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Twitter Poems

DIAMONDS HE BEQUEATHS US
From the bottle at heaven’s door
We took a wee dram
As we passed through
Toasted his eighty-one years
In a crystal glass
And counted the diamonds
Falling in the evening dew.

UNSEEN
What is it we are waiting for
in the calm before the storm,
will it strike us unseen,
will it come without warning,
will it make us all conform
in a grey and heavy uniform.

RESPITE
After the wind has bent the trees
low to the ground,
the morning comes dressed in
gold and blue,
the turbulent times are
hidden in the silence of sound.

THE STORM TO COME
The fair weather-sailor
sits on the mooring in the bay,
the rolling swell, the roaring waves
hidden beneath smooth waters for now;
the tempest, stirring, waiting for its day.

LEADERS
Our confidence
has been betrayed
and our trust eroded
by a sandcastle-ideology
that cannot stand
against the tide;
leaders parade before us,
a cavalcade of lies and jests,
nothing more than parking meters,
nothing but the second best,

THE SKY IS FALLING
If we all held up our hands
High above our heads
And we did it altogether
The sky would stay in place
It would not fall down
And we would have no need
To rely upon king or crown.

?
How did you live
and how did you die
and how was your heart
when the reaper passed by?
Was your lamp still burning
did it light up the sky,
were you ready to leave us,
did you know why?
I ask you these questions
with a lingering sigh
to answer the memories
of a young boys eye.

WRONG PATH
Don't ever keep me from the fire,
from the warm hearth of your heart,
like you did before;
allow me to warm my hands
in the flicker of your flame,
don’t ever close your door;
no matter how hard the wind blows
or heavy falls the rain
let’s not walk there anymore.

McGUIRE
You say that love is
and the highway is
a dolphin at play,
you hold the light high,
you light up the way,
making it a joy to travel
so that a simple thank you
is all that is left to say.

OLD TUNES
How many songs
line the alley way
like graffiti of the
heart;
where is the
sunshine that
keeps shadows
apart;
whose are the
voices of the
past that echo
on the long and
distant path.

THE SURFER
Morning wakes on a silver wave
The surfer is far from shore
Folded in the white foam of the sea
He asks for nothing more.

THE MASKER
She dances at the masquerade ball
Her face it is concealed
Nothing of her heart is known at all
For nothing is revealed.

BROKEN
pieces of my heart litter the workshop floor
and I am powerless to put them back together
we sweep the wood shavings and dust into the bin
and speak little of the tree that towers above us.

47th ANNIVERSARY
The tuis chortle out the years
from the autumn trees, content in
the morning sun that spreads its
light about us, while the tide,
lapping the road edge down on
the estuary shore, hums the praise
of all things that time cannot hide.

REASON
The cold stars caress
the edge of the sky
like a kiss on the lips
of reason, a stranger
wandering by.
The way is unclear,
the path obscured
by thistle and weed,
yet the low hum of
wind can still be heard

WHANAU
The wharenui shelters angels in the evening,
its doors are wide open, the lintels stained in red,
the hearts of those housed within its walls
beat strongly across the green fields; here,
aroha hui and kai are the threads of love
that weave us together as one.

OLD DOGS ii
It had been a long while
between firesides
at the inn; a long while
since they had tasted
the golden nectar,
droplets of whisky
suspended from the
fine thread by which
their hearts are attached.

7 May 2022

ALBIE
He storms in from the wilderness
Singing songs of redemption
He comes carrying love from the desert
The vine and fig tree blossom

A MOTHER
For a brief moment she gazes from the deck
out, over the harbour, takes refuge from the
constant demands of care and responsibilities
that shake her awake in the morning and ride
her hard throughout the day; in the evening
she falls, rag-doll like, onto the pillow

OLD DOGS
He rounded the point
pushed the bow into the
wind from the south
and chopped his way
across the harbour
to the sturdy pier and
the safe haven of the
port-side inn.

WALKING FAREWELL SPIT
Hush the crushing silence
of these departed years
new footsteps scuffing
the white sand of this
earthly moon that circles
around us all, kin and
offspring, hand in hand,

S.J. RAFFILLS
The full moon puts the stars to bed
another year is left to slumber
the highway takes an unseen turn
he swings the wheel to the right
regains the centre line
head-lights on full-beam
knows where he is going
remembers where he has been.

