Writer's retreat

Writer's retreat

Monday, 19 July 2010

A complement of poems

Occassionally I have written a poem which has then sparked others to draw on their own creativity. Here are a selection.

Good Friday at Temple Guiting 2003
I saw you watching from the edge of the thicket
Waving your antlered head in acknowledgement of my thoughts
Were you drawn perhaps by music?
The sense of worship?
Wondering at the need for sacrifice
Forgetting the new life bursting all around
Certain within their own containment
Thick walls, Templar built
Sunk into ground
Marking their territory
Defining their own need for glory
Whilst forgetting yours.

Only I whispered blessings to the spirits of place
Honouring years of worship
Travelling back to a Saxon wattle church
To the open sacred place beside the stream
Beheld you standing there, watching
The faint smile on your lips bestowing certainty
Knowledge that all things return to you
Given time, space and opportunity
Then, as we journeyed homewards,
A deer sprang across our path
Sure-footed, not distracted by our man-made lights
Secure in the twilight to complete the journey
A message confirming my own misgivings
You saw me there.


The Green Man Preys
Be still,
If you wish to be passed by.
It is the motion in you
That invigorates my eye.
It makes me dream again
Of the patterns in the scents,
Your movement holds me
While I taste the air’s intent

I see you now
Through the forest weave
Where branches break the light apart
And my breathing thrills the leaves
You lie down gently
In my petal-smattered glade
While my creatures dance and sing for me
Of the beauty of my prey

“She... there...”
Calls out the jeering crow.
As songbirds praise the prettiness
Of the stagman on his doe,
The fox’s jaded smile
Invites the willing of a wish,
And writhing slow against my arm
My serpent friend insists.

But only I know
That already it’s begun
Or perhaps you feel my heat
As you unfurl in the sun,
You taste the spice of an over-friendly breeze
That billows under hem
And lifts it over knee...

Perhaps anticipation
Has brought you to this place
To revel in warm shivers
As you anticipate this chase,
Perhaps your smile is shaped
By a promise from the past
That has brought you to this sacred ground
To make the offering at last.

And perhaps it does not matter
Why this time has come
Only that the rain must fall
And the river has to run
Reasons are for other worlds
And now that you are here
Let instinct find the light and heat
Let passion trample fear.

A thigh among the bracken
A foot upon the loam
A forehead lashed with brambles
Struck by lightning antler bones
Nostrils fan a spark
From dark imagination
And my eyes roll back delighted
At the prospect of creation.

And now my shadow straddles
The valley of your lap
A horned man has risen
With the budding of the sap
It would only take my will
For your limbs to form a nest
I only have to want it
You only have to rest.

Uncurl your wrapped petals
So I can see that time has passed
Drape yourself with moistures
Like the dew bejewelled grass
Let the weight of your endeavours
Be lifted from your heart
And feel the weight of pleasure
As it prises you apart

I hunted you forever
To bring you this escape
I caught you like a glimpse
Under shadowed forest cape
I’ll save you from your blood
By ravaging your flesh
I am ancient and unstoppable
I am innocent and fresh.

Yes reach for life and press yourself
Fill yourself with breath
Stretch out for some small pleasure
And receive my little death
Make a barrow for this seed
In the dark warm of your mound
And release yourself, increase yourself
Upon the altar of the ground.

So now your eyes are open
I can smell your deep belief
Your spirit is unbroken
Yet you wallow in relief
Because you know me don’t you?
You know my ways of life
You knew that I was coming
And you made your sacrifice.

Provoked by a weather forecast
In the midst of rain
I offer you sunshine
Bringing you light and heat
To envelop you with warmth
To nurture you
In joy and peace
Together we can watch the raindrops
Cascading down windows
Or track the path of a single glistening jewel
Caught in the shelter of a leaf
Lodging in safety
Until it slides contentedly to earth
Crystal on green
You are my leaf
Moulding yourself to catch me
Shelter me
Holding me to yourself
As I seep silently through your pores
Until breeze stirs your form
Encouraging me to dance away
Into the air.

The leaf replies
Glowing, growing green.
I feel your cool touch as you nestle
Held for a while by some magic that is not magic
Where you move over my skin
You leave a kiss, a blessing
Some small trace of you
Mine forever
And when the wind wins
We part company
For you to nourish another leaf
Another root, another life.


These next few are from a "work in progress" called The House of Rohke which allows a glimpse into a world of shapechanging humano-cats where females are dominant and males serve. In their world, the great houses keep spare males to offer to any high status visiting females. One of the stories tells of a chance meeting between such a "lown male" called Roehve and a young alpha, Oruleah. I will leave you to guess the author of each poem. (Hint: there are two authors)

The Lone Male’s Hope
Perhaps this evening
I may catch her scent
And my heart will hammer
Perhaps tonight
She will seek diversion
And send for someone
Perhaps tomorrow
I will wake
Ravaged and used
Taken and torn
Bitten and clawed
Aching and sighing

Two Voices

I give you no mark because you are not mine
I give you no collar because I do not own you
But you have swallowed my musk
My scent covers you
My ambre stains your maw
You know the secrets of my glands
You have submitted your sex to my tongue
You have offered your throat to my teeth and your flesh to my claws
You have covered me
Your seed coats my womb
Your musk runs for me
I hold your pattern in my soul
You are mine.

Before tonight
I served
I groomed
I nudged
I licked
I moved
I responded
I sought to please

You walked through my mind
Leaving prints
You do not follow tracks
You make your own path
Wherever you walk
I cannot seek you
I cannot ask to know Your will
I cannot ask to serve You
I bear your mark upon my soul
You are here.

Kitten curled
Pounding heart soothed
Slow, steady beats
Whiskers washed
Ears flat
Eyes closed
No dreams to chase tonight
Warm, soft body
At peace

For dawn breaks
On morning,
Crisp and clear

Open your eyes
To snow-dusted hills
Pink, pale,
Soft sky
Muted blue to rosy taupe
From a birthing sun.

Let me groom
Your sleek sides
Feed you morsels
Clothe your stretching limbs
Against a prying world

Let me worship
The scent of your footfall
The soft whisper of your tail
The warm glow of your ambre
Biting my tongue

Allow me
To breath your presence
As you slip
Into the world