empty is a hollow word
that hits the stomachs pit
a fathom deep, no echo,
a void no thought can fill

to climb from it,
an act of stubborn will,
a fight, a war on loneliness,
a war on time
that moves without resolve
through every slow-stepped hour

and after this,
a blighted bud without a flower


Or, horses

The days go round and round,
One dragged hour at a time,
In minute variations of the same,
With no specific aim or destination
And no aid to emptiness in passing.
The gradual fading grey of shallow light
Towards a long and lonely night
May lead to near-forgotten dawns
Of frosted daisies growing in damp grass,
Where the hawk cries out in grief above the meadow
And life is full of streams and running horses.
What a sight!
What delight!
How willingly I’d follow.
Damn the clocks.
Damn the wishing.
Damn the dark tomorrow.
Damn the hollow call that draws the heart to sorrow.

Sweet Avon

Under green summer willows my family walked,

Avoiding the shadows of serious talk.

As a child, without care, I ran on ahead,

Chasing the sunlight, alarming the swans,

Watching the ripples that spread from the banks,

I took all for granted, when time was my friend.

Now, by the Avon, I wander alone.

Clear in the knowledge that everything ends.

Now I find comfort in rivers and ghosts.

Lost Watch

I lost my father’s watch in the sea
When I wandered about on a beach.
It’s well that it rests there,
He wanted an ocean burial,
But the sea was too far out of reach.
We didn’t have time for arrangements,
Time flew by too fast,
but now he is rested at last.
My family heirloom lies on a sea bed of shells,
Corroded by rust,
Informing the fish of the turning of tides
As it drifts back and forth in the currents
Showing it silvered face
round as the full moon, in it’s season.
I lost my father’s watch in the sea.
He would be happy,
But time seems to have stopped for me.
Like a screen on TV,
Gone blank.

The Rocking Stone

On Cadair Idris, close by to the bottomless lake of Llyn Cau, I spent the night on a Rocking Stone, with a youthful desire in my heart, to be a Poet Bard. Legend has it that a night on Cadair’s cold flank gives the curse of madness, or the blessings of Seer or Bard. I knew the risk to my mind and the risks of the rocking stone, the balancing of the stone, a balance to be held on a dark night, high up and all alone. I sat and prayed in silence to the moon and stars above, looking up with eyes wide open, alert to the mountain, the rock and the wind that blew in that desolate spot.

The night was long. I came down with the dawn as nothing; an empty vessel waiting to be filled. No-one, nothing at all. Aware that I was very small.

Ten years later, or was it five, and does it matter how old I was, I spent the night on a rock atop a Tor, looking out across a wide open remote moor. I saw the creatures of the night as they scurried about and eyes shining and blinking in the dark. I heard the song of the wind through the rocks. Nothing more. It was enough.

The night was long. I came down feeling I belonged to something though I knew not what. I became a journey begun.

The night I spent on the cliff edge where the wind sings in the grass above granite rock, the waves beat on the rocks below and seven hours became one. Time slowed, or the stars and the moon sped by, who can tell which, the night I sat high on the cliff edge, the moon path spread across the sea, glimmering on water, reaching out to the a far horizon.

The stars, with the moon at the centre of all, moved in a slow ballet of curved motion across the sky, the constellations shone out from the web of night, a rotation eternal, a moving wheel. Beneath me the tide rolled in an out, fast. Time did not stop, it slowed or the world sped up while beauty shone out high above.

Seven hours became one.

If I can, by a shift of my mind, alter seven hours to one could I change one hour to seven and make life longer or can I pull seven hours into one? What is time but illusion? The days of a child are long, a summer an eternity. Seven hours could easily be as seven decades to a shorter lived creature than me. Does a butterfly live six score years and ten in so short a span as a day.

The earth is a rocking stone held in place by the moon while the sun brings it life. Time does not exist. Life and death is all we have and are but we are not bound in time.

We are all finely balanced on the stone. We either fall off or we balance.