YOUTH
The sky is dripping pastel clouds
through the colours of my eyes
and the sweet caress of distant youth
seems a long ago and fading cry

COFFEE
The light creeps around the edge of the curtain
some signal that the day is about to begin,
down the stairs to the bathroom,
to the kitchen, flick the switch,
grind the beans and oh the
first aroma of the day.

ELIJAH
Where is Elijah
prophet of the Kingdom,
thorn in the side of kings?
Taking refuge in a cave somewhere,
sheltering from the treachery,
holding out for the flesh of the word
then he shall be revealed.

TO BED
Blue-grey shadows push their way
through the semi darkness while
the full moon outshines the Milky Way,
its beams of light fall on the silence,
a hush lies over the rhythmic breathing of sleep.

LIKE A CANCER
Did we stop the clocks
and close the shops
and lock ourselves away
while they lay in
skeleton beds
theirs faces sunken
inside their heads
with teeth too big
for their mouths
the morphine
working over-time.

S.J. RAFFILLS
The full moon puts the stars to bed
another year is left to slumber
the highway takes an unseen turn
he swings the wheel to the right
regains the centre line
head lights on full beam
knows where he is going
remembers where he has been.

MEMORIAL
We danced on the face of the sand dune
watched from above by the white moon
while we opened the door of the empty room
we had said goodbye to him much too soon.

OF FAREWELL
Peace to you in the crossing over,
peace to you on the ocean,
peace to you among the trees
and the stones and the stars;
peace to you in the thick rain
falling outside my window,
falling across my heart;
peace to you in the silver mist
draping the valley of my eyes.

COMING HOME
The road runs through the last small town
I’m making my way round the last small bend
chased by the wind sweeping through
the narrow lane, it stings me from the left,
cuts me from the right but I’m walking a straight line looking for the welcome sign polished bright.

HEARTBREAK
These heavens will fall apart
on me tonight without her smile
or the touch of her heart,
let me rest here awhile
in the glittering dark
beneath the broken aisle.

THE DANCE
She is lost among the stars tonight
I hear her softly call
Her eyes trail a long shawl of light
That I am bound to follow;
She speaks in the silence
In the hollow of my heart.
And if I cannot find her
I will no longer dance.

DRIFT AWAY
At the gate
Underneath the pale moon
Faces fade into shadows
And she is gone much too soon;
At the gate
Time tap-dances in the moonlight
One year becomes another
And another is lost to sight.

JOHN WARD HOLMES
All the strong trees are falling
Their shadows are no more;
Are we not left to grow in the sunlight
Covering the dappled floor?

INSURRECTION
Come the morning of this insurrection, find us
in the early light, on the street corners of our towns, waving flags and scrawled messages of hope and
truth and freedom, for there is nowhere else to turn;
feed my sheep, find the courage to lead them.

HE SURFS THE SEA
The day wakes in light
the surfer glides
a silver wave,
walks the surface
of the sea,
carries my heart
through time
across eternity.

LONESOME STREET
We did not take anything from the empty tomb,
we left it as we found it, no furniture was removed
and the angels in the half-light said that he had risen
from the agony of defeat and he was waiting now
on that long and lonesome street.

CROWN OF THORNS
Darkness came upon the hillside and the devils
squealed in delight as they thrust their iron spears
into the side of flesh and watched the blood of innocents like a river flow, they did all they could to take him down and weave those thorns into a crown.

CRUCIFIXION
From the courts of law and from the halls of power,
from the darkness of deception, the judge orders
the crucifixion by needle and by nail, the child’s innocence they condemn as they lay him in the grave, but they shall be held accountable, when he shall rise again.

GETHSEMANE
We lay in the garden of our nation’s heart,
we slept on the grass at Gethsemane for as long
as the night would last, through salt and blood
we sweated tears at the foot of the polished, marble
stairs but there were no answers to our prayers.

SHEPHERD
In the helter-skelter of the wolves
running amuck among the sheep,
stand firm in the eye of the storm
so the gate of the fold you can keep.

THE BACK POCKET
We don’t believe that this is it
they are not over and done with yet
they’ll let you up for just one breath
then they’ll put their foot back on your neck.

