Sonnet for Juniper

I love you in the morning when you wake.

I love you when I wait to hear you speak.

I love you ev’ry time I glance at you.

I’ve loved you from the start. We lost our way.

All the things you felt, you didn’t say.

Through storms and floods I tried to find your hand.

Yes, loving you became a part of me.

It didn’t break. It wouldn’t go away.

When you walk in the room, I start to breathe.

I feel you all around me ev’rywhere.

My heart’s too full to speak. No need for words.

So when the day grows quiet beside the fire

I may say less then, than I said before,

but wrap you in my arms and love you more.



Under southern summer stars
she dreams at night
of northern winds
sighing in the sycamore,
whispering of kisses.
The rain on rooftops

A shadow falls across her bed
and fills her head with tender words,
unheard again,
unspoken yet,
until the morning comes.


I had a lover
clung to me like a vine
her arms were a rope
she wanted to own me
but she wasn’t mine

(a word to the wise ~
loving whispers
are so often lies)

but you,
my sweet one,
are so close to silence,
so close to cold,
your occasional gesture,
infrequent words,
say more about love
as you stand by my side

you have nothing to hide
I don’t need to feel you
to know you are there
I’ve learned to listen
to your heart
in my head
I’ve learned to listen
to things unsaid

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


What i miss most are the voices;
the sleepy mutter at breakfast,
the shouting,
from one end of the house to the other,
and the slamming of doors,
see you later.
Those serious talks while washing up,
the flood of sound as friends burst in
welcome but unexpected,
the laughter and tales over dinner,
the distant voices out on the beach,
as the sun sinks in purples and pinks,
their words just out of reach,
then the quiet,
when all grows tender and hushed,
bringing the whispers of nightfall.

Prim Victorian (Mary-Anne)

prim, Victorian, grim-lipped
in black cotton and lace
such a face
made of stone and ice
but her dark, lustrous eyes
burn with such heat

wandering feet

rebellious daughter
of a Methodist minister
preaching an older tradition
burnt in witch-fire
for generations

they line up behind her,
the warrior peasants,
delighting in word play,
aware of their ancient glories
and treasuring stories
passed down the line,
tongue to ear
ear to tongue

returned from the snows of Alaska
frost-bitten, exhausted,
helped there,
by like-minded peoples,
she returned to a British hearth
to sit in the corner
just as she sits now,
very still,
rarely speaking,
captured and framed,
staring at me through a lens

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

Broken Wings

Romantic love is a fragile thing;
joyous, beguiling, appealingly sweet.
At the first fearful thought it flies away
a trembling bird on a shattered wing.
Frightened away by too much enquiring,
too many questions, best left unasked,
too honestly answered, unwisely perhaps.

In the garden, where once was a breeze
that gently seduced and played with your hair
there now comes a storm that bows down the trees
tugs at the branches and strips all the leaves.
I heard the twigs snapping in two.

We lash the trunk to a stake for the strength.
We discover how shallow the roots are sunk.
Love grows stronger or love lies wounded.
There is no denying the truth.

The lessons of Cupid and Psyche
are as old as the well worn challenging hills.
We wander and wonder
and never will learn not to ask.

I hand you healing as best I can
to conjure the summers return.
A simple concoction of words could suffice.
You didn’t hear me.
You didn’t heed them.
You heard only bad weather news.

Now we don’t talk about love any more.
We lost all our sense of the deeper feeling.
Now the door to my heart is sealed
against storms, real, imagined or fleeting,
by your, oh so kindly said, gentle words:
‘I will always love you, truly, I mean it.
I will always love you my darling one,’
and then, oh, so revealing,
resounding throughout every possible meaning,
that final, heart wrenching



Now here before me I see
the uncrossable bridge,
a drawbridge raised beyond.
It’s made of ice.

On the other side,
holding on to imagined hurt,
clinging to thoughts,
saying nothing to me,
quivering in rage or sadness,
confused perhaps,
a victim to perception sits
in visions I cannot change.
I cannot know what she thinks.
She won’t allow me across.

I watch as I stand.
I can’t reach out,
or help.
Locked out.

This is often the worst,
the worst of the worst of all.
breathes in the silence
between us,
in unspoken words
through closed doors,
no air.

This is injustice.
A vacuum.
A chasm.
A void.


Silence, a solid structure
of ancient deeply grained timbers,
sealed and barred,
a simple torture device
that stands on immovable stone.

Left with a hard decision to make,
for myself and how I feel,
the choice between anger
or sadness or nothing,
nothing at all.

I could ignore it again.
In nothingness
there’s no pain.

On days like this
I would willingly give up
on words
or thinking at all.

I can’t help myself either.
I am frozen,
emptily sad.