A Red Cardinal

A red cardinal
Flew into the house today
And lost himself in
The orange of the sofa.
Only the black line
Of his beak and the brilliant
Eyes gave him away.

Seychelles, 31 October 1968

Morning light

You lie beside me in the morning light
Still held by sleep, your hand beneath your face.
The sky is pale, the day but half begun,
And in the stillness of the morning air
Lies promise of a golden summer day.

Winter Journey

How can I describe, my beloved one,
The mountain’s glory in the morning sun?

How can I tell you of the silent glade
In the snowy depths of the forest shade?

And how shall I capture for you the spell
Of the crystal showers in the frozen dell?

Schloss Kassegg.
February 1985


So fade the lilies, their miracle complete,
And all their baroque fantasies of form and scent
No ghosts upon the ripened summer air.
We lived their moment and that time was sweet.

Visibility Poor

Five to eight,
Mist outside,
The lighthouse
Foghorn blows
And day tries
To get up.
Airport closed,
Dead taxis
Wait in lines,
No Sunday
Dull morning.
Black trees in
Grey meadows,
Still cows built
Into mist
The foghorn,
Calling down
The Cowman
Great mallet
On shoulder,
To alter
Their tethers.

15th April 1971

For Roger

The beard is grey and hair now thins apace
Which frames the contours of your Autumn face,
But mind is sharp, the body lither now
And age’s crown sits lightly on your brow.
So go you gently from your working years
To busier ones ahead and shed no tears
For what is past. That worthy task is done
And countless pupils to their futures gone.
Upon the sea a timely zephyr blows
And on the mountains lie eternal snows.
To you, great teacher, wise and laughing friend,
“Ad Multos Annos” is the wish we send.


Where will we be?

The dandelion seeds have all blown, my Love,
In the meadow down by the marsh,
And another year has all flown, my Love,
In the meadow down by the marsh.

Oh, where will we be when the bare hawthorn tree
Next fills with white may,
Next fills with white may?

The seasons of seeding are shorter each year,
The blossoms less long on the bough,
The days of our Springtime were longer by far.
The Summers more golden than now.

Oh, where will we be when the bare hawthorn tree
Next fills with white may,
Next fills with white may?