With A Sudden Thud

With a sudden thud

A robin

Hit the pane

And dropped.

It brought me from my chair

To cradle its tiny frame

In the cup of my hand.

I watched the last few moments

Of light in its eye

Before it faded away.

What is that light

So easily uncoupled

From the loose body still warm?

What intangible element

Glowed so fierce

Then dimmed over a long moment?

What miracle

This tiny death,

The being unsheathed

With but the stroke between a heartbeat

And the final fall

Of a red breast

That barely made it through a season.

A Breeze

A breeze strums

The feathers of the Scot’s pine

Towering above my garden,

And a wind chime

Gently interprets

Each gust.

There is a magic in the creak

Of the flexing branch

And the twisting sinews

Of fibrous bark;

An instrument

For the wind’s fulfilment.

Always, a dove coos

When I find the wind-full tree

Of my life

Existing in the silence

Of a tangible happening,

Drawing out the now

From its hiding

Until I am like a finely tuned

Sensing apparatus,

Filled with the sticky movement of sap

And vibrating

With the sweet resonance

Of life’s thrill

Through fronds of waxy needles.

The Nectar

Already by 10 AM the sun is merciless

But the birds are twittering

Under the shade of leaves,

Cool in the undergrowth.

Sounds arrive in the garden

Brought by a breeze:

Cars swishing in the distance,

Workers on scaffolding

Laying tiles,

A child cries out

After its mother:

Just everyday happenings

Of a suburb in a town in the summer.

As I sit, hearing the world,

Brought the waft of honeysuckle

And jasmine flowers

Generous and comforting,

I realise

That I am here

And I am now,

And that life is perfect

As the buddlier flowers’

Drooping purple spires

On which the bees drink thirstily,

And butterflies flit,

Their tongues unfurled

Tasting the world,

Sipping at the nectar of it.

May Rain

The sky breathes

Moist upon the land,

Kisses the newness

Of just-unfurled leaves,

Liquefying the air

Until dew drop and rain drop

Dampen tree bark

With dark mottled absorbency,

And the haze of cow parsley

Scents the sky’s earthward reach

With its Milky Way.

Shriller and lubricated,

Bird call conducted

Through the denser fluid,

Cuts the sweet cloak

Of draping mist,

Amplified inside

The descended cloud,

Defined by its weight

And closeness.

And from the delicate canopy,

Born in perfect verdancy,

Coalesced drops patter,

Splatting loose and percussive

Upon fresh nettle leaves

Yearning for light.

Spring Prayer

Newly minted air

Made new by the night

Holds spring

In its spaciousness.

The world is awake

And tender

As the first-born greens

Of beginnings

Brought forth

Again, and yet again

In timelessness.

Being dances

To the steadiness

Of the sun,

Lives as a prayer

To the becoming of the one

Who holds

The delicate flower

And weight of the earth

And else innumerable,

All secure

In boundless,

Infinite nothingness.

Wonderful Space

The garden is ripe with being

For sunlight

Diffuse through haze

Illuminates

And encourages

All green things

To be

Ever more themselves.

And like the plants

I expose my skin

And open my pores

And breath in

That light,

Absorb

The sweetness offered

Unconditionally,

And drink in life

Knowing, as it is mine

So it belongs to all

Whose hearts beat

And in whose veins sap rises,

And in even the static selves

Of soil and stones

And things thought inanimate,

Nevertheless

A pulse of being still thrills.

The Measure Of Happiness

In the wind chime caressed

By a breath,

And in that very same breeze

On which birds chirp and caw

And flute about the day,

And in the corrugated iron roof

Tink-tinking with a lungful

Of sunshine,

Expanding its sun-trap back

And stretching like a luxuriant cat,

And in the lofty Scots pine

Whose needling fronds

Reach like sensing fingertips

Deep into the infinite:

These all

Are the measure of happiness.

From Soil

February mizzle wets

The lights

Of snowdrop, crocus

And eager daffodil,

Soothes and lubricates

Their birth

Through soil

Mulched humus rich

And frangranced sweet

With spore’s mycelium.

To think,

Some slander this complexity,

Call it dirt and mud

Overlooking the quantum truth

Of gardeners’ gold,

Both foundation

And sustenance

For all.

Photographer

In the moistened autumn air

Morning time is late,

Shuffling from the lengthening night

Through swathes of disintegrating leaves

Let loose the life that gripped

So urgent and productive

To branches now revealed.





Rooks craw in skeletal beech

Where only a smattering of bronze

Tenacious leaf, still reluctant

In the wind, cling jewel-like

And fluttering. And other birds

Pick at the glut of berries

With the needle of their song.





Somewhere in this,

Where the sky morphs

And reveals and holds

The whole landscape,

Walks the photographer,

Drinking in the all that he perceives,

Almost convulsing

With each perspective seen,

Almost pained by the utter beauty

Unfolding in fleeting perfections,

That even if time were his to own,

He could never hope to capture.