The thing about love is ……

That it very rarely is.

But when it is

It never could have been

And never will be


So far – no further


Easter is too cold.

Right. How about Witsun?

Too early for the grasses.

Sure. The summer then?

Yes, but next summer?


Perhaps the following summer?

Suits me.

Or maybe ……?


With every procrastinating option

I test you

And –

I hear your relief increase.


One by one the wells are stopped

And the candles gutter.


Twelve seconds to take me

Twelve years to hold me

Twelve boxes to break me

What am I?


Answer: After the last page


Now God has left,

And we but shadows of our former selves,

Of real dignity and meaning all bereft

Heroic fantasies infest our library shelves.

The first time

I looked out of the window

It was a perfect harvest-time

Of an autumn day

I saw yellow, gold and orange leaves

Against a luminous blue sky

Thirteen  species of bird

Sung in a gentle, sussurating breeze.


For the very first time

I dared see no more.

Caught on the Wing

(for the parents of a pupil who died tragically.)


“Fly high, my son, fly high
To where your song began”.
That precious grain of wheat
Sown now so very deep
In that mysterious field
Will yet its secret harvest yield.
“Your love, my darling boy,
Your life, your brimming cup of joy,
Up many a rugged steep
Will speed our quickened feet
To where all songs began
And where they never die”.

On being a teacher

As I sit here, confused by their flamboyant confidence,
Their bright independent bravado and devil-may-care,
I have only the memory of such liberty to court and counter
And they view me with the amused regard they would reserve
For the alien grotesqueness of a baboon at the zoo.
A few are cruel and arrogant, others – mere mimics of those
Whose example they dare not ignore.
Most are what I once was – foolish, happy, lucky
And alive.