Hickling Early

Fractured white masts pierce sleeping swans
Above their dreaming images
As day begins.
The tilted floating starboard buoys
Lurch drunkenly
Towards their broken twins.
Mallard and coot are stirring,
Swallows darting low
Over the grey-knitted water
Under a drizzled sky.
Still yachts await forlorn,
Canvas-canopied,moored in broken line,
Their triangles of tracery
Enclose grey sails of cloud,
While underneath the shadowed hulls
Are havens for more sleeping swans.

One-der Boy

How d’you do it in one Dan?
How d’you do it in one?
Did ya hit it or spit it
With consummate skill?
Did ya kick it or flick it
Or swallow a pill?
Did ya practise for hours
In sunshine and showers,
In snowstorms wrapped up in yer furs?
Did ya read how to do it
In golf books – or screw it
From some ancient sage with a curse?
We all wanna know Dan

So pick up the ‘phone Dan
And tell us all how it were done –
The Magnificent Story
Of Golf, Fun and Glory –
The Tale of the Great Hole-in-One !

January 1999

The Seven Sisters

One March – but nearly – April day,

Under an unseen sun,

The Seven Sisters misty lay

All waiting for some fun.


Young couples amorously strolled

And picnicked on the dizzy heights

All unaware, quite unalarmed,

Enjoying love’s delights.


The Seventh Sister listening lay

Under the yellowing sky

Then suddenly twitched her green-clad limb

In murderous jealousy…

Goodbye to Trains

Soon we will have lost

Our regular sightings

Of trains.


My mother appreciated them

With excited yells of

“A train, a train!”


But we thought

“Yes, yes, a train – so?”

Normal. Mundane.


But each day now

The building site grows;

Blocking, threatening, an actual pain.


Soon we shall no longer

See the 7.39

Flashing along the line,


Its dozen carriages

Making the rising sun

Flicker through the gaps.


I wish I’d been more appreciative

A train

Isn’t mundane

My mum was right

To let it excite her.


Salmon, peeled plum and henna dye,

Bruised flesh, pale peach with aubergine,

Amber, honey, antique gold

Paint the late palette of the sky.


Framed by frinking fronds of palms –

Rustling, jostling, flirting, fencing –

Green bayonets piercing darkening blue,

They guard the casket with their arms.


The trade wind shakes the clouds apaprt;

Changed hues bedeck the glowing west.

The new kaleidoscope reveals

Bleached bronze, wet lilac, fire’s heart.


p.10 The Green Man, Arun Poetry Club, published 1999/2000.