I Like


Winter I like

because the earth

is there, bare.


No frills,

no pretty


green curls.


The earth has a curve

I can cup with my hand,

like the skin of a pot

I have turned.


Winter's colours

have distilled

to their crystalline essences.


And the sun

on my face

is a gift.






on the edges of my life

are the ones that can cut

to the core,


more than my own kind.


Village women.


Their names I do not know,

just their sad kitchens

and their lives unchosen.


And the unshared that

stands between us,


the unfair.



Thin air



Invisible each to

other, we inhabit

the same woods.


A circle of calls

from the white

night birds enclose

us all on cold evenings.


A nightingale sings at the tip

of a pine lower down the hill

each June. I wait to hear it.


And all those many

other birds in rooms

above my head

are there,

lacing their fine threads

of song, layer upon layer


up into the thin air.






He morphs:





He has the slow soar

that is the buzzard,

his length of limb,

strength in the arm,

clenched-claw feet.


I breathe the

pelt, the pores

in the damp crease at the neck, armpit, belly.


I pull the sparse hairs,

finger the wild whorl

at his crown,

take his hair print.


I know the pattern his bones

make on the tomb floor.

I can mould the shape of his ribcage,

mirror with my hand his warped sternum,

spoon the twist to his hip,



I can feel

his old pain, mapping

the wounds,

the shattered bone,

the scars

white at shin

and shoulder.




he came up

out of the bathwater

like a sleek black seal,

slant eyes glinting.


And the frisson of fear

in my knowing,not knowing


is still there.