"Then there was silence"
In memory of 11th November 1918
The idea for this poem came from hearing an audio recording commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, in partnership with sound designers Coda to Coda, and released in 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World...
The sweetness of September’s like
A fat, full-ripened berry
As it bursts upon your tongue.
The softness of September’s like
A shimmering, silken gossamer
That drifts across your skin.
What is the moon—that single satellite
Of planet earth, spun like a ball of shot
That nestles in the unseen sling of earth-pull?
She is a fickle, restless sky-bound presence:
Sometimes a gilded orb, or lustrous pearl,
Or bright, blanched bead of desiccated bone,
Or the buttery face of childhood...
What can I say that might convey the way I feel about July?
When birdsong wanes, and a muted prayer-like stillness falls on urban streets,
When dawn breaks with the unvarying hymn of a dismal, echoing pigeon chorus,
And only the chirps of riff-raff sparrows punctuate the afternoons,...
Through winter’s dreary wastes I dream of June:
I fill the dull, grey spaces of my mind
With fantasies of summer’s luxuries,
Like honeyed vistas of a promised land…
The blackbird’s song in bursts of strawberry sweetness,
The whisper of a trillion trembling leaves,
The sun’s warmth, soothing like a...
Oh, May should be the bridal month,
When blossom showers bless the riotous undergrowth
with all their white confetti,
When ladies’ lace embellishes so delicately
every green-leaf tapestry,
And every flower-sprinkled verge
presents a meadow-fresh bouquet.
So—May, don’t be a blemished month
Of dull, swift-barren skies, opaque and...
Would you weave me an April-green garland?
Would you weave me a garland of green?
I don’t ask for a garland of flowers,
For flowers are too briefly seen.
Would you weave me a garland with birch stems?
Would you weave in some new blades of rye?
On the cusp of spring,
Like the gleaming skin of liquid tension
On the very rim of the brimful cup,
Or the curl of the slowly mounting breaker
Looming over the sea-green swell
And the scrolling undertow.
Like the quiver of the kestrel hanging on...
Oh, February is the strangest month
In which to celebrate love’s feast:
No roses bloom, no fruits entice,
No floral scents suffuse the breeze,
The sun emits no ardent warmth.
Beyond the sharp, black tracery
Of silhouetted sycamores,
The pallid moon is cast adrift
Upon a sky of chilly...