This is all I have learned on the Rocking Stone. This is not the end of my journey, a journey I make alone.

Turn and Return ( a doubled Etheree)

the unwounded self, at the heart, is still
in response to circumstance we turn
between the worlds we move as one
chased along by thrusting time
only surface changes
perhaps forever
as i will be
as i was
i am
and dead
if you are
in cold despair
i am alone here
we turn it round in faith
life runs like a salt hour glass
hours and days pass us by with speed
which world is real is a mystery
there is an open door between two worlds
there is an open door between two worlds
which world is real is a mystery
hours and days pass us by with speed
life runs like a salt hour glass
we turn it round in faith
i am alone here
in cold despair
if you are
dead and
i am
as i was
as i will be
perhaps forever
only surface changes
chased along by thrusting time
between the worlds we move as one
in response to circumstance we turn
the unwounded self, at the heart, is still

Clock-tower Dance

The clock tower stands to mark the time
It’s stood so long, it’s lost its chime

Three-six-nine the goose drank wine
The monkey chewed tobacco on the street car line

Six girls lean against the rail
Time drags on, a slippery snail

Clap pat, clap pat, clap pat, clap slap
Slap your thighs and sing a little song

Swings in the park and a witches hat
These six girls, too old for that

My mama told me if I was goody
that she would buy me a rubber dolly

They look at the rings in the jewelery shop
And flirt with the boys but they don’t stop

My aunty told her I kissed a soldier
Now she won’t buy me a rubber dolly

Five girls here will stay in this town
And trade their lives for a wedding gown

The line broke the monkey got choked
and they all went to heaven in a little row boat

One is going to fly away
She’s waiting, waiting for that day

Take your partners hand, slap back
Clap pat, clap pat, clap pat, slap

Deja Vu

In a dream of another time,
In a life so completely still mine,
The world had a soft glowing shine.

As I walked in the country lanes
My mind was rested in peace.

Beside the pathway, a seat,
Hidden by foxglove and meadowsweet,
Piled rocks from a fallen tower
Close by a bend, that in turning, I knew,
Would reveal a view of the sea.
I recall lifting you, to sit like a queen,
Wild flowers entwined in your hair.

In some scented hour long ago,
It must have been déjà vu

Clearly he adores her

– he is the one at fault
remember that,
keep a note,
don’t be fooled by what follows,
– but remember he loves her
and wants her love in return
– be sure to get the full picture

he told her the truth
he needed time to think

she dragged words out of him
words he didn’t want to speak

not then, not there, maybe never

later, when the storm was over,
one romantic evening
when the stars were bright,
and music was playing sweetly,
he told her a story
one that reminded him so much of her

she analyzed it
explored his sub-conscious for clues
she only saw her own eyes looking back
she denied she was part of his vision
she twisted the tale out of all shape
leaving a big gaping hole
that only she could ever fill
– later she said she was sorry

he took her out dancing,
she probably never wanted to go,
she sat there is total silence
and when he asked what was wrong
she said she had bought the office files along

his pride, for a brief moment,
made him think he should stand up and leave
but he was fascinated by the file contents,
of course,
everything about her
and the life that they share
fascinates him
– it’s all part of their love anyway

he gave her a gift
she asked if he was trying to change her
why would he want to change her?
– it’s totally clear he adores her

if she was late would he wait for her?
yes he would, of course,
as long as she liked
– time doesn’t matter

when she returned, rather late,
she chose to remind him
(how could he ever forget it)
of her rules and his own folly
(if folly it truly was)

she had remembered the storm
and was still feeling angry
just sometimes
– just then

now he’s angry too
– angry he is sad
– sad he is angry
he can’t sleep
he has always
loved her
– it’s so clear,


for those with a short attention span
here is the abbreviated version

– he was the one at fault
– it’s all part of their love
– time doesn’t matter
– sad he is angry
– angry he is sad
– it’s totally clear he adores her
– the truth is she loves him too