Saturday, 10 September 2011

The fossil

From the bottom
of a cliff of soil,
disappearing foot by foot,
year on year,
into the Welsh sea,
I prised a stone.
fist sized.
I cracked it open on a rock
and found a cockle shell,
and on the other side,
it's impression.
I placed it on my shelf
for the blink of an eye.

A bank of garlic

A bank of garlic in the rain
took me aback.

I only came to see
where the path goes,
to look for signs of spring
and anything moving in the trees.

I only came to listen
to unseen birdsong
and a wee stream
dropping a few feet over boulders.

I only came to feel
the deep ridged oak bark
where the ivy climbs aloft,
to feel rocks beneath my feet
and the dampness seeping
in these old boots.

I came to wonder
and look for signs of spring,
when a bank of garlic in the rain
took me aback.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Leaving the path,
with individual steps into the undergrowth
and the unsteady ground below.
Behind us, the darkening woods.
Behind that, the forgotten city.
Ahead, the unseen sea.
But now,
at the fields edge,
there are poppies in the twilight.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Pebbles I - III


Evening sunlight
through my cabin window
lights a square of my bunk.
Distant voices wander in the open door,
footsteps in the corridors,
as I turn another page.


A light breeze,
cold for July,
blows off the sea.
Altered little,
it goes on it's way.


Morning sunshine,
in the absence of branches,
throws the shadows of pipework
upon the grating.
Somewhere above, an alarm rings
and valve tags rustle in the breeze.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Early pebbles 2nd-4th


The fulmar catches the wind,
banks right
and etches a line
on the ocean top.
Three flaps
clear it of the wave crest
before it disappears out of sight
into the trough.


standing by the starboard railings,
watching the supply boat
plunge and rise,
watching two men
struggling to connect the hose
while the water
rushes past their feet
to return to the sea.


The sun rises aft today
an highlights foamy wavecrests.
Cool, a gentle breeze
and on the horizon
the tanker.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

First of June's pebbles

After the success of the last river of stones in January (see my first January post for details here) there's another happening this month. Actually, I've just noticed I'm a month early - perhaps I'll just keep going anyway.

Three levels above the deck,
a tarpauline flaps in the wind,
keeping the rain off instruments,
a shifting spanner, an oily rag,
and a chair pushed under
a scaffolding bench.


Stepping naked from the water,
Renoir's bathers
dry themselves in the Paris sun.
Set in brushstrokes,
Bohemian days,
surviving motherhood
and old age.