November with Yeats #10

‘And he saw how the reeds grew dark
At the coming of night-tide,’ W.B. Yeats.

The reeds were a black
scratch scratch against
the amber sky.

The birds
came in. I watched them
wheeling, swinging in
patterned clouds across
the light.

I didn’t think
of you at all, and then
I wondered if someone,
on some infinitely long
exposure, could watch
our dance, the pattern
we have made, with our
deft instincts, our
sensing of each other’s

I wonder if
we make such clouds
of light and dark as these,
such great whorls,
broken finger prints,
like contour patterns,
showing the heights,
the depths.


Jane has done it again. And so have I.


Ekphrastic haibun for dVerse – murmuration.

I’m driving home, and the sky is darkening – there’s still light at the edges, over in the distance, if you lift your eyes from the road, look over the winter hedge, all twigs and scratches, and out – beyond – to the horizon. The kids are telling me about their day – the injustices, the laughter, the lack of sandwiches at lunch time. There are bags piled up on the back seat, with PE kit to wash and homework to moan over. Suddenly, a cloud, a crowd, a great moving, swirling flock of starlings sweeps over us. We stop talking, and watch them as they wheel above our heads, and then away, into the dying light. If we could hear them, we’d hear the movement of their wings, the murmuration made up of a thousand tiny fluttering sounds. They are our midwinter visitors, bringing cold and darkness on their wings. We won’t see their ballet many more times this winter.

Winter visitors
Bring frosty nights, crimson skies,
Trees hung with dark birds.

This woodcut is by Merlyn Chesterman. She’s a local artist, and we’ve got four of her works on our walls at home.  I love her prints so much, and I hope you do, too. Because she’s so local, she sees what I see, and shows you what I can only tell you. The haibun is for dVerse. Bjorn is asking for ekphrasis tonight. If you don’t know what that is, you should head over and have a look. If you want to see more of Merlyn’s work go to: