Scarf Daughter

black and white:
I made it
you wear it


I don’t know how to feel only
the hands keep working
you hate the cold
we text about weather
the sun slowly moves now
across an ocean
we keep the same hours


we stood on that castle hill
sheep scattered below
dog racing slant impossible
angles everything else
insignificantly small


from the earth this chain
of lands, hands, shearers
spinners, makers
green grazing
storm sky
wear that distant sun-root
with your attitude


love is not in the saying
and not in the doing
then where? the heart only
a physical thing
blood beating regardless


it’s called infinity
but of course
there is beginning and end
seamed together
with trust it won’t unravel

Bees, Kids, Stonehenge

We breed them for calm
We hijack our own future
We will be buried
rows of standing sarsen stones
puzzling some other species
Practicing tanka for the Yeah Write September poetry slam. Also reading this article about stolen bees and this article about a new discovery near Stonehenge.

I’r Castell

To stand in this place is not to feel

the weight of history, but the treasure

of its humanity. Go on a mist-damp day

in early spring; climb through the woods

solitary, roofed and walled and floored in green.

The gate, wood-massive and iron-barred,

stands open. Pass through it and become

part of the place’s past. It is not whole,

but propped up, unreconstructed. The wind

scours and wears the stone but the footprint

is still there; listen for the echo, trace it.


Pace the vast space of the bustling kitchens

and see the girl trudge with sloshing bucket

from the well. Climb higher on centuries-worn

steps to the wall. The soldier huddles in his cloak,

blows on numb fingers. Look over the parapet,

see the line of carts and carters below, groaning,

hauling grain and meat and fuel and fodder.

Look up, to the tower. The lord in his solar

gazes across the valley, self-satisfied or afraid;

his pale daughter frowns at her needlework.


Now close your eyes and hold this, glowing,

as if you’ve drunk the magic draught

from a light-filled cup. Soon you must return

to your workaday world, but here in this space

you are someone and somewhen else, wonder-full.

The birds sing in the nearing forest, the wind

caresses the stone, the tattered flag

flaps, the fortress stands empty and alone…

until you come again.

I would have taken you to Cymru, in the west

We’d rent a car and drive the wanderers’ roads

We’d seek the house where Dylan Thomas lived


We’d walk the fields of summer sheep-cropped green

Through gates and gaps in criss-crossed dry-stone walls

In the heart of hilly Cymru, in the west


I’d carry snacks and guidebook; you, the map

You’d ask about my work, and deep in talk

We’d seek the house where Dylan Thomas lived


You’d stop and smoke and gaze up at the crags

We’d argue myth and Merlin and gray kings

In the heart of hilly Cymru, in the west


We’d stop for a pint and just at end of day

In a salt-scrubbed scruffy village by the sea

We’d find the house where Dylan Thomas lived


We’d hear the local singers spin their tales

Of loves and feats of heroes long at rest

I would have taken you to Cymru, in the west

We’d find the house where Dylan Thomas lived

Welsh Hills

I loved you before I knew you

deep-rooted, firmly based on legend

and childish dreams. No, not childish—

I loved you with steel of sword

and dragon’s fire, for your crystal

caves and heroes’ havens

your mantles of mist your still, cold pools

those crossing-places of darkness

where anything could be true


A lifelong affair—should I be ashamed?

I have met you, now

more solid and yet otherworldly

where princes once gazed

sheep now graze in grassy courts.

Your kissing gates, low stone walls

green valley views framed by moss-

crumbled doors broken stairs:

a trysting place for old souls


Inspired by today’s NaPoWriMo prompt: Write a love poem to an inanimate object.