Monday, September 12, 2011

in holly and ivy -
a fallen angel's wings

Presence #30 Sept 2006

Monday, July 04, 2011

glorious sunset
over the heads
of the bickering drunks

Sunday, June 05, 2011

after reading
the note I sent myself
in a dream
I know but can't recall
what it said

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A life in birds

A pheasant standing
in the furrows
a hawk's swerve
over the sewage works
magpies flying
low across a field
a pigeon
in the mouth of a dog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dreaming in colour

the ladies with a red attitude
the man who spoke in splashes of yellow
even the white room
that was not Hugh's

Friday, April 22, 2011

closing time -
two drunks argue over which
swear word is worse

Friday, April 15, 2011

Poem written when I didn't have time

If I only had five minutes to write
I would have to write about this flitter
from one thing to another that I do
and how, now, I'm trying to slow right down
and stop the days from flickering past me
like the view from the window of a train

Sunday, April 10, 2011

how many things
do I need to dispose of
each one left
becomes precious?

Friday, April 08, 2011

spring clarity
the local pub reveals
its old name

Thursday, April 07, 2011

open windows -
all the contrails
spring sunshine
in the dust around
a shovelful of rubble

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

How to resist tyrannical optimism

Be pessimistic
when disaster looms
pay close attention
at the darkening of each day
find time for sadness
months or years after a loss
admit dissatisfaction with your life
when you have less than you had hoped
be sure you're not persuing someone else's dream
during the programme or the ads
do not suspend your disbelief
when the fourth wall breaks
express your disillusionment
even if others disapprove
refuse to stay forever young.

Monday, April 04, 2011

gone to seed -
the partisan explains
his point of view

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Gained in translation

Delighted by this translation of one of my haiku by Serge Tomé on temps libres

Satie -
the rain

Satie -
la pluie

Friday, April 01, 2011

Haiku found on my bookshelf

embracing the firebird
in the ship's wake
summer dreams


rain turns to snow
it's unclear now what lies concealed
within the radius

without, we suffer nocebo
unless we can
in rational clarity
the insidiously subtle flow

in air, water, milk
in the frost-white steam
in rain that turns to snow

Thursday, March 31, 2011


NaHaiWriMo was fun, and showed me that I could write a haiku a day if I tried, so maybe NaPoWriMo can be the next stretch I need beyond the comfort zone?

I'd like to use it to give myself a challenge to look out for different types of inspiration, not just the haiku kind. Longer things have appeared here before now but I've never really tried to write them, they just happened occasionally. If this goes to plan there will be some longer poems appearing here, among the haiku, over the next month.

Probably not much longer though, as I remain a dedicated minimalist!

Monday, March 21, 2011

the moon at perigee -
something else is tearing
this world apart

Sunday, March 06, 2011


I did it! A haiku a day for the whole month of February. I know I said I was aiming for two a day. Somedays I did that, other days the extra verses helped fill what would have been gaps. The thing is when you aim high, even if you don't make it every time, you tend to hit higher overall than if you aim low.

I've not posted yet in March. I can't keep it up. It's not that it was hard. It was a matter of focus and noticing things that are there every day if you just look. But there are so many demands on time and attention. I've tried simplifying life but still those demands are there.

The most important thing we decide every day - and we usually do it without the least bit of real reflection - is what we will pay attention to, what we will give our limited time to.

Monday, February 28, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 28

old emails -
our first responses
to each other
and to

Sunday, February 27, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 27

Satie -
the rain

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 26

sudden rainstorm
my place in another world
kept by a bookmark

Friday, February 25, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 25

home at last
I listen to
the world news

NaHaiWriMo 24

a magpie
hop-skipping from garden
to garden

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 23

first days of spring -
the sound of a crowd of people
demanding change*

* line 2/3 phrase 'found' in a BBC radio news item

NaHaiWriMo 22

February wind -
the word 'crocus'
on the Scrabble board

NaHaiWriMo 21

February rain -
the word 'spring'
on the Scrabble board

Monday, February 21, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 20

Monday morning
the football stadium
fades into the mist

Saturday, February 19, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 19

the quiet calm
of a room prepared
for carpet fitters

NaHaiWriMo 18

solar flare -
spring moon half-hidden
in the clouds

Friday, February 18, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 17

quarter chimes -
spring mist around
the clock tower

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 16

poetry books
banished to the bathroom -
spring cleaning

Monday, February 14, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 15

Valentine's Day -
old gold

NaHaiWriMo 14

pink tissue paper
folded and kept
long after
what it wrapped
was lost

Sunday, February 13, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 13

the smell of varnish
lingers in the hall
like winter

NaHaiWriMo 12

February sun -
a street light still on
in the daytime

Saturday, February 12, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 11

a line
of chimney pot silhouettes
against the evening sky

Friday, February 11, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 10

light rain -
water workers
dig a hole in the road

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 9

strategic plan -
the sound of distant

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 8

pension plans
the slow drone of a plane
coming in to land

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 7

the sunset -
in my neighbour's window

Sunday, February 06, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 6

February sky
the colour
of the castle walls

NaHaiWriMo 5

February sun
between the park bench slats
two rows of moss

Friday, February 04, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 4

Chinese market -
a row of small gold buddhas
share a smile

Thursday, February 03, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 3

morning frost
every blade of grass

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 2

warning lights
around the roadworks
by the pub -
softened by fog

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

NaHaiWriMo 1

the early news -
a red glow spreads across
the eastern sky

Monday, January 31, 2011

Upping the ante

I'm going to set myself a personal challenge. Not only will I write a haiku a day as part of NaHaiWriMo and publish it here but I will also write another which I will not post online. You'll just have to trust me on this.


It starts tomorrow! NaHaiWriMo!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

between trees
the twist and flutter
of police tape

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Noticing things

Sometimes writing the kind of thing I post here comes ridiculously easily, sometimes it becomes impossibly difficult. I'm not sure of all the reasons but partly it's about a loss of focus. Being too busy. Sometimes I need to slow down to make things come back into focus. There's a plan afoot for a group of people to write a haiku a day during February and I'm hoping that taking part in that might help me get the focus back. I want to start noticing things again, not let them all go by in a blur of busyness.

spring moon
a burst of song
from a passing cyclist