Deep Pressure


Storms the land

Howls through the night

Beyond the hedges

Through the woods

Tree branches clatter

Without leaves to soften the blows

The stove sputters

As the gasps of the gale

Suck air from its lungs

And from mine

As I lie listening

In wonder

That through it all

In this demonic raging

I hear the owls


n.b. Storm Brendan, the latest incoming winter storm off the Atlantic, named by the Irish meteorological service.

CLP 13/01/2020

November 18

What light there is not quite enough

Trees spread their boughs

Further, wider, darker

Leafless forms leave the eye prey

To sleight of those bony hands

And to imagined shifting serpentine roots

From where subterranean shapes emerge

While night’s curtain to silence falls

Leaving the owl to hunt at will

The little creatures that dare scurry

Across loose-laid woodland litter

And here the only noise

The kitchen clock


CLP 18/11/2019

Madge Howlett

She casts no shadow

Shrieks to her mate

Disrupts dark silence

Raises echoes of nightmares

Detached from gravity

Across pastures this pale ghost floats

On patrol of hedgerows

Behind the willow bank

Beyond the brook

Under a half-moon’s light

She hunts through the precious hours between our days


n.b. The title of this poem is taken from a list of dialect names for the Barn Owl, (Tito alba) provided on the following website


CLP 02/06/2019


I pushed my window open

For my day to drain out

And the cool to creep in

But as I fell toward sleep

A distant owl’s shriek

On winter’s clean air

Pulled me back from the brink

So I lay wide awake

In new moon’s black night

And waited until

It shrieked again

And this time it was answered

Not from the far woodland oaks

But from right here

In the garden


CLP 11/01/2019