FALLING STAR
I stand among the living stars
I stand among them all
ready to catch one of them
if it should accidentally fall
and I shall paste it in the sky again
and I shall see it standing tall.

A HUMBLE STEP
It’s a long road back
through the cold valley
of marble headstones
chiselled in haste;
it's a humble step
across the charred
silhouettes of burnt-out
bridges barely standing.

ON THE VILLAGE GREEN AGAIN
It was a single voice
and a simple song
across a meadow of grass
beside a bitumen road
and both of them helped
to carry the load.

MOONSHINE ON THE MICROPHONE
The mood was easy,
hearts were free
and words rolled
fearlessly
from the microphone
into the heart of the home.

BURNING BRIDGES
I am walking on bridges
charred and twisted beyond recognition
but there is a strong beam or two
left standing, they take my weight
across the sad divide
and deliver me to the other side.

HEALING, IF I COULD
Sweet wine for
vinegar and gall
I pour into your cup
and lend my heart
to yours
and reach my hand
in that name
to still and calm
your storm.

ON THAT OTHER SHORE
Heading back across the waters
heading for that other shore
where a small flame is kindled,
fire, smoke and stones,
and there is no telling
of the banquet promised there,
a small fish, a loaf of bread,
this for my son, the king,
shall be prepared.

Favourite Song lyrics of New Zealand’s
‘young-globalist -leader’ #1
“…there’s just as many geese
And they’re flying down south
As there are lies
Just pouring out of your mouth…”
with apologies to Donovan and his song,
Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do

FAITH
In the shadow of the grey mountain
on the edge of the silver estuary
healing is suspended in the curtain of air;
it hangs like a thin thread of faith,
that fragile strength that carries us
over the quiet waters.

COVID BLUES lll
It’s gonna’ sit by your side
Take your for a little ride
But if you hold on to your mind
Covid blues will leave you behind

There is no news but the covid blues
On every screen and printed page
It is the thing, it is the rage
And it’s not about to leave us soon.

COVID BLUES ll
There ain’t no magic cure
No jab gonna make it detour
Tell me cute little lies all you like
Covid blues, get on your bike.

Covid blues is in lock down
Covid blues is closed for business
How we ever gonna’ shake it
And abandon all this nonsense

HOLDING THE LINE
Soft clouds
billowing, white sails
make their way slowly
across an ocean of blue sky;
from harbour to harbour,
the passage is for the pure heart,
the sure line that holds
on either side of the boat.

COVID BLUES
I’ve got the covid blues
Like its man-made news
Everyone I’m talking to
They’re all walking in my shoes

This thing is going down
The main street of my town
Everyone bound to get it
Covid blues is going around.

WAKE
We sat in a tin shed,
there was nowhere left to hide,
we passed conversation
between drinks;
we talked of her by name
occasionally,
pausing once to raise
our glasses in a toast
to a special lady.

REMEMBERING AMY
A yellow lantern hangs
from the low branch
of the apple tree;
it rocks gently in the
afternoon breeze,
casting imaginary rays
of sunshine across
those days we recall
just like they were yesterday.

LEWIS PASS
The beech trees,
in black and green,
line my way through the pass,
they tower to a darkening archway
drawing the evening twilight down.

AWE AND WONDER
Rain on me oh galaxy of silver stars
Whose names are without number
Light my way across the universe
To the refuge of my father’s heart
Where I shall stand in awe and in wonder.

THESE TIMES
A toxic wasteland
lies at my door,
a sweeping plain
of pestilence and war,
this side and that side,
the sun against the rain
and who will even
remember that it was
for these times that
I came.

MARGARET
The east wind howls a low tune
across the mouth of the Clutha,
it pushes the tide all the way up
the valley to the bridge and weaves
itself through the stone arches,
a tapestry of laughter and song,
hers a heart sculptured by
river and town.

AT SNELLS BEACH
I remember now
the smiles on the faces
of the kite-boarders
when the wind came
across the bay
riding a herd of white
horses from the east.

MOTHER
She holds the years gracefully,
she defends all that she holds true
and the young woman and the
young men stand with her, upright
and strong, small flames of pride
dancing in their eyes.

