Now falls the blossom on the snow
As through the cherry March winds blow
And through my heart the seasons flow.


A song to loving

Come, greet your day and sing with me
A song to loving, come what may!
Drink in the sunlight with the wine
And our tomorrows live today!


Blossom on the snow

Now falls the blossom on the snow
As through the cherry March winds blow
And through my heart the seasons flow.



So old and winter-worn
The apple trees of Girton,
Each ivied trunk inhabited
By female spirits, resting
After battles but not sleeping.
Soft dews of summer days,
Anoint their tired limbs,
Refresh and re-invest
Heroic minds.
The struggle is not won
And from the aged wood
New flowers must spring.

28 July 1989


The pavement is empty where once the men
Assembled after Mass to chew the cud
And roll a stringy cigarette or two,
Exchanging incense smoke for nicotine.
The women chatted homewards in the wake
Of hungry children, full of Sabbath grace,
With all the hours of Sunday yet to come,
Spread out before them like a wedding feast.
All that is gone. Where once the altar stood
And candles burned before the Lord of Hosts.
The magpies stalk and heavy builders’ trucks,
Removing rubble, send up clouds of dust.

The demolition of our parish church.
Poem finished 27.3.89

Duet for Lucy

The girl who smells of roses plays her flute
Beside her window open on the night.
From shadows and disorder in her room,
The measured notes of Bach’s partitas flow
And fall about me in the dusk beneath.
From hidden branches in the copper-beech,
The day’s last blackbird sings in counterpoint.
How still the twilight when the blackbird calls!
How still the garden where her music falls!

Given to Lucy for her 18th birthday, 1 August 1989


The ghost of a marmalade cat
Crosses my path from time to time,
Materialising from nowhere
And vanishing into nothing,
Gracefully and nonchalantly
Parading each of his nine lives
As yet unlived before the car
Caught him, helpless, in its headlights.

He is but a pale memory
Of a prince of cats, barred with light
And bursting with life beneath a
Calm and gentle disposition.
In living room and children’s beds,
His favourite spots are vacant.
Fastidious still, he now frequents
The fireside corners of my mind.

Muffin was killed on 28th November 1988.
Poem finished on 10.1.89