Here, On the Shore

there is nothing to lose here
and nothing to win
out here by the ocean
cast up on the shore

grains of salt
in damp sand
fragments of shell
bubbles keep rising
to break in the air

nothing more
nothing more
nothing more
nothing more

briefly cupped in a hand
the water of life
soaks back to sand

we go and we go
and we go and we go
we go, we go
we go into the flow

spiral and helix constantly spin
it’s part of a vision
too vast to explore
I’ve seen this before
and before and before


Sea Shells

here are we
curled and contained
in this room
high above the breathable sea
bathed in a shaft of moonlight
drifting in dreams
holding on tight as the world turns
our breath swells and sinks with the waves

sea shells follow the tide line below
left behind at the turning
bleached and beached on the white sand

time wears the solid rock to small grains
energy moves from this place to that
nothing is ever the same
but remains
and repeats
and remains
curled and contained

How to Capture a Mermaid

These instructions come with a warning.
Beware! She might capture you.

The first thing to do is convince yourself
That mermaid tales are true,

Then take a trip to the ocean,
But some inland lakes will do,

And go alone.
Mermaids are very shy.

Never go unprepared.
You will need to take a supply

Of gifts and music and stories.
Some that the sailors knew.

You can’t deceive a mermaid
A mermaid looks right though you

Mermaids love flowers and spices
But go with a heart that’s true

Scatter the beach with spices
Cover the water with flowers

Play to her on a lute
And wait for hours and hours

She will seduce you if she can
She has powers to hypnotise

She sees your soul in an instant
Never look into her eyes

To capture a mermaid don’t use a net
Never use bindings or ropes

You must sing to her very sweetly
Sing of your dreams and your hopes

Trail your hand in the water
Sing yourself to sleep

As you drift between worlds she will come to you
Rising up from the deep

She will want to hold and touch you
She will love you, if you are wise

Never be overbearing
Just take the mermaids hand

When you walk in your sleep, still dreaming,
She will follow you to the land.

The Sea

watching the sea
as it rises and falls
always awaiting the seventh

the rock pools are flooded
deep water drums
as each wave hits them again

the green at the heart of the wave
as it curls in the sun
and comes crashing down

fading, dying, it washes the shore
white frothing bubbles of foam
leaving smooth darkened sand in its wake

the line of white shells and pebbles
defines and records the retreat
and, for a time, holds the imprint
of my feet as i walk away

love, like the ocean, is endless
life and death on the tide
makes the cycle complete
and the loving more sweet


drops of honey
whispered in my ear

drop from a precipice
landing on my feet

‘drop it’ she said
‘i can’t take more of this’

tear drop twinkle
shining on her cheek

a drop in the ocean
with a thirty fathom splash



In response to the days prompt at


Through the Nets

if dreams were liquid we’d all be oceans
notions of fish would swim in our depths

the tides are tirelessly churning the sand
the weeds below sway in the flow
in time the ocean will swallow the land

our silvered skins flicker and shine
I feel your slick side stroke against mine
circling back I seek you again
we swim through life escaping the nets



Crossing the Bar

dreaming of shipwrecks

ragged rocks

pounding surf

wind turning fast

this ship rides the waves

as we aim for the Pole star

leading us homeward

watching for lights

and the beacons that blaze

no more cross currents

no undertow darkness

we are sailing for land

on a swell and wave


cutting through sea spray

the boom and the crash

of the thundering breakers

as we cross o’er the bar

from sweet tidal ocean

the moonlit path reaches

the beautiful river

and harbours embrace

bringing us back

where we are remembered

for just who we are


drop anchor

make fast

and sing of the sea



Tomorrow – a rubaiyat

The stars of the heavens are clear and bright.
I stand here alone, looking up tonight.
The song of the nightingale fills my heart
Ecstatic soloist, brings sweet delight

A softened light shines from the crescent moon,
At dawn it lips the ocean in a swoon.
All night I watched awake, we are apart.
The treasured morning cannot come to soon.

The scent of roses fills the dawning air
As I walk out in peace without a care
Amidst this new-born darling of a day
Where all the fields are newly fresh and fair.

You bring a smile, a word, a tender glance.
Tomorrow’s here and all the world’s a dance.
The sky is blue, the clouds have cleared away
And I am dreaming in a golden trance


The smell of roast coffee haunts the street.

I wait to reach it, breath deep

as we pass, my mothers high heels clatter

briskly across the cellar grating as she drags me

by that alluring café where people are talking.

I imagine them all as artists, writers,

just as I want to be. Is coffee the key?


In summer, roses and sun cream,

the smell of a warm tennis ball,

at the pool, fluoride burns in my throat,

hot tarmac, big roller pressing it flat.

The heat of a greenhouse full of tomatoes,

geranium leaves crushed between fingers,

new mown lawns and sprinklers.


Wet dogs, the strong deep smell of horse,

bran mash and hay, wintergreen, autumn, leather,

new baked bread and a simmering curry.

More pungent the scent of a dark, damp wood,

seaweed on the wind by the ocean

that catches my heart and opens my lungs.

No hurry then as the world stands still.


My father smelled of sawdust, tweed,

tobacco, fresh paint and engine oil,

of his indefinable tribal self,

nothing like anyone else.

As a child that smell meant safe,

warm as the smell of a fir tree

bedecked in Christmas lights,

firelight shadows on walls.


I can recall the perfume,

the scent, the pure animal smell,

of everyone I ever loved.


Now give me oranges, rosemary,

bergamot bottled, uncorked,

for comfort alone.