Water again.

Water trickles from the base of the cliff –
it’s found its way along fault lines and cracks,
smoothing its own way down, whispering
of storms and oceans and wide green rivers,
muttering of the life that moves through kelp
and grass, the strength of trees, the softness
of apple blossom, murmuring of rain,
patiently wearing a path, carving a gorge,
a cave.

Water, soft as a lover’s finger tip.

One drop of water.

One tsunami crashing.
The drowned sleep,
embracing emptiness.

Water slaps solid liquid hard as steel,
crushing, unstoppable – it will always find a way,
like love, like anger, like grief, it is
a metaphor for its own strength.

This wet country, where the water coils and swirls,
carving the cliff edge, leaving raw rock, stones spilt
on a stony beach.

“I’d sleep in the back bedroom” we say,
looking at the house at the cliff edge, waiting to fall.
We imagine we’d escape.
We won’t.

A poem for Earthweal,where we contemplate the state of this beautiful planet, and the climate catastrophe we have created. Thank you to Brendan for this prompt.


Washed clean – poem for dVerse

Somehow I became
by water – the smooth
laminar flow
the turbulence
the tidal rise and fall
of the river

because this is estuarine country

and the soft sound
of the stream
after rain

and the surge
and fall
rise and drop
constant lift and lowering
of the sea
the green grey blue
of the ocean
the white topped waves

and the gull flying

and the movement
of water

washes me clean

as if the water in me
sings to the water in the world
moves with its movement
echoes its rise and fall
and laminar flow

and the rain is me
and the stream is me
and the river is me
and the ocean is me

and I am them
washed clean.

Linda is hosting at dVerse tonight. She asks how we purify our minds – very apt for the times we’re living through.

Joy is water – poem for NaPoWriMo

Joy, then, is water –

clear water bubbling like a mountain spring –

water that can’t be carried with you,

freezing changes it, and trapping kills it

Consider the movement of water,

the music of water as it tumbles over rocks,

the coolness of water in the heat and dust,

the way it makes the seed unfurl,

the gift of green.

Joy, then, is water,

drink it deeply,

then move on.

Trusting that there

will be another spring

to drink from.

A meditation on a powerful emotion, for NaPoWriMo. It’s the penultimate day.


Limestone doesn’t quite believe

that it’s a rock – all those shells

and bones still yearn for water –

dissolution, floating free.

Water carves

its spaces; dripping hollows

sheltering secret vegetation,

great halls and caverns full

of glistening columns –

that ancient geological dance

of rock and water, merging,

separating, weaving a strange world

of clints and grykes, and sudden

sink holes –

rivers dropping out of view

and running under rock –

leaving the sound of running water

in the empty air.


“The hardest part is when the river
is too swift and goes underground for days on end”  

~Jim Harrison from Songs of Unreason

This is a very concrete response to the quotation. Or is it? You are the reader, you make the poem. This is for Jilly’s 28 days of unreason. 

Water – haibun for dVerse

I don’t know quite how this became our “thing”. We took up the challenge – encouraging each other, competing a little bit – kept up monthly swims all summer, all winter, and all summer again. Now it’s autumn, and we’re still at it. There have been high winds this week, and the surf is big. The clouds are low, and there’s so much spray it’s hard to know where the air ends and the sea begins. It’s a monochrome day as we walk in together, feeling the cold – “It’s not so bad!” – rising over ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips – and then the final dive under a rolling wave, and the triumphant resurfacing.

Grey clouds, grey sea –
petrel hanging above water –
plunging into life



Bjorn is tending bar at dVerse tonight. He wants a watery haibun, with a seasonal haiku. I want a hot whiskey after that. 

Stars, night, water – for Jane Dougherty

The moon reaches down and she kisses the face of the water,
And stars shimmer clear in the indigo depths of the lake.
My heart is an owl that’s as silent as midnight in winter,
I am waiting to wrap you in moonlight and starlight and dark

My heart’s a wild hare that runs swift down the lane in the moonlight,
And I long for the touch of your eyes and the kiss of your skin.
And the sky is a tent that is hung round with velvet and diamonds,
And the meadow is softer than pillows and sweeter than sin.

The fox walks the night in a whisper of hunter and hunted,
The moths fly like ghosts of their sisters who dance in the sun
The night holds the sound of your steps as you walk down the garden,
I am waiting, my heart is a flame that is burning within.


This was written for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge. She’s looking for metre. These seem like terribly long lines to me, but when I read them out loud I can definitely hear the rhythm there, which is what I was after.