The Shadowed Queen

In a lonely, far off place,
the shadow of a gentle queen,
cast across her lofty tower,
caught my tired and vacant eye.
I was conscious of her grace
yet never once I saw her face.

I watched the shadow slowly change
through the slow revolving hours
as the light grew bright and strong
but faded fast away.
Sunlight is a harsh light,
laying bare reality,
then shadows grew too long.
I thought that in the moonlight,
when starlight lit the way,
and all the air was quiet and clear,
the mystery of a true romance
might bring the queen to me.

The castle walls were sheer and high
but where they swept so steeply down
to granite rocks  in gloom, below,
I saw a single, deep red rose
cast upon the stony ground,
a bud that almost bloomed.
I took it in my hand.
I laid it to my heart,
yet she could not come down.

I spent a lonely vigil there
but I saw only shadows,
light and dark, an interplay

I’ve seen bones amongst the leaves
in many ancient forests.
They’re the bones of valiant knights
that shadows led astray.
They died consumed of hunger.
They dug their own cold graves.

I’m bewitched by beauty,
but I know dark
and I know light,
and all the shades that rest between.
Experience has taught me well,
and so I rode away


On Wires (ghazal)

there are always birds on the telegraph wires
today i saw thirteen on the wires

the number gave me pause for thought
our fortune hangs on silver wires

life seems to come from the choices we make
but we swing like puppets on wires

we call our friends to discuss and debate
endless words are buzzing through wires

to try and untangle the troubles we face
we struggle to loosen the binding wires

you think we’re all alone in this world
but we’re all connected by wires

the birds in the evening fly away
moonlight shines on the wires


There’s a song that wafts so gently
in music faintly heard,
a song with words so fleeting
I cannot hold them still.

Where many paths are meeting
in the tangle of the shadows,
just beyond your glance,
in the patterns of the dance,
from a farewell to a greeting
they will spin you into trance.

In a fluttering of wings, do you hear them speaking?
”No time today for sorrow, no time for needless weeping.
Mortal though you are, follow your own star”

I sense them in a twinkle,
in a gleam, a flash of star-fire
the silver light behind a cloud,
across the moonlight sweeping
in the rhythm of my breathing
and a heart that’s wildly leaping,
to the strings of their desire

”It’s a dream within a dream within a dream”
i hear them whisper
as i rest,
almost sleeping,
almost waking,
only seeming to be here.

Summer Solstice


This short sweet night is full of stars,
crossing slowly east to west,
the circle of the ancient stones
by dark and moonlight blessed.

The air alive with music now,
soft steps and voices echo.
Through the tender bending trees,
They enter to the clearing.

The circling dancers, as before,
leave traces where their steps fall
on grass in silvered shining dew.
The dark of night is fleeting.

They come to silent rest at dawn
to stand and watch in awe
the line of light rise in the east,
grow swift to sun, uplifting,
to reclaim the turning year
in blazing light and glory.

This day’s the longest in the year,
tomorrows will be shorter.

Each moon passes swiftly.

Then we’ll dance into the dark
retelling the old stories.
We’ll sit beside our winter fires
’til summer comes, repeating

The Road to Lincoln


without sleep beneath the stars,
stumbling through the darklands
we skirted round the adder woods,
out, through silvered parklands

a moonlight, starlight princess
ahead of me, perfection,
my blanket round her shoulders
with only vague directions

we found the moonlit way to town
she walked ahead on silent feet
with many quiet miles to go
my love was real, complete

a moment came with sinking stars
imagination opened, a bright illumination,
all was as it should be, never could be
a short glimpse of liberation

without sleep beneath the stars
love remained unspoken
all was as it would be
the stars sank down, a fading token

the mystic dawn rose gently, new,
a soft mist stretched across the land
her long hair crowned with sparkling dew
we took the road to Lincoln

without sleep and wide awake
the night was over, washed away
back in noise and traffic
the harsh realities of day

i was never really as i seemed
a little lost and moonstruck
i was always wondering,
without sleep beneath the stars

My Obsessions

this is a found poem – it comes from my tag cloud on this blog and so it consists of words I use a lot in poems……….


My Obsessions.


Ancient bards and books,
a breeze full of butterflies
above the Celtic hills.
Cities, clouds, the dance of death,
a desert dragons dream,
dreaming dreams with evening eyes
of fateful fantasy and fire
with firelight in the forest garden
where a girl with a haiku
plays a harp and sings
of heart and home and horses.

Imagination kindles lakes,
leaves, land and love,
love, always love,
magic memories of moons
moonlight, morning music.

At night, the oak overshadows
oceans of passion
paths of peace and perfume,
poems of rain and ravens,
the rocks, the river,
roses by the sea.
The sky a silver smile
when the snows come,
then the song of spring,
sunlight and starlight.

Time towers above the trees.
The wings of winter spread again
above a woodland made of words

The Bones They Talk (a terzanelle)

in whispering voices, the bones, they talk
through the rolling curving lines of the land
they lead me gently, unconscious I walk

on the moss covered stones I rest my hand
to feel their quiet presence lingering there
through the rolling curving lines of the land

in the haunt of the fox, home of the hare,
where all is as it was before, I come
to feel their quiet presence lingering there

guided by moonlight, stones, spiral and sun
I walk the path of the ancestors bones
where all is as it was before, I come

to the place of the barrow, long dark homes,
with lasting respect for all that they knew
I walk the path of the ancestors bones

the stones they placed and the ancient ditches
where the blackthorn at dawn sparkles with dew
inform me still of their deepest wishes
with lasting respect for all that they knew


following the lane, walking up the hill

talking of our dreams, ambitions and hopes

yes, it was moonlight, yes, we were young then

this memory, so strong, always returns


i wonder why a momentary walk

comes back so clearly again and again

we wandered less than a mile in the dark

it held pure perfection, yes, it was love


yesterday the thought brought me a smile

today it hurts enough to make me cry

an image etched on my brain and my heart

yes, i grow tired remembering you




On the Wane


here in a bubble of moonlight
no strong winds can blow me
i sit and watch the world go by
floating, bound, unfeeling

what is this spell that holds me
enclosed and isolated
surrounded by air and light
contained in silence

i try to reach out, the bubble stretches.
untouched yet never quite defeated
i look out, no-one comes near
i long to feel earth beneath my feet

this curse is but a fleeting moment
in the time of the waning i am winnowed
all things pass and change and pass
the moon will wax again at last


paths keep crossing for their own reasons
the twirl of the world, the switch of the season
cycles coming, growing, going
we turn to each other familiar faces
lit by moonlight, hidden by shadows
the stranger you meet who holds up a light
comes in the dusk and leaves in the night


the moment the moon begins to wane
all the old predators come back again
snarling and circling and snapping their jaws
prowling around me, sniffing the air
they smell my defeat before its begun
should i offer my throat and be done

is there final release in their teeth
no sanctuary, no solace, no welcoming peace
so far from the fire, the torch and the hearth
so many riddles i cant answer
all my answers misunderstood
no star to guide me, lost in the wood

bound to a tree, yet i break free
when the darkest hour strikes
i refuse the final sacrifice
there is music, sunlight, life
i sink down to rise again