Monday, 30 September 2013

Beyond the Horizon

They hung him there on a day like this,
from the tall tree by the barn, a cold day.
The salt tang of the distant sea
in the bitter wind from the north.
It made his eyes water,
dragging him reluctant behind
the sweating horse, up a stepping stone path,
in half light the chasm between day, night.

He knew what they meant to do alright
- for poaching, the crime of instinct.
He looked up before they noosed him,
desperate to see God's smile
in a single sunlit ray, but stark grey
overshadowed the tawny brown earth,
the sky a darkened cauldron beyond.

And the boy's eyes left them,
sightless black in death,
as the fragrant scent of skinny rabbit
lingered in charcoal ash.

This week's image for Magpie Tales is a photograph by Mark Haley called Top Withens. If you would like to read more stories and poems based on this then please visit 

Monday, 23 September 2013

A Moth to the Flame

A Moth dances in artificial light
darting, flitting, until confused
she grasps close the source,
and her languid limbs can lie
lovingly around the orb.

Attraction is an impression,
a lover's face
in the pillow of last night's dream,
as Nature's moon beams out of reach
beyond the darkened window pane,
an almost opening
to softly kiss the joy of flight.

This week's image from Magpie Tales is The Moth and the Lamp by Cesar Santos. If you would like to read more poems and stories about this painting then please visit 

Monday, 16 September 2013

St Ninian's Map

I knew a man once, a simple man,
brave of heart. He carried the Celtic cross
beyond Hadrian's wall into the Pagan land,
Alba. A lover of nature's all, the puffin's cry and
silver fish swimming with the seal, he sought love
in God's light. A faithful few built the Candida Casa,
for him a bright white house at Hwiterne, above
the seashell shore where he walked in sun, 
rain when God's holy grace watered crops,
but the Pagans said the clouds opened anyway
as the Sun God slept.

I knew a man once, a good man.
He would sit quietly gazing at the tide, its ebb,
flow, praying for a change to Christianity.
They called him a Saint for his miracles.
He would have laughed at the propaganda,
not agreed, for all he did was give his heart
to his God, told them of a Holy Spirit
who walked the land, as he prayed to be safe
in the Lord's hands.

And solitary sometimes in a dark cave in
the earth, under the omnipotent moon Goddess'
starry sky, he must have wondered there alone
if the old Gods of creation the recalcitrant
Picts revered were so different after all.
All blessed nature's path to ease the mortal
journey into death's afterlife, called
for every man to abandon evil in his tracks.

I knew a man once. His bones were warmed
by the hearth just as mine, but the piety
of the desert fathers had inspired his soul.
The Jesus legend was a new story to be told,
retold on a cold winter's night, at the Yule Solstice.
Christians and Pagans worshiping alongside in
that same ancient place, huddled together for warmth,
a survival, for the night's breath chilled
indiscriminate to the bone.

I knew a man once, it was long ago. Bede's Ninian was my brother, his name was Uinnian.

If you would like to read more stories and poems on this week's St Ninian's image by Magpie Tales please visit 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Maybe, just maybe...

A boy needs to eat, wherever he may be
- grow bones, a strong heart.
Breakfast begins
the uncharted daily adventure,
in which it's a blessing not to be alone.

To be seated at love's table
laid by hands of every skin hue,
from religion's harvest, or not,
a simple kindness
the belief in the light joining us all.

And the boy becomes the man
who has learned how to live, be
a good father to the child within,
the ones who shall come after.
The world changes when this is so.

This week's Magpie Tales image is Boy in a Dining Car 1946 by Norman Rockwell. If you would like to read more stories and poems based on this then please visit  Thank you for reading my poem.

Monday, 2 September 2013

It's what you believe..

An earth Angel climbed slowly
up the red twig tree.
She had fallen far
onto undulating soil, rocks below,
and could hear faint dulcet tones,
the dove, a spirit on high.

Her tiny wings had yet to open, so
she perched nearby on a bare branch,
listening to the wondrous tale
the messenger told of lands afar, sights,
riches uncountenanced.
How she longed to fly, our earth Angel!

"Close your eyes and dream",
he whispered gently.
"The world above, below, is for us all.
It's yours too, believe in yourself.
A basket is full of abundance, joy,
if you think it so.
Hope and dream, earth Angel,
for we live in love and light."

This week's Magpie Tales image is by Jeannie Tomanek. If you would like to read more stories and poems based on this please visit  Thank you for reading my poem.