SHOOTING STARS
She was only 22 when first we met
and the shooting stars were dancing
in the laughter of her brown eyes
and in her smile; and dance they do still,
across both need and desire, storming
the wide sky with light and fire.

LOVE BY THE STARS
There is a long distance
between the galaxies and
the cold, hard stones of earth;
yet on those stones I would lie
if only she were lying by me
and we would pay for love
in the currency of stars.

MIRROR, MIRROR
The smiling face of a lie
Is a cracked mirror
It cuts sharp and deep
The blood is red
Endless is its sorrow

WIND AND MOON
The east wind blows the
covering of thin cloud
Off the pale face of the moon,
It emerges, a ball of emerald-gold,
Supreme over the rough ocean,
Cold lord of the darkening skies.

EROSION
The east wind blows upon the shore,
rolls up the ocean into white waves
and drives them recklessly into the
erected barricades by which man
thinks he will be saved.

A LONG DAY
The lawns are mowed and the
grass cut beneath the trees
in the orchard; the vegetable
garden has been weeded, the
path swept and all things are
looking good in the light of
the rising moon.

KAYLEIGH
The young women are dancing
The fiddler races them across
The wooden floor, laughter is
The song and one should ask
For nothing more.

RIVER SONG
After the rain,
the river is cold
but clear and
it sings an
everlasting
song of water
over stone; the
tune I have
forever known.

AT THE BEACH.
The ocean is more green than blue
but I’ll take it anyway it comes;
I’ll submerge myself in its waters
and then I’ll stretch out in the sun.

STOPPING THE ADVANCE
You sharpen your blade
against my visible resistance,
but if I work in silent shadows,
creating that other way,
your advance flounders,
for you have no adversary
with whom to engage.

WHEAT & WEEDS
The naysayers blame the
wheat for letting the weeds
take root among them;
better they care for the
wheat, lest there be
no bread on the table.

DAYS END
Even in the evening light
of the moon’s golden sickle,
the river is clear; its stones
hold conversations beneath
the water, watching me
as I swim above, not knowing
that I too am attuned to
all the talk of the days end.

HOLD THE LINE
If we should disappear
from the street corner,
where we have stood
day after day, would
they not think
the protest was over?

THE PARABLE OF THE ISSUE
The wood for the trees
can never be seen
by those who cannot see
the wood for the trees.

THE OLD CODGER
He is the keeper of the valley
the strong bough
that holds up the sky,
the voice of the story
that tells us when and why.

WEDNESDAY 2 MARCH 2022
The brutal beasts
at a government’s whim
unleashed with violence
and salacious force
on the peaceful waters
of Aotearoa/New Zealand.

PSALM

High above the valley,
my heart sings in the silence
of the early morn,
here trouble is quietened
by the drawing aside,
solitude's embrace;
in the hollow of this place
the Lord speaks,
almost an audible voice,
mistaken for the wind
if one is not attuned
to this early hour.

THE WAR
The war has been raging since last Thursday,
the war has been raging since the discontents
were tumbled from the high places they aspired to,
the war has been raging in the heart of every man
since before the dawn spewed him from its mouth.

OLD VINYL
In my life I recall those songs
that played beside the highway
that I travelled on;
I remember stopping
somewhere for too long
while the song, it carried on;
the dove tore its wing,
it flies no more, the songs
of love are silent now
but Judy Collins still sings.

BY THE YEAR
The weariness is crippling,
I can barely lift my heart,
the endlessness of everything
gives no place to start;
I am wondering at the flame
that once danced in my hearth,
it flickers in the evening breeze
and turns the day to dark.

FRIDAY GATHERING
Find us on the shore
Find us on the banks
Of the Onekaka Estuary.
We ask nothing more
We offer our thanks
For our own stony skerry.

A SIMPLE TRUTH
There never was an emergency
there is not an emergency now
so repeal the mandates,
delete the divide,
give us back our lives;
free Ukraine!

COMRADE
Oh my comrade, oh my comrade,
we rode together, a great and shallow
victory, we rode over the lives of 85 million
and more; we spilled their blood
on our granite altar of human sacrifice
and we proclaimed the gospel of self,
from the pedestal of our own divinity.

