf matter, jutting stones
to the river where, without
so much as a thought,
the path becomes
a path that’s leading home.

Friday, 2 October 2015


The garish light blaze
is the garage across the road
about to close. Working late,
I’m half-lost in old thoughts,
memory's oddments and that –
that brief whisk of a tail
against my legs and I'm up to the door
and going in through the hall
to a back bedroom from where
I can see fox cubs playing possum
in an abandoned bath.

They do their best to look
photogenic, sport
dunned orange, 
hiding and seeking.
And we’d be in
our kitchen watching.
It’s not snowed,
it's not a thought.
but, there,
across the grass
comes the parent-fox.