For one night only



For one night only


By 5.30 they were gathering.

The paintbox sky was losing the will,

and I called you from the shore,

to draw you out,

to parcel up the moment,

before the darkness scrubbed everything away.


Ten minutes later you were by my side,

your face in profile –

bruised from another day’s assault,

but reliably perfect –

gaze following the swarm of starlings,

over and above and around and over the water,

lost in their murmurations,

wanting to be neither explained nor described in words.


Lapsed finally into that state, immeasurable in time,

we prayed for the inevitable gloom to somehow spare us,

we begged each one of the thousand birds

to circle once again before dropping to the reed bed.


I kissed an exploratory tear as it left your eye,

knowing exactly what it was for.



first published in Wildflower Muse, 2016







The sun will flee again soon, following its divine angle,

to fall beyond the hill, before the cool flow of night arrives.


The last car will leave the village and argue its way back up the road,

its driver tapping out a rhythm of fidgets on the steering wheel,


and all that will linger is the clong, clong, of the bell around the neck

of a goat, beckoning to its partner in the darkness,


and the slow, slow clap of the waves, studded with pebbles,

one by one, eating into the rounded belly of the bay.



first published in Clear Poetry, 2015