Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2019

haiku commentary

deeper shadows where the walls meet... autumn rain – Mark E. Brager, The Heron's Nest, Volume XXI, Number 3 (2019) I imagine a corner, two walls meeting at right angles. I can see the depth of shadow there. If I reach out, I am sure the surface – rough brick or smooth masonry – will be cooler; perhaps because the autumn rain I now notice has started to fall. The places where people meet are more emotionally complex, stepping, as we may have to, from the comfort of the familiar to the challenge of the unfamiliar. Those “deeper shadows” may be rich with empathy and gratitude. Eshadows in corners Photograph by Steven Castledinequally, they may be fraught with conflict and umbrage. Brager’s haiku shifts me from inanimate objects to human experience. I sense loss through the image of “autumn rain,” or at least an understanding, or acceptance, of inevitable change that results in something being left behind. Perhaps change, even for the better, always leaves a


early snow whether I am ready or not the silence  Published in  Human/Kind July 2019 Journal of Topical & Contemporary Japanese Short Forms & Art


sunrise barred light on the walls of the deportation centre tinywords May 2019

haibun ~ Ritual

In memory of … a grasshopper leaps from stone to stone Sometimes the dead speak to us: this morning Facebook unearthed a seven year old message from a friend who died two years ago. Now here I am, interrupting a run to snap ox-eye daisies from the hedgerow and lay them on a rabbit knocked to the side of the road, as fresh and neat as sleep. Flowers for what is lost: the voice of a friend, the beat of a heart. For the shrinking perimeters of my father’s mind. The last time I said goodbye he lifted my hand to his lips and kissed it.   Presence 63, March 2019


hitting sixty I throw another chilli in the home-made stew Runner up in the Anam Cara Haiku Competition May 2019

haibun ~ Playing Lego Minecraft with Morgan

There’s only a portal of black obsidian between the zombies and lava in The Dimension of The Nether and The Overworld where Steve is standing and I am counting his sheep, cows and pigs. But we really shouldn’t be hanging around when night is about to fall and mob attacks are imminent: Blazes and Creepers, Spiders from The Cave, all ready to descend on The Farm.  autism spectrum my nephew names all the monsters It’s time to lock up the animals, he says, time to close doors and windows, so I turn Steve around and notice he’s clutching a tiny baguette, something that fills me with unaccountable joy: that in this world of sharp edges and danger a boy has placed Bread in a man’s hands and they are carrying it home.  Presence 63,  March 2019

haibun ~ I am running through the wondrous silence of history ...

... past standing stones, invisible tombs, the path Chaucer's pilgrims took across the North Downs, the stone cold dead in churchyards, listening to the sound my feet make on lanes, on mud and stone, sharing my breath, the thump of my heartbeats, with sheep, the sky, fields. Sometimes I wonder how I got here, what propelled me forward to this moment when the snags of fleece along a wire fence shine with glory, when another rise in the track ahead is an inspiration not a defeat.  And I think of the words, 'yes', and, 'you can', and the centuries of people before me who said them out loud, or quietly to themselves, believing that something could change. And here I am changing almost nothing in the world and still feeling better for it. trail run seeing the wood  and the trees Blithe Spirit 29.1 - 2019

photo haiku

even amongst all this grey light

haibun ~ Into the Dark

Into the dark My father cannot name a single animal for the memory nurse. No farm or wild animal. Not even the simplicity of dog or cat or any of the fish he used to catch. I imagine them circling the dark auditorium of his brain – sheep, lion, tiger, trout – a silent carousel refusing to yield to the roll of his tongue.   Parkinson’s dementia a blackbird almost invisible in the winter's dusk First published Haibun Today Vol 13 No 1, March 2019

photo haiku

moon in the trees me and the blackbird singing