north light

Month: November 2012

daybroken fields
apricot in early sun
not yet morning

Moonlight on snow covered fields.

I am driving home through a poem, a sonata, through a dream.

The skies have cleared. Starlight. Oaks stretch against dark twilight blue.

The honk of geese overhead. I hear an owl.

Cardigan sleeves are damp from washing up. Pausing, through the window.

A brilliant flash of black and red: woodpecker at the suet. He stares, fierce, for a moment, then in a blink is gone, startled by the act of my seeing.

Grateful I am.

Grateful I am for the way the light bursts into morning, and rolls upon the hill.

Grateful I am for the chance to stand in kitchen windows stirring porridge washing dishes watching daybreak, watching goldsoft light wrap its warmth around the hill.

Grateful I am for the chance to walk in wild wet places, drenched by rain, softened by the green that follows.

Grateful I am for the way the sun breaks the morning when I look to Abbey Hill.

Grateful I am for the lens that lets me capture, that helps me notice, that wakes my seeing, that gifts my waking.

Grateful I am for the moment when the morning breaks and all else falls away, lost in the breath of the kiss of the morning, and the gold on the green of the curves of Abbey Hill.

Irish Morning

Grateful I am for that moment.

Grateful I am.

Flowers in November

You’d have to be crazy to go to Ireland in November and hope to see flowers.

I mean, it’s a cold, dark time of the year, in a wet place at the edge of the Atlantic. It is too late for flowers.

Surely the landscape will be empty, barren, just limestone, no hint of the flowers hiding waiting in the fissures of its surface.

Surely it will be wet, and wild, surely the best you could hope for is the drama of the rain scape, streaks of black marching across the horizon.

Surely you’d have to be a crazy romantic fool to hope for flowers in November.

Surely I am.

A romantic fool, pursuing poetry in dark times, seeking truth in a world full of branding, clinging to simplicity when the market says eat, work, make, breathe otherwise.

Surely I am a hopeless, romantic fool.


There were flowers.

Sea thrifts on the flaggy shore.

Sea Thrifts, Flaggy Shore

Where else would they be? The place of the poem, the pathway that’s been calling me, to walk, and keep looking for flowers, and learn what it means to live like a poem even when the words that are called ‘poems’ will not come.

And in truth I don’t know which is more foolish, to go looking for flowers in November, or risk the possibility that you won’t.

In those moments when I wonder which is more foolish, and whether it wouldn’t be easier to swallow the market and forget my dreams, you remind me.

You sweet foolish romantic dreamers, you poets and image makers, you weavers of words and stories, you declarers of independence and holders of the faith, you who still share images of light against darkness, who keep offering encouragement and possibility to others only days after the most grievous of losses – yes, I see you, I see the way you still post and click and link and smile and encourage, and you may have no idea how much courage that gives me, how much confirmation of what is true and what matters, how much affirmation of what it means to keep the faith, even when the days are dark, even when the world feels dark, even though we move through times, whether on the global stage or the heartbeats of our lives, that feel hard and dark and like the deepest gloom of November, still, we can encourage, still we can breathe, there is another way, and keep looking for the flowers, and do our own blooming dance of deepest most beautiful November.


Dedicated to Paula

Leaving No Room

sometimes there are no words
for the way the rain might
the limestone of the glen of Columkille
taking all before it

all words
all light

nothing but your eyes
sweeping the line of the rain
dark and impossibly true
as it moves through the glen

all silver
all grey

leaving no room
for the rainbow still to crack
the skies of Galway Bay
and leave you silent


all swept away

watching the valley
for fog, rising,
a silhouetted blackbird hops

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