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?

Goldberg Variations

She was seated before me
Listening intently
The lines of her fair neck
Curving so gracefully
Down to golden shoulders.
But it was her long hair,
Plaited nonchalantly,
Which so distracted me.
From a thick auburn crown,
Three separate tresses
Set out resolutely
On their downward journey
To the small of her back,
Meandering slowly
In time to the music,
Now above, now below,
A rare relationship
Of three equal suitors,
Intimate, enfolding,
Sinuous, caressing,
Each lover approaching
The other obliquely
With the same strategy,
Now from left, now from right,
Abandoning thin
Sacrificial wisps
En route,
Each fusing finally,
Molten sand, copper, gold,
All capitulating,
Exhausted totally,
In the baroque coda
Of a black silk ribbon.

Written in St Gallen, Austria, during the music festival in Schloss Gallenstein.
August 1994

Somewhere in France

After the picnic
By a cherry tree,
We climbed to the top
Of a chalky hill
And over the brow
To cornfields beyond.
There, in sun and wind
We walked and unwound,
Rarest of moments
Completely alone,
Save for a skylark
Ascending above.
I longed to bed you
In ripening corn
But held back, restrained
By foolish taboos
And by our children
Waiting back there
Under the tree.
The thought of it
Fed my mind and body
For hours afterwards.

26 July 1986

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!


A glimpse of you

A glimpse of shoulder
Bare on the Pillow,
Set fancy moving
Beneath the covers.
You lay on your side
Facing the window,
The sheet betraying
with sweet complicity
The enticing line
of your sleeping form.

On the dunes today

I wish you had been
With me on the dunes today.
We would have rested
Among the white moss roses,
And watched the grasses flow
Before the warm wind
Like fields of ancient corn.
The sea hung misty
Between sky and blowing sand
And the larks were still.

12 June 1968


I love your warmth beside me as I lie
Cocooned in night, the small hours ebbing by,
Leaving me stranded like an errant whale,
High on a wide sandbank of sleeplessness,
A prey to fancies and imaginings.

No devils now, no banshee’s warning cries,
No terrors from a nun-conditioned childhood
Invade my thoughts and force their company,
But spirits of foreboding and of doubt,
Of melancholy and absurdity,
Hobgoblins all of chronic middle age!

You are my talisman against this night,
I stroke your thigh and put them all to flight!

20 January 1990