My Poems

Ice Ditty

(This particular poem was written while I was in the navy and service in Submarines took me up into the Arctic Ocean)

Iridescence dances on a slate-sea stage

to the tinkling of ice in the air,

Growlers play bass backed by glacial pack

and the wind keeps time in its lair.


The show only stops when fading light

shows the north that the gods are bored,

then the sky turns bright with aurora’s light

and the flash of Odin’s sword.


The gods, enthralled, watch the show of lights

till dawn brings a short-lived day

In the dull-grey light a distant drum

signals time for Thor to play.


Thor’s-hammer pounds and frightened clouds

race across the sky

ripples disturb the sea’s flat calm

as the northwind starts to fly.


growlers and icebergs jostle for space

and the pack is torn and tossed

while iridescence hides her blue-white light

and weeps for harmony lost


A Writer’s Dilemma


How do I catch it ?

This will-o-the-wisp that eludes my grasp,

This seed of a beginning that tantalises me with a brief glimpse,

teases me with promises of blossoming,

Then disappears into the depths of lost ideas.

How do I catch it, nurture it, watch it grow,

When I have no knowledge of what it is,

where it is or how it came to be.

What is this thing that haunts me,

that keeps me staring at a screen, a sheet of paper, a blank wall.

Is it what I need, what I’m searching for,

Is it the key? But the key to what?

How do I catch it?

When every time I try I drive it deeper,

Deeper into me, into the black infertile depths of long dead memories to be forgotten to be mourned.

How do I bring it into the light of my consciousness,

give it air, give it food, give it life, grant it a beginning.

How do I catch it?


Tell me, what is the shelf life of the seed of an idea?

How long before the seed case hardens and wrinkles,

before the soft kernel dries and dies?

How long before germination is impossible, before the chance is gone?

How large a void is the storage for ideas,

How small is the seed of inspiration.

How long before the distant, pinpoint light of promise is extinguished?

How will I find it then?