Shorter Poems

April Fools’ Day

It’s April the First

When mischief’s at its worst;

We’re all on the look-out today…..

One: for tricky gangsters,

Two: for naughty pranksters,

And Three: for our own good jokes to play!

It’s April the One

The day of the squeaky bun,

Fools’ errands and wooden chocolate too;

I’m going to drive you mad,

You’ll say that I am bad

But you can’t stop me doing what I do……

It’s April Fools’ Day

And whatever you may say,

My mischief, it has only just begun;

I’m going to play jokes

On all the simple folks,

And you can’t stop me having fun!

Lines Describing a Ceramic Sculpture that I Made

Island of canyons, of chasms and caves,

Carved by the air and sculpted by waves

Of pinnacles piercing the fierce empty sky

While all about them the ragged clouds fly.

Too steeply they slope for seagulls to nest;

Too slippery for seals to lie at their rest;

With never a foothold for climber to tread;

Bare and folorn as the bones of the dead.

Early 2000s

Lines written while travelling in Ireland

Drawn by the mysteries of this land, I journeyed many a day;

Deep into the wild beyond I made my lonely way.

I roamed athwart fields of mud, of thistle, dew and clover

With hedgerows wind-carved into forms of figures reaching over;

Past honeyed swathes of waving wheat I followed winding tracks,

Hemmed by walls of crumbling stones with creatures in the cracks.

By twisting trails through tangled trees to higher hills of heather

Where sheep-bones in their last repose lie white beneath the weather.

I heard the tiny skylark in the blue and boundless air,

As I wandered over tumuli with zephyrs in my hair.

Over outcrops etched with lichens, round the shoulder of a hill,

I came upon the standing stones then: sudden, silent, still,

Silhouetted sentinels presiding o’er the moors,

The ghostly granite guardians of ancient secret laws,

Drawn into a magic ring by long-forgotten arts.

They have the whole of history hidden in their hearts.

Now once again upon the path I travel far and free;

May many unknown wonders more unfold themselves to me.

June 1996

The Cleaner Wrasse

Among the coral and the fish

I snorkel in the sea,

Gliding through the dreamy blue,

My favourite place to be.

As I swim along I pass

Many a busy cleaner wrasse.

This slender fish is brown and blue;

And do you know what he likes to do?

While other fish wait in line,

He grooms their scales to make them shine.

The other day I felt a little

Nibble on my knee:

I looked around and there I found

One trying it out on me.

January 7 1997 (Egypt)

(Stephen’s version:

The other day I felt a little

Nibble on my thigh:

I looked around & there I found

My penis floating by)


Another day of sand and sun,

Back and forth along the shore;

But now the camel’s work is done,

He kneels upon the dust once more.

The pock-marked beach is quiet and still;

The hoards have vanished with the heat;

But welcome is the evening chill

To one who longs to rest his feet.

His little master finds some wood

To build a fire and make some tea;

The fire is warm; the tea is good.

He falls asleep beside the sea.

The camel blinks outside his tent,

And muses long upon the day:

To and fro its business went.

This always seems to be the way.

January 6 1997 (Egypt, Red Sea)

Lines written in Scotland

Beyond the trees, above the snow,

Where wild the warrior phantoms blow,

I saw a note, I heard a gleam,

A fleeting fragment from a dream.

For there it is the light that sings

While in silence swoops on silver wings;

And petals shed from moon and star

Flutter forth and fall afar

As thistle-down, dispersing, free,

To spread the word beyond the sea.

The skies are dancing on the heights

Alive with ever-changing lights,

And wishes meshed in magic rhymes

Are mirrored here a myriad times

Reflected on the rippling air

Find, fulfil them ye who dare!

April 1998


A wave slips over my emerald crown

And plummets to plunge below;

It fans and frays

As it journeys down

The misty haze

Of my bridal gown

As my tresses forever blow.

Sunbeams pierce my shimmering shower

And fleeting rainbows cast.

My wavering vale

Belies my power;

My hammerheads hail

And my minions cower

Before my perpetual blast!



Silently she fluttered through the still, warm summers night

On wings of moonlit silver, soft, delicate & light.

In the dark, a distant spark; a solitary flower

She saw, & felt within her breast its sweet, seductive power.

Its petals flickered golden, its heart a liquid star;

Its stem as ivory pallid…. It lured her from afar.

A spell it cast upon her, as she beheld it gleam;

In that flower she saw a Kingdom; divine, beyond a dream.

Entranced, enchanted, motionless, she knew but one desire –

To Empress be of Paradise & rule this realm of fire.

She glided on inexorably toward her world of bliss,

& entered in & perished, with a sizzle & a hiss.

A tiny piece of ash floated sorrowfully away;

Candles burn a few brief hours & moths live but a day.


> More poems