COMING HOME
The tall trees of the valley
are dancing in the breeze;
I hear them sing to me
as I make my way slowly
beneath their green leaves
on the dirt road to my home.

MY FATHER
I wonder how it was for you
and what you thought?
I never did ask of you
but if I had, I wonder
what words you might
have given me?

GETTING THROUGH
Through the haze
of tumultuous days,
mothers and fathers
and children
make their way
across each minute
and each hour
holding tight to one another.

WEST TO EAST
We take to the sea
by the round light
of the early morning moon;
in the silver boat
we head to the east
where the sun like fire blooms.

SINS
I perceive the separation
between east and west
is shrinking by the day.
All my sins are stacking up
like a full-length mirror
hanging in the grey sky.
Scarlet thorns are choking
the garden flowers,
white roses wilt and die.

CLEANING HOUSE
Oh Mr Jones
won’t you open your door
pass me the broom
and let me sweep your floor,
for a mess has been littered there
by these lies and these crimes,
it won’t take me too long
and besides, I’ve got plenty of time.

WELLINGTON
Raise the silence,
let the voice be heard,
hold lightly the iron rod
and speak softly the word;

Hold firm the ground,
carve your place to stand,
do not stumble or bow down
for freedom waits your hand.

HOMELESS
Homeless beneath the hollow stars,
he wedged himself between the trash cans
and the doorways of the side streets
down which strangers stared;
recognising neither fortune nor fate.
their cold eyes saw nothing there.

BIRTHDAY
At the gate, underneath the pale moon
Faces fade into shadows
And she is gone much too soon;
At the gate, time tap-dances in the light
One year becomes another
And another is lost to sight.

BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON
In this hour of darkness
every need has been known,
how much we depend upon
all things the light has shown.

HIDDEN THINGS
All things hidden
in the shadows
of that fleeting moment
shall at last be revealed
on the path that leads to home
where the light is not concealed.

A QUESTION
If ours is not times end
then to whom
shall the end of time
belong?
And how long
will the song
echo the times
that made us so strong?

A SMALL BLESSING
On this day
may the sun be warm
upon your skin
may the rainfall
wash you clean
may the wisdom of the stars
bless you with silence
may the moon bestow courage
upon your deepest heart.

HIGHWAY BLUES
I’m out on the highway
I’ve just got to run
I’m left with no love
to give anyone
I’ve travelled so hard
Inside of my heart
I curse this distance
that keeps us apart

THE MUSIC POLICE
Save Joe Rogan
Save Jordan Peters
Save Van Morrison
Save Eric Clapton.

Save the voice of freedom
Save the choice of conscience
Save the left-wing bird
From the hand that feeds him.

Save Neil Young
Save Joni Mitchell
Save them one and all
From the money-gun.

COVERING
Would that the shield of my heart
Cover your heart so that no fist
Of anger should ever bruise
The treasure harboured there.

FAITHFUL HEART
I think of you
from time to time,
the field where you tend
those seeds you did not sow,
yet still, in that place,
you have cultivated
your faithful heart.

I LISTEN
I listen alone
yet I wonder
If you hear what I hear;
flying low over the rough sea,
this song writes its own tune
in the empty space.

I CRY
I cry alone
a river of rugged tears
crashes down my face;
a mirror of your laughter
sparkles like the sun
on my cheeks.

SHE LEAVES
I stand alone
deafened by the sound
of your departure;
the sky above my head
roars in purple,
it shall never close.

TO MY FATHER’S HOUSE
I shall return to those
things I once knew
and rest in the embrace
of the familiar and the secure;
I shall return on that dirt road
to the old house
that was once my home
and clean out the debris.

TO WHOM SHALL I GO
Should I leave this way
then what road would I travel
for I know no other path?
And though neglect has
fogged the course,
sometimes I can still
hear a faint voice.

TO THE END
I’ve grown weary of the fight,
the closed doors, the roadblocks,
the turning away of acquaintances,
the energy required to practise
non-compliance and to keep
an open heart; but I will stay
the road, it's the only road I know.

IMAGINE
if we all said ‘no!”
The shop keepers
and the hairdressers,
the bar tenders,
the beer brewers,
the coffee makers,
the café owners,
the venue managers,
the singers and songwriters,
the musicians and poets,
the artists and performers;
then we would be
the imaginable one!

