We cannot speak the terns’ light grace
with these tongs of words;
silence, then, and let us learn
to simply watch these birds!


Butterflies in Spring

Orange Tip and Tortoiseshell,
I knew your parents. They too
would play in my garden
when light grew large
and warmth, like a touch remembered,
but to them so new,
opened their wings like fans,
such as the day when from a window,
I added, to the branches of the wind,
two blossoms on a whim
that were my joy,
a kind of freedom gained;
and now, as honest copies,
you for them have returned
like a promise fulfilled,
O flags of the world,
O emblems of the free.


For all I know
the gull up high
may ride the tide
we call the airwaves.

A movement never heard
by Beethoven or bird
beats upon the shore
of 92.4.

Where I pocket storms,
an orchestra performs;
the lightning confined
to galvanise the mind:

and I have glimpses,
when all around is dark,
of the rising sun
the Maestro bravely won.

So long ago,
he turned some mighty dial
so we could hear
the joy that’s ever near.


There are snipers in the woods
hiding from open ground,
from the test of light,
relishing the violent act:
a bullet between branches
that ricochets off dappled leaves
and echoes into silence,
meaning naught,

letting others do their fighting,
bear the brunt,
take the risk,
pull the tiger’s tail;

but a bullet cannot graze an image
or take the melody from the song
or alter who is who
and who performs the wrong.

If they were none
and their target many,
the forest would be filled with song,
with exquisite love
with frolics and with mirth
from hate as free as green the Earth
for all and not for all but one.

They take each shot at what is not,
at shadows, but they aim too low,
their fingers shaky on the trigger
whose ammunition is a snigger.
They praise each other’s miss
for none can hope for more than this.
They lie in wait
for a quarry never seen
by eyes so blind and mean.