From: The Stone Garden: Poems from Clare


Dolmens in the clouds.
On high wires, the revellers –
whitethroats, goldfinches –
sing against hills (mauve or green,
who could say), sandstone mountains.

From the farmer

high on his tractor
each morning, a wave – stronger,
so I thought, after
our first exchange of words steeped in
the holy water of silence.

Morning walk

Always a welcome
in the wild places, some lone
warbler – a chiffchaff
perhaps – countering an oak’s
wet sigh above peaty gulfs.

Last night

the lamp off, we watched
clouds, brute black barges drifting
on ten o’clock light –
gold at melting point. No moon.
An owl’s cry. Summer gothic.


Breath by breath, taking,
surrendering life, I dwell
in the midst of wild
grasses; fields stripped, striped; spring-coiled
foxes; the sough of black wings.

Woodland trail

Lost, yes, but that meant
I caught the lake by surprise –
its sequestered gleam;
the way it was polishing
the smooth grey stones it has loved.