A Dark Grail

Playful, wilfully strong winds

That recently raked the long-dead, cold ash seas

Of January’s long-dark moon of passion

Snap open, draw out a banner I

Have only seen in dreamscapes:

A dark grail framed by shooting stars;

Now lift a jackdaw effortlessly

And fling it across the arcs

Of playground world and

New-opened, wide blue envelope.

There’s a harsh, savage-code joy scream

Torn from the bird’s bandit throat;

“You ain’t going to be born again,

Turn away from your second-chances illusion

And be all of the selves you need to be

Before your bright rainbow burns only

Slow, old gold-treasure memories.

Find the garden in the desert,

The music in the river,

The time beyond the clock.”


The Iron King

The iron king has his moment,

Bringing a smile to the jester’s

Turned-away face …

But attention is,as always,

On the wizard.

All hold breath when he stands,

Seeing the lumps in his stooped walk.


But the old power is in him,

Skilful fingers summon winds –

That cavort, tease, chill, refresh,

Sparkling colours that blend, bend

And the spellbindings we

Need to help us take up

Plough, chain or sword,

Just when the taking up

Was getting hard.