Listen, Children…

low angle view of man standing at night
Photo by Lennart kcotsttiw on


Listen, Children…

Listen to the east-wind as it rattles at the window latch…
Listen to the mice behind the skirting…scritter-scratter-scratch
Listen to the garden foxes gnawing on some unearthed bones…
And listen to the creaking and the thumping and the sighing groans…

Now the sun has gone to bed and now that night has spread its gloom,
Then shall I tell you, children, of the ghost that haunts this very room ?
Listen closely…closer still…behind the death-watch beetle’s click…
And there he is…the ghost of time…the never-ending tick-tick-tick

Shall I tell you, children, shall I tell you what is worse than witches ?
Scarier than sprites and spectres…filling sleep with sweats and twitches…?
Listen then…and listen for the tiny voice on nights like this…
The tiny voice that ev’ry child must hear…must hear its icy hiss…

Never witches…never spectres…nothing ever living on…
Nothing from an afterlife, and nothing but oblivion…

Listen…can you hear it ?  Can you hear the voice from the abyss…?
Listen to the tiny voice that terrifies on nights like this…



The Water Cycle

cold water table rain
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on


The Water Cycle

The rain returns
Like we know it will,
Like we know it must.
It’s only rain –
The sky shall spill
To wash the dust.
So rain returns,
And gutters rill,
And railings rust –
But thanks to rain
The wheat-heads fill,
The green shoots thrust.
The rain returns –
It cycles still,
On this we trust.




autumn avenue bench fall
Photo by Pixabay on



Birds are flocking,
Doors are locking,
Autumn’s knocking once again.
Seeds are podding,
Berries nodding,
Workers plodding from the train.
Skies are frowning,
Leaves are browning,
Hats are crowning, coats are on.
Days are cooling,
Rains are pooling,
Kids are schooling –
Summer’s gone.



Open Season

summer garden yellow petals
Photo by Pixabay on


Open Season

August is a month that’s open wide,
When windows welcome in outside
And shoulders sport their freckled with a pride.

August is a month of empty woes,
Of open necks and open toes,
And bright unfolded blooms upon the rose.

August is a month of busy highs,
With covered heads and shaded eyes,
But still with smiles as open as the skies.




Heavy Weather

cloudy sky
Photo by Moritz Böing on


Heavy Weather

I try really hard, really hard
Not to moralise weather.
It is what it is, what it was,
What it will be forever.
The sun isn’t good, isn’t bad,
It is nothing aware;
And the rain is the rain, just the rain,
And the rain doesn’t care.
The sun will soon shine soon enough,
To relieve spare soggy sorrow –
So don’t think me bad if I think
That it might rain tomorrow.



The Ant-Days of Summer

flying ant


The Ant-Days of Summer

I think it must have been a day
When ants were flying
In July.
A long and hot and wingèd day
When ants were flying
By and by.
And that was when we chanced to meet,
With grounded ants about our feet.

Those virgin queens and horny males,
On scorching days
In late July.
The queens fly fast to test the males
On scorching days
When ants must fly.
The lads were swarming when we met –
But then, one shot is all they get.

The lucky males take turns to mate
With picky queens
In late July.
Upon the wing, the ants shall mate –
As jacks and queens
Shall fill the sky.
And I met you beneath their flights,
With royal weddings in our sights.

The girls bite off their wings to reign
As wingless queens
In late July
These girls will never fly again –
But hey, the queens
At least don’t die !
And you and I were changing lives,
As queens got down to digging hives.




blade clear dawn dew
Photo by on



The rain, it rains like rainy rain,
The time, it ticks so slow.
It soaks the garden, soaks the lane,
It soaks the overflow
Won’t it ever shine again ?
Won’t it ever go ?

We curse these clouds we undergo,
We curse this ever-rain;
But still the gullies rush and flow
And wash the boggy lane.
Oh, must the day creep by so slow,
And with so little gain ?

We check the window once again,
We watch the drops that flow.
Perhaps the clouds are bored of rain,
Have somewhere else to go ?
Check the garden, check the lane –
Not too quick.  Be slow.

It hasn’t yet begun to slow,
It’s coming hard again.
It should’ve stopped an age ago,
But still we get the rain.
So down to earth the clouds all flow
Upon the roof and lane.

We long to be upon the lane
Where blooms the indigo,
We long the garden to regain
Between the may and sloe.
Instead, the clouds forever reign,
Like icebergs in a floe.

So round and round our thought must flow:
The clouds.  The time.  The lane.
And like the day, they crawl so slow,
As round they crawl again.
They’re stuck with us, nowhere to go –
And still comes down the rain.



A sestina, whereby the six endwords are repeated each verse in a different order.  Tradition also requires a seventh mini-verse, or envoy, to round things off, but I#ve never seen the point.