Sunday, 31 January 2010

the red-deer herd
packed tightly together
winter sunlight

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Isleworth, 1876

Now I am going to tell you about my walk to London. – Vincent van Gogh to his brother, Theo, 7 October 1876

At dawn, Vincent sets out
up the London Road. Starlings
arrow the first autumnal air.

Ahead of him, a round-trip walk
of twenty miles. Hedge mustard tangles
the railings of Syon Park.

How Vincent could preach here,
among the elms! There are few
carts on the road today—

a blessing, for the verges
have turned into mud-pools.
The light is to Vincent’s liking,

changing with the cumulus
that rolls, like him, from the west,
through Kew, Chiswick, Hammersmith

and Kensington; to Hyde Park Corner
and the swank of Piccadilly.
Vincent visits the galleries,

pays homage to Delacroix,
takes it all in. Verses from Hebrews
turn in his mind. Running an errand

for Jones, his employer, he buys
violets for Jones’s wife. He’s a young man
doing his duty; one minute

head-strong with joy, the next
encumbered with bookish
hate and irritability.

A horse-bus fills with workers
as Vincent starts to wander back,
at vivid sundown, towards his home.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

London plane
the burnished

Thursday, 14 January 2010

on a back road
winter sunbeams stripe
the almshouses

- The Haiku Calendar 2010

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

snow on the tongue
a set of pawprints vanishes

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Stanford Forrester at Bottle Rockets Press, over yonder in the States, has just published a bumper anthology of flower haiku, entitled seed packets. Irrespective of the fact that there's a couple of mine in it, it is definitely worth checking out, once Stanford has put details on the site, as it is superb. Sample haiku: 'field of lupine / the deepening blue / of your goodbye' - Claudette Russell. When I opened it up yesterday it felt like spring had sprung. All good stuff, as I invariably say.
the contours of deer-droppings
on top of the snow

Saturday, 9 January 2010

outside the cricket square a cordon of headless snowmen

Retrospective (after Tracey Emin)

A white road,
caked in magneta neon,
disappears like a curse trailing off.

You feel a tenor sax
course into your legs, your arms
and fingertips stretching away.

The fields echo with frost;
the sky entreats your biddable eyes
the whole sharp night.

Monday, 4 January 2010

a new decade
the creeper tangles
into itself