on high

they called by briefly
sketching loops and arcs above
such a swift visit


n.b. Where have you gone, oh beautiful birds? Sad to say my picture shows gulls circling…

CLP 18/05/2022

Swifts 2022

I heard your squealing
delighted to see you back
over our rooftops


n.b. Later and fewer this year. Heard and seen 14/05/2022z

CLP 15/05/2022

Aisling of the millpond

unseasonable warmth
petite clouds
white buds pinned to infinite blue
fine grass blades grass by the millpond
prick my pale winter skin
my flat weight crumples daisies
in cool shade
of the willow’s weeping

tumble of the waterwheel
low hum of bumble bees




with eyes closed I see all
the birds I hear
from within this sonorous wall
soft notes
a woman’s song

so tired
so tired
so tired

my head so heavy it cannot turn
my eyelids stuck down by pinks and blues
my arms so heavy they will not move
my legs feel bound they cannot run
my voice clasped tight within my throat
I hear her singing

she sings of lilac
yet to bloom

she sings of lambs
not yet sprung

she sings of hedgerows
nestlings yet to fledge

she sings of the stream
yet to flood

she sings of oak
still to leaf

she sings of the summer
yet to burn

she sings of two lovers
yet to meet

she sings of harvest
we’ve yet to reap

she sings of apples
we’ll collect

she sings of mists
that will rise from dew

she sings of the plough
that will tear the earth

she sings of crows
that will draw in the night

she sings of frost
that will veil the soil

she sings of the fireplace
as autumn leaves

so tired
so tired
so tired

slowly I wake
how far I must go
before I finally reach
my home


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-five prompt: write an aisling.

CLP 25/04/2022


Late June to late September it read, Scotland
you showed me the advert and said, Let’s go!

We caught the train north
one ticket between us and two cheese rolls

Into July in white-washed block accommodation
a decent shower, where sometimes you left me to wash alone

Warm Westerlies and long-lit evenings brought out your freckles
turned my skin the colour of the fruit in our luggies

August brought heat, midges, cooled the nights
though the taste of each stolen sùbh-craoibh held strong

Your laugh stayed with me too, like the pink stains
where you lasciviously pinched two berries to bursting on my vest

Come September something, a momentary glitch
like a Hairst-blink, barely seen, switched

You talked more of home and where you might go next
Spoke of I, not we, nor us


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Two prompt. Take a word from the poets' paradise that is the virtual world of Haggard Hawks and put it to poetic use. I chose Hairst-blink (a flash of late-summer lightning that comes as a surprise) from the HH blog. Luggie is a Scottish noun for the basket tied to the waist for collecting the harvested fruit. Sùb-craoibh is Gaelic for 'raspberry'.

CLP 02/04/2022


we can't get much further away
from the summer solstice
grasses tickling your shins
sun pink face, a few freckles
but it's good to be here
with winter encroaching
with your smile
bright as buttercups
your kisses delicate
as sweet pea flowers


CLP 18/11/2021

on time

we approach halfway
between summer and winter
night prepares her cloak


n.b. Autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere in 2021 falls around 23rd September.

CLP 21/09/2021


lone caw of crow
the thinning oak
willows dragging the river
for another lost summer


CLP 05/09/2021

On Late August

with each breath begins
undressing of trees revealing
deep strength, stark beauty


CLP 27/08/2021

August iv

sharp red berries

spilled from urgent beaks

mashed underfoot

sweet yellow paste

tentative young wasp


CLP 11/08/2021

On Summer Rain

oh! welcome down draught

wash away harvest dust

cool our sheets for sleep

CLP 05/08/2021