I back away, one, two, in measured steps
My eyes hold you there, safer from afar
We can only smile and don’t go over
that awkward ground, where this fragile tendresse
fell to pieces that night. We skirt the shards
of broken glass slowly and carefully
Drawing ever widening ellipses
until I cannot see  you anymore



The mirror I hold up today is you.

The first time we met,
was in the heart of winter.
We said our first goodbye
at the edge of spring.
A whole season slipped by
when I went away.
And when I came back
the sun had warmed the northern soil

Together we roamed this ancient land
the rock I touch, Lewisian gneiss
thousands of millions of years old.
The moss, heather and bracken
unusually dry, sit in between and on
these giants – Foinaven, Stack and Arkle
which change places as we drive through
the highland terrain of grey and green, and gorse yellow
at Kylesku, Glencoul and Eriboll
Ceannabeinne and Oldshoremore
where clear blue waters lap
gently one day, then wildly dark and white another
when skies turn black and thunderous, but by late evening
a rainbow amidst pale grey clouds promise
a morning of blue and golden sunshine.

The mirror I hold up is you –
in it I see someone bright,
kindly and hospitable.
So it’s easy to take on my role
when you beckon me into the big bed.
Too short again our time together as we kiss
and hold each other tight one last time.

A memory of you – promises

I found our chat thread the other day

Looking back I read –
my reply to your hello

And then a daily back and forth
until one of us said
let’s do lunch or coffee.

Can you recall
a midnight moon, later on?

after a film, a meal
laughter and warmth,
wine and confidences –
the hope of the new.

Do you remember –

the kisses outside a tube station

They were like soft longing, sipped

in the shadows

before I rushed down
to catch my last train.

I can’t forget now

that long lingering goodbye
almost morning,
walking homeward when
you took my hand in yours,
and in a shared glance

we heard the want that beat just under skin.

Muse, wherefore art thou fled?

For decades I couldn’t find  a voice and what began as an experiment in healing has finally borne fruit in poetry.  Occasionally there are lapses of non-creativity, the last few weeks for example.

My muse has fled with the winter’s sun

seeking colder climes to rejuvenate

I praise his resolve to sublimate

earthly desires; all impure thoughts shun.

His remit to knit the torn, frayed edges

Of a union now rift with open sores

His own compass shattered his journey paused

He longs for icy plains, plain messages

And what my muse pines for like a twin feel

I here, where mild winter has changed to chill

and greyness hangs over damp despairing

No nightingale or any creature living

Goes near this barren craft, there’s no sweet song

where notes are flat, the rhymes and rhythms wrong