some that are precious to me.

Some that are Precious to me
– Joy

She makes her way.

A voice half grunted,
“What about you Joy?
You doing something?”

She reaches for the flute
And looks down its length
As if to eye its trueness
And twists its joints
As if to align the sights
Before assassination.

All this within
The first few steps
Still rising from the chair.

Tilting forward now,
Is it pain, her back
Or hip or knee?
Or is it the feigned
That this stance implies?
The resident band
Reaching too.
They stretch for glasses
To sup a beer
Between the numbers
That they play.

Caravan? The desert made them thirst?
Or was it ‘A’ train
Pulsing down the line,
Nearly missing the coda,
Or was it points?
Should I say pints.
Thirsty work – whatever.
No, I now remember
It was the girl from Ipanema;
Enough to make any man
Of flesh and blood sweat.

Joy adjusts her microphone
To maximum height
As she addresses the master
Master of sitting tenants
Tuning base
Adjusting drum pedals
And volumes on the amps.

What key?
What tempo?
How many intro’ bars?

Talking of bars
All have another swig
And the drummer
Drives us away.

Joy stands quite still
Apart from lips and fingers
To express those minor sevenths,
And then, quiet incidentals
with the improvisation
Her body moves
As if to help expel each note.

Joy doing
Jazz flute
Is to be heard
And observed
For sure.

A joy performed
A joy beheld.

She melts away
In the applause
Sort of deferential
But you can’t miss the inner glow.
Nor should you.

Valentine’s Joy.

Forty-Six years
Now in my Valley’s home,
With my Valentine.
My loving Lovely
In love entwine.
What greater gift
Could I design?

– Alphie

Morning Rituals.

No sooner than my foot,
Is edging out of bed,
And pressed upon the floor,
The dog is found a padding
Up the stairs, to tread
And find my bedroom door.

Handle starts to open,
Shaking, fluffy head,
With snorting heady cough,
As hindquarters wriggle
Sharpley right and left;
The curfew now is off.

He follows me, still
Minimally dressed,
To desk and second drawer
For medication found;
Blood test and insulin,
Disposing sharps for sure.

Our dog is called Alphie,
Settles next to me,
The desk beside his head.
In hope we go downstairs,
Open tins, filling bowls,
For breakfast to be fed.

Alphie’s Triumph

It’s funny how he knows
My foot, emerging bare
Is not some other’s tread
His ears are finely tuned
Identifying me
As getting out of bed.

As I sit down
On the couch,
The dog arrives
Requiring touch.

Rolls on his back,
Legs in the air!
A snorting nose
And wag wag there.

Right next to me,
In the first place,
My nod off base,
Now his furry space
For tickle tum
And wriggling bum.

Slobbering trace?
A silly case!
So repellent
A snotty nose
But I suppose
As he declares
A superior pose
Before he settles for a “doggy doze”.


–  The Garden / The back yard.

DŴR SANNAN? – I wonder!

I think the water is from Sannan’s Well,
A holy place, no distance up the hill.
I think from there
The water falls
to the waterfall
Alongside our new found home.

Our retirement’s home
Is rooted in the constant sound
Of living water,
Crashing, frothing, or bubbling as it hits the river.

And beside the flow
My summer seat
Where Wagtails
Undulate in flight.

The water falls beside the nest
Of Wagtails known as Grey.
They’re more yellow than grey to me.
Their trilling morning song
Has more colour; to match their higher pitch.

The constant sound of water falling,
With augmented chorus,
Irrigates a human soul.
A noise of peace?

Not really peace,
Or stillness either.
Yet a constant noise and movement
Quells the stirring soul,
even troubled soul,
towards … a stillness.
towards calm depths,
towards the eye of human storms.

Does Saint Sannan’s water cleanse this place?
I wonder? I wonder!

Today in the garden.

Today in the garden.
Colour finds its place.
Full of grace and pardon.
Beauty to embrace.
No room for hearts to harden,
Only delight in space.

Heron’s song

Having clambered out of bed
To find the bedroom window.
To the left above the river
At my height a moving music.

A heron passing by.
It’s ugly feet, and graceful wings
Penetrating with a jug blowing beat
During the seconds close enough to hear them sing.

Momentary joys
Make waking an anticipation
Of further intrusions. A coming day
Brightened by exhibition?

Mr. Woody

Good morning Mister Woody
Of great and spotted hue,
The feeder Joy replenished
Makes our morning too.

That crimson rump, with red patch
Back head, mean it’s a male.
Head, body; circles contort
With long, stump ended tail.

With his penetrating bill
Attends to peanut cage,
Attacking as pneumatic drill
With un-distracted rage.
Flaking, husky skins fly off
And falling to the floor
Find beak of Misses Blackbird,
Staccato thrusts for more.

When Mr. Woody, flying goes,
The nuthatch, tail side high
Is vertical, upside down
Strangely placed before the sky.

Many different ways, it seems,
Ornithologically inclined,
For pecking breakfast peanuts,
The variety of options. widely ill-defined.


Peacock butterfly

Surprise with eyes
I swore
I saw
A butterfly,
Flutter by.
Now resting with eyes shielded
A peacock wielded
Eyes to shock
Unsuspecting bird of flock
Who thinks a sneak
Snack awaits his beak.
First day of Spring

Was first day of Spring
Prim roses arrive
On cue.
Under shadowy
Wall lining Sirhowey.

As if awakened
By waterfall background.

So yellow,
But sharp.
Faithful witness
To first day of Spring.

Fresh from the ground
Marking seasonal round.

Social mobility?

Watching a snail.
Social mobility?
Time for a dementia land grab.
I wonder if crabs do it better.
Crabs that grab.
All property is theft?
The backpacker asks,
“When does me become mine.
And mine become my home.”



Seeing crocuses on a roundabout at the end of September
seemed out of place. Joy, my companion said,
“They shouldn’t be out yet.”
I thought Michaelmas was for Daisies.

Michaelmas Crocus

Were they blooming
At the top tip
Of the steeping rise?
No. Not daisies.
A sure surprise.
No daisies,
Of instant noise,
Swaying, loud,
And waves exuberantly.
Just little crocuses;
All hugging
Close to earth
In bold humility.


Snow, Snow, Snow.

Snow, snow, snow,
If only it would go,
But not all at once
Need not a flood
A slow-ish thaw
And not much more
Would help it disappear
To the river just by here.

Snow, snow, snow,
It looks so nice I know,
It covers all the slimy green,
And any else that looks obscene,
But hiding all my trouble
Can cause them all to double,
No permanent solution
Just prevents my contribution.

Snow, snow, snow,
Its too bad for the car to go,
If only it could melt enough
For ice to go, the horrid stuff,
It slips my feet from under,
Staying upright’s quite a wonder,
We want the ice – off our hands,
Least off our feet so body stands.