Light Falls in Myriad Ways


singing through jewel islands

between leaden seas

of cathedral windows

brighter than skins of sugarplums

and flesh of ripe mangoes


streaming through green souls

of leaves and woven limbs of trees

to fall in amber pools

amidst twisting tangled shadows



and godlight seeps

through the glacial emptiness

between the dark meandering sadness

of you, falling in pools of gold,











Cactus flower


Through these nights and days

I brooded maroon dreams

seething from the sullen core,


turgid walls and speared spikes

my only defense against

the unrelenting cheerfulness of the sun


whilst they grew large,

clutched tight and curled

within a grey- green fist


until it can no longer be borne!

Everything hidden explodes in this stinking

star the shade of dried blood –


this, my reluctant offering, too strange

for the light of day, yet at night,

it glimmers, it glows.


Christmas night


I have seen tonight

the oneiric light

silvery- blue tint


spider-webs like shimmering

stories spread open- hearted

for those who should read them


and those with tangled threads

bunched like an elven purse

or a fist, clenched,


on eyeshine of a civet cat

darker outlined in the darkness,

the oily lines on a banded tree frog –


the selfsame light that burst forth

from barren stones

on this holy night


and all nights

when the darkness is too wide

and I stare raw-eyed


into the pinpricked sky from whence

it falls electric and whisper-soft

upn my naked face





Blessed be this time and all times

when you picked up a stone on your path –

this black one, white-speckled-


and swallowed it so that it rests

like ice or a fist curled on your heart

that feels like a sullen sky


emptied of a cut-out patch

fallen into a darkened field

where you stood still like stone


as around you the world spins

in time to a music you have forgotten

or do not remember ever knowing –


these times, sad times, times

with spaces, alone and lonely times,

when you were as a snail


creeping across the open path,

trailing silver, bearing your beautiful burden

and blazing infinity on your back.

The seed and the fledgling

One day she went out walking after a storm

had felled everything and washed

the world in gold. On the path she found


a cracked-open husk, dark-armed seedling

protruding, dropped from flame-of -the-forest,

blood-orange blossoms brooding


against the darkening, and a mynah fledgling

skin rubbed-raw and purple-pink,

open beak screeching and demanding


for what she could not freely

give. Rage rose within her

and beneath that a pity


for innocents suffering. Thus she swallowed

the seed down her,  allowed it to unfurl

its shadow-leaves throughout her and it filled


all her empty spaces deep within.

Root- feet branching in dark soil,

leaf-arms raised to the sky of stars falling,


at last she can hold the lost rubbed-raw

fledging to her heart and whisper to it

all those words nobody has ever told her.


First the slow blush, slow-moving

and bronze crossing leaves tremulous

with the wind’s heartbeat quickening –

and petrichor with its attendant longing,


then gathered anger in black-beetled brows,

raised voices, footsteps stamping on the floor.

Sky descends on earth in long charcoal shadow

and everywhere, rising petrichor.


Look up and lift your hands to the miracle

of raindrops falling, each a world of neon and orange

leaving whirls on pavements, glittering mud

and always petrichor, saudade.

Forest Pool


Today you shall take a walk

into the deep forest. Proceed

slowly into the thicket of


rustling leaves,  riangriang

of cicada, birdsong. They will not

harm you. Then pass by


the bamboo grove. Notice

how the apple-green glow

fades into teal shadows, how the light


through the trunks slants, sudden

and sharp, the same light

that tumbles like rain


from the upside-down abyss

of the gap between

the clumped crowns of trees.


Remember this light. It shall save you

should you fall, silent-screaming,

into a disused quarry, stagnant water


haunted by ghosts, regretful and vengeful

of its past. Do not linger here. Pull yourself out

clinging to the shining thread.


Sometimes at journey’s end you will discover

the still pool nestled in rocks

that shimmer rose and lavender


in the sun, overlooking the peopled forest

and on the other side, tumbling

into sea and sky. This is your gift.


Step in. Let the water run

like jewels through your hair,

cool your feet. Stay as long


as you may. Say thank you.

Walk away. Do not look back.

You shall come here again.