WALKING THE DOG
She walked the dog
past his front gate
he wasn’t aware
he slept in until late;
they met in the pub
one Wednesday night,
he walked her home
beneath the bright star light;
she came for tea
slept on his couch
made him a coffee
when morning came about.

TAKAKA
Far away and long ago,
before now and then
in that distant land
beyond the hill,
all things were
as they had always been
and contentment reigned
on the village green.

RELIEF
A thin grey lace
is draped across the valley
this morning;
it softly soaks the earth,
the grass smiles.

THE WEIGHT
Carry me that song,
hear my heart sing,
the gates of heaven
are not that far along;
oh, open them for me,
let me fall into the song.

CRY
Far off in the distance,
hung low on the edge of the dark sky,
it is the soft weeping of water
washing over sand and stone
that pierces the soft flesh
of the heart that cries alone.

COMMUNITY HALL, ONEKAKA
The old school house
rang again to the
gathered chatter
of friends and
neighbours
cast adrift
on a summer’s evening
one Friday
not so long ago.

COVERED FACES
You cover you face
try to speak with your eyes
but I can’t tell who you are
beneath that strange disguise.

SETTLERS
They came on foot
through forest thick
and dark;
and then by ship
and wagon wheel,
found the treasure
of earth and field
and built their homes
of wood and steel.

AT POHARA
High above the ocean
Beneath the turquoise sky
She can see forever
She can hear the white gull cry
And here it is that she lives
The times she makes her own
And she knows there is no distance
That can keep her far from home

DREAM UNAWARE
He lies beside her
in the deep hour of darkness,
he strains to go deep
into the valley of her desire
but she sleeps, unaware.

HIKING
Hold the line
Neither left nor right
Hold the track
Under sure foot, firm
Hold the course
Of the stars at night

15 January 2022
SUFFER THE CHILDREN iii
Woe to you who prey upon the child,
the little ones, to cause them harm,
to rob them of the hope for which they were born

Woe to you who lead the child astray,
better for you a millstone around
your neck and you be cast upon the sea

14 January 2022
SUFFER THE CHILDREN ii
Woe to you who hide your face from a child
so they no longer can find their place
beside still waters and green fields.

Woe to you who bind the heart of a child
with the barbed wire of fear and keep them
from the love by which they grow.

FOOTSTEPS
I may not think that I walk with a limp
I may not think that I am lame
But when she hears my footsteps
Coming down the garden path
She knows each one bears my name
And she loves me just the same

SUFFER THE CHILDREN
Woe to you who touch the child,
who take the innocence and rob them of
those carefree days of joy and laughter.

Woe to you who take the child
from the arms of its mother and father
and offer them all the wares of the candyman.

WHO SHALL SING THE SONG NOW?
Just yesterday, our hearts were one,
beating out the song of the river,
our arms entwined like a Carol King tapestry,
a woven chalice of oil and wine, a healing
for parched lips and wounded sides;
today, is there no song you can sing for me?

BIRTHDAY BLESSING
May the celebration
be one of quiet joy
May the calm acceptance
of all your years be wise
May the strength of your heart
be measured by one love
May the candle burn bright
throughout the days to come

LOST DAYS OF YOUTH
The long days
of watching youth
are like photographs
and movies of the past;
at once far behind
and yet still to be
revealed.

PASSPORT PERFORMER
You sing into the microphone
for the shiny faces swaying like
the waves of the sea in worship;
your song of betrayal
sacrifices the lone lamb,
that one left standing
on the outside of the music hall,
that one left standing tall.

WISDOM
The wisdom of the star draped
Itself, a silver train on iron rails,
across the galaxies of the universe;
it spoke in a whisper, in the breath
of a new-born child but the earth
hardly heard what was said.

INNOCENCE IN MOONLIGHT
Late on a summer’s evening
we shared the song and every
melody that fell from our lips
was birthed in laughter; we sat
around the fire as the twilight
gave way to a soft darkness
and we drank in the innocence
of the pale moonlight.

TO BE AN OLD MAN
I am learning to walk like an old man,
easing myself slowly from the chair,
shuffling one foot after the other,
across the road or just across the room;
my age tells me this is a skill
I should acquire if I wish to hasten
the onset of senility.

