Sunday, 31 August 2014

The September issue of A Hundred Gourds, which includes my in memoriam piece on Martin Lucas and my review of Glenn Coats's latest haibun collection, plus loads of excellent new haiku, tanka, renga, etc., is now live.
where Bonesgate Stream feeds the Hogsmill River: a fox's stare

Saturday, 30 August 2014

a sunflower pokes its head
above the neighbours' fence...
holiday's end

Friday, 29 August 2014

Te Waewae Bay

Rugby-tackling yellow-eyed penguins
and clasping a hand around their bills
- so they'll regurgitate not over him but
into his sister's special red plastic bucket
for her doctoral research - is sweet as;
affords him some close-season practice:
Stratford envisions every bird as a lanky
tight-head prop of his hometown club's
oldest, bitterest, most gobshite local rivals.
In Queensland's Outback, just days before,
he spent a long yet entertaining fortnight
culling goats, for which the chopper pilot
who collected him handed over a tenner
for each of the three-hundred pairs of ears.
Now Stratford self-describes as a No Worries
Freelance International Fauna and Avifauna
Management Consultant, at your service.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

an apple revolves
on the crest of the river...
summer mizzle

Sunday, 24 August 2014

On Worcester Park Road

See the wayside mallow,
and how it's embraced by
hedge mustard. Look along

the narrow valley, where
out of the purple loosestrife,
for a nanosecond of buzz,

a kingfisher occupies sight:
electricity fizzing your retinas,
torpedoing summer's grey.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


In and out of sunshine, squadrons of azure
rollers target the old stone Pack Horse Bridge, where

flying ants becloud the valley. It's the sort
of balmy day when everyone feels the heat.

The river mutters while it imbibes Bonesgate
Stream - named by the past for the nameless Plague-pit

dead - like a half-cut solitary customer
hailing his partner at a late-night bar.

The rollers strafe the ants, as if they'd swallow,
like pelicans, buckets of fish in one go.

A red admiral, basking on the warmest plot
of thistledown, billows its wings in and out.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

back-step sunshine
the cat's fascination
with my bare feet

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

the dark-suited man
skateboards to work
summer's end

Monday, 18 August 2014

autumn arrives
with the morning breeze
last night's dream

Saturday, 16 August 2014

blanked by the neighbour I've never liked sunburst

Thursday, 14 August 2014

gathered in
by the quickening currents
summer rain

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

the bat's spin
over the shed
grain moon

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

on the periscope head
of a great-crested grebe:
short, sharp showers

Monday, 11 August 2014

perigee moon
the first hint of autumn
blows my hair around

Sunday, 10 August 2014

at the tail-end of the hurricane: the grey cat's tail-end

Saturday, 9 August 2014

stroke through a pleasure-boat's wake...
the young moorhen's plod

Friday, 8 August 2014

sunlit channel:
a salmon edges sideways
out of the shade

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Lombardy poplars
the few clouds all resemble
bunny rabbits

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

ragwort as tall as me...
enough deep thoughts
for a whole year

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

on the way to work
I take the sunniest route...

Monday, 4 August 2014

evening breeze
a dialogue on the radio
just out of earshot

Sunday, 3 August 2014

In and Out

In and out of sunshine, I follow the cracked path.
A gatekeeper crosses Pack Horse Bridge. It's

the sort of day when everyone smiles hello.
The Hogsmill mumbles as it takes in Bonesgate

Stream - named for the nameless victims
of the Plague - like a drinking partner at an

otherwise deserted late-night bar. As ever,
nettles stick close to the blackberries among

the singular Russian comfrey. I use my left hand
to manoeuvre round to the plumpest fruit.

Like a billows, a red admiral basking on
a bed of thistledown puffs its wings in and out.

Friday, 1 August 2014

no air con
and the meeting room clock
twenty minutes slow...
my mind is always set
on any other business