This blog's poems are from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and are © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. Except for author-credited review purposes, it is strictly forbidden to reproduce any of these poems elsewhere, either in part or in entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

How to purchase Star Steeds and Other Dreams

If you wish to buy this book, which is 230 pages long and is ISBN 978-1-905723-40-9, it is readily available online from its publisher, CFZ Press of Bideford, Devon, UK at and also from such major literary websites as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, W H Smith, and sellers on AbeBooks to name but a few. You can also purchase a signed copy directly from me, the author - please email me at for full details.

Available from , from , and directly from the publisher in quantities at:

Search This Blog

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my Star Steeds blog's poetry and other lyrical writings (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my ShukerNature blog's articles (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

IMPORTANT: To view a complete, regularly-updated listing of my Eclectarium blog's articles (each one instantly clickable), please click HERE!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Ever since childhood I have adored the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen, but I have always questioned whether they were truly intended for children, as many of them seem much too complex, lyrical, and often too dark for young minds to appreciate fully. Over the years, I have adapted a number of them to yield narrative poems, including this one, which is based upon my all-time favourite Andersen story.


Day was fading like a phantom
As the evening softly drew
Spangled veils above each village,
And the moon’s pale radiance grew.
Stars lit up the sable heavens
With their softly twinkling light,
Like a host of spectral lanterns
From the valleys of the night.

But below their twilit kingdom
Flew a shining image mild –
There, an angel, bearing gently
In its lovely arms a child.
For the child had died that evening,
And the angel bore it long,
As it spoke in blissful murmurs
Like a peaceful, dulcet song:

“When a good child dies, an angel
Flits from Heaven’s golden Bliss,
And embraces long this infant
With a warm and tender kiss.
Then it spreads its wings like crescents
Soaring brightly through the sky,
And with joy it takes the infant,
As through all the world they fly,
To the lands where once this youngster
Had found Happiness and Peace,
Where they gather sprigs of flowers
Whose souls then will meet release,
And will bloom with lasting beauty
In the bliss of Heaven’s calm.
But the flower the child loved dearest
Will receive a voice of balm,
And will sing with all the angels
Each rejoicing psalm and chord
In a universal chorus
Praising ever more our Lord.”

And the youngster listened softly
In a tranquil, peaceful dream,
As they passed through lovely gardens,
Over woodland vales and streams,
To the lands in which the infant
Spent its most delightful hours,
Where they’d stay to gather bouquets
Of the most resplendent flowers.

Here they saw a fragrant rose tree,
Now forgotten, all alone.
For its stem had once been broken
When the buds were but half-grown.
Now they drooped in wilting sadness,
Though the rose was still in bloom,
So enchanting, as it waited
For its end, its final tomb.

And the child sighed long, and murmured:
“Pray, dear Angel, take it too,
So that once again, in Heaven,
It may live and bloom anew.”
And the angel kissed the infant,
As it plucked the wilted rose;
And the infant’s eyes half-opened,
For they wanted not to close.
Thus they gathered many flowers:
Some were beautiful and fair,
But amidst their sprigs, the lowly
Buttercup was also there.
And the happy child spoke softly:
“We have flowers now,” he said.
And the lovely wingèd angel
Smiled, and nodded then his head.

Yet they flew not up to Heaven,
Still remaining in the town,
Which lay sleeping in the shadows
Of the evening’s dusky gown.
For they hovered long in silence
O’er a dark and narrow street
Where a rubbish pile lay, trampled
By the shoes of many feet.
And the angel pointed downwards
To a dim, deserted spot
Where a large white flower lay shrivelled
By a broken plaster pot.
For the flower had been discarded,
Thrown away and left to die.
But the angel said: “This also
We shall take, and as we fly
Up to Heaven I shall tell you
Then the story of this flower”.
So they onwards flew, as Morning
Lit the dawn’s first rosy hour

“There, below,” the angel murmured,
“Lived a sick, bedridden boy,
In a cellar where the sunlight
Was his