ON THE TRACK
On a down-hill ride
on an upward slope
you can play the game
anyway you choose;
you can start at the top,
begin at the bottom,
but somewhere on the track
your own self will be waiting.

AFTER THE HOLIDAY
Now the grandparents
stand at the front door,
wave goodbye and return
indoors where they sit
down in their arm chairs,
side by side, alone.

HOLIDAY VISIT COMES TO AN END
They shall leave us now
on this distant shore and
make their way north and to
their home they shall take
these holiday memories and
store them in the closet of all
treasured things.

THIS NEW YEAR
We shall not bow to those days
that tomorrow may bring, for our
lamps will be filled with oil and in
their brightness we shall be aware
of all things before they fall across
our path; for the days of tomorrow
are already known.

NEW YEAR’S EVE
It is the last day of the year,
the wine bottle is empty
and the moon sits alone
in its heaven; the work is
done and the lateness of
the hour brings rest on
all the toils of man and beast.

HE FINDS HIS HEART
He reaches through
the green bush, crosses
the stream, climbs the
rocky track and ascends
the mountain from where
the beating of his own
heart comes back as an
echo across the valley.

UMMER CAMPING
I balance the computer on my knee,
mosquitos fly across the light of the screen
like it was a candle, they settle in the top
corner of the tent and converse with one
another all night long, making regular
sorties to check that I am still eavesdropping.

THE STARS AS PRAYERS
It is late towards the end of the day
And she has found her way to sleep
Savouring the last minutes of her birthday
She who sits quietly beneath the host of
Heaven and counts each star a prayer
That only her heart can hear.

PROPHET, POET & SONG
Carve your words
On paper and stone
Let the winds howl
Let the earth groan
These words so birthed
Your heart will own

GLORY
when the star burst through
the guilty found forgiveness
the broken were made whole
the naked took his garments
the poor bought back their soul
the stranger welcomed friendship
the hungry ate their fill
and the thirsty drank the innocence
of the child born upon the hill

STAR BURST
The poets offered prayers
the prophets bowed their heads
shepherds lowered their eyes
kings stepped from their thrones
when that star burst through
with a blinding light
that lit up the hillside

REVOLUTION 24
It's Christmas eve and I see
the stars are shimmering
more than usual,
as if they sense something
out of the ordinary
is about to happen;
they, the vanguard
of a revolution
that is destined to spread
throughout the galaxy.

COLIN MACLEOD
On the island of Lewis
In those western highlands,
the young man roams,
a crofter’s lot, tends the flock
and on the loch composes
the tune known of every Celtic
heart, near or far from home.

CAUSE FOR COMPLAINT
Ours is not a despair
that descends without
a flicker of hope,
our troubles go
not much further
than tomorrow
and therefore, as such,
our complaints should
fall upon deaf ears.

GUARDIAN OF THE MOON
At 10.36 pm
the morepork calls the moon
up from the low places
behind the hill,
its haunting voice
guiding the yellow god
all the way
to its full-blown splendour.

MOON SHADOWS
It peers over the tree tops
and hangs just outside my window,
casting shadows on the floor,
speaking solitude in the
lonely hours of a summer’s night
as only the moon can do.

TIMELESS
It was later in the evening
when they opened the bottle
of bourbon; the youngster
and the elders raised a glass
to the days of heaven and
to the gate of the shepherd’s
fold, by which they entered,
the young and the old.

SONG OF FREEDOM
On the village green
they gathered there with
a new song on their lips;
they opened up their hearts
and raised their voices,
the people of the township.

TO BE FREE
They gathered in the shadows
of the open barn and spoke together
in hushed words and took the oath
in the light of the moon, spilled out
across the silver sea.

OUT OF THE BOAT
Cloaked in courage
he faces down the wilderness,
by cloud and fire
he traverses the unknown way,
listens for the voice
that echoes across the sand.

MOHUA
Here the fields grew free and green,
the mountains wore white in winter
and in summer, dressed in granite blue,
here was a place like no other,
here was the heart renewed.

THE ELITE
How does it feel,
that welcome they extend
you because of the papers
that you show on demand;
they show you then,
every courtesy and wait
on your every command.

AT THE END
Her breathing was laboured.
I wondered if it penetrated
through the white wall;
it was so silent then, yet
I wonder if anyone heard her
when she tried to call.

FRIENDSHIP
a long grey road
stretches across
the barren fields,
there is no distance
too great or no love
that will not be revealed,
and those who travel
on the centre line
of a pale moonlight,
will be counted in the courts
of kings and in
the hearts of friends.

THE BUSKER
She was busking
on the village green,
this was her place,
this was her space,
hers was the voice
of the whole human race.

BEASTS OF BURDEN
The oxen were muzzled
ploughing Maggie’s field,
from early in the morning
until the fading evening light
they laboured without rest
they toiled until they fell
and then it was revealed,
they were little more than cogs
in a well-oiled wheel.

THE HEART OF THE ARTIST
In the last minutes of her birthday
she was found on that fine line,
on the horizon of God’s great desire
and on the bare heart of her canvas
she etched the truth of what she had
always known.

THE BANNERMAN
He marched in the parade,
he held his banner high
and on it he wrote the words
‘I will not comply.’

NEW ANTHEM
We will lift up our hearts now
We will link our arms as one
We are people undivided
We are the children of the sun
We are one people, one land
We are one people, one song
We are one people, one love
We are one people, standing strong!

MIRROR ON THE WALL
He watched her build her kingdom
on a cavalcade of lies,
he watched her march in her own parade
in the mirror of her eyes.

BROKEN HEARTED
She betrayed his confidence
and she betrayed his trust
for an ideology devoid of love
that fell and crumbled in the dust.

OUTSIDER
He stood outside the window
looking in at the fire in the hearth,
the rain was falling in bucket loads
and he hadn’t worn his coat or scarf.

A PAID PENCIL
You poor, thin man, starved
of the ideals of your youth,
but you can’t bite the hand
that feeds you,
the hand that declares war
on the truth.

A PAID PEN
Oh Mr Jones, oh Mr Jones,
how can you be so ignorant,
so unread, so blind indeed
to fall for such a lie as this
and never ask the questions
to disturb your life of bliss.

FREE ENTRY
They took down their yellow signs
And spoke in code no more
They said to all the people
You don’t have to wear no chain
To walk inside my door

ROLL UP, ROLL UP
Oh this ‘golden ticket
to freedom’ you dangle
in front of my face,
your lack of scruples
shows you fallen
from that saving grace.

DISCIPLINE
Early in the morning
I extend my body with
squats and sit ups,
weights and press ups,
I push it way beyond
the sweet dreams of sleep.

THREE LITTLE CHICKENS
Three little chickens,
the scientist, the journalist
and the politician,
all said the sky was falling,
better cover your head
and the animals, they all took shelter
in the brick houses of their fear.

YOU AND ME
You sit on this side and I will sit on that,
you wear a green hat and I will wear a blue,
I won’t tell on you if you don’t tell on me,
be afraid of nothing, for there is nothing I will do.

RUNNING BLIND
All day the rain hung like a thick curtain
over the deep valley and moody river,
it held back any hope of seeing the hill
or knowing the run of the highway or the
path of the waters flowing to the sea.

STRANGERS ON THE ROADSIDE
Three strangers stopped on the roadside,
in the streetlight, watched while we filmed
some words, talked for a while with us there,
exchanged names and places before they left,
leaving behind a couple of friends

CHILDHOOD HOME
Back then we were five,
we were childhood kings,
pretenders to the throne,
our kingdom was being born
in our mother’s home.

STOPPING FOR A WHILE
I am here to love you
I am not just passing through
Above the bank of clouds
The sky is a deeper shade of blue.

KIDS @ FIVE
I met him first when he was five
and the age of innocence was still alive,
they were the times no money could buy
but we preserve them still,
in the sunshine of our eye.

THE SILVER PIECES
The paid pens of the establishment
dip their quills into the ink pots
of a thousand-dollar bills
and the stories that should be told
in words, truthful and bold,
are left hung out in the cold.

MRS SPARROW
On a summer’s evening,
one sparrow builds a nest
of woven straw, while a
hundred sparrows twitter
a symphony as she works
on the windows and the door.