Writer's retreat

Writer's retreat


Spring colours
I came searching for yellow
You showed me daffodils wafting in soft spring breeze
Primroses dancing by the well
A single celandine nestling in grass
It’s star of sunlight pulsing gold amidst green.
Catkins blowing from treetop height over the pond
Their pollen shed, no longer yellow but brown.

I came searching for white
You showed me dazzling bells of snowdrops edged in green
Furred backs of small burdock leaves
Twin plants hiding at the willow’s foot.

I came searching for red
You showed me thin slivers of marshmallow overshadowed by aquilegia
Bright spears of Echinacea pushing upwards towards the sun
Each new shoot the colour of blood, of life.

I came searching for green
You showed me grass, long and damp
Vibrant woad shining proudly above brown soil
Curled cuckoo pint thrusting their way through every surface
Their heart-shaped leaves unfolding with new promise.
Tiny elder leaves bursting from each twig,
Narrow edges thrusting their way into the light
Young nettles, their velvet crimps so enticing
Stinging unwary fingers
Yielding their green to a boiling brew
A toast to freshness, Springtime, new strength!

This poem comes from my collection, At Home and Away, published by Romance Divine. The paperback version can be obtained from Amazon.co.uk, but if you would like to hear me reading the poems, an audio CD can be ordered along with the book from the publisher's webpage

Call of the Crone
I am still winter
I am the icy gust of wind
I am the snow flurry
I am the frost-crowned hill fort
I am the sliding mud beneath your feet
I am the snowflake hurtling against your naked eye
I am the snowdrop dancing in the breeze
I am the orange crocus in the grass
I am the ball of mistletoe hanging from the branch
I am the catkins ringing yellow peals
I am the raven, jackdaw and the crow
I am the air they fight to ride
I am the rising spring within the garden
I am the stream fast flowing to the mill
I am the flooded plain
I am the ice within the hollowed stone
I am the darkness in the tomb
I am the sunlight above the hills
I am the lintelled stone, still tall and proud
I am the smallest pock-marked rock within the circle
I am the fallen dolmen by the hedge
I am the white fleeced flock within the field
I am the hare crouching in the furrow
I am the hawk hovering in stillness over the grass verge
I am the hunting owl gliding across the path
I am the silence and the roar
I am the weakness and the strength
I am the fading light as day slips into night
I am the promise and the fear
I am.

Whitehouse Farm

Death lived here.
Rosie-cheeked pallor
Coughing blood-flecked phlegm across green meadows
Draped along verandas in pine scented fields.

“Dangerous buildings”
Red sign on a stately sycamore
But follow the dappled path
Past buzzing beehives to empty fields
All you will find is sun-drenched silence
No whisper of malformed limbs in ricket-ridden children
No white coats or starched caps
Just sterile soil.

Rooks live here now
Flying over buttercup gold
To wind blown nests
Dog roses blossom on banks of topsoil
Downy-green coltsfoot coats the edge of grass
Speedwell paints her palette blue amidst woodland green
Ancient trees hold sorrow in their roots.

Even the white house is silent
Her poor boys long gone across the ocean
Taking their Geordie voices to a foreign land
Exchanging abuse for hope of freedom
Today their modern brothers and sisters
Seek lambs and goats with delighted glee
Happy shrieks and laughter waft over quietly grazing sheep
A solitary carthorse waiting patiently to be noticed and admired

As shadows lengthen
Silence creeps amongst the leaves once more
Ignoring birdsong
Settling softly over wood and field
Holding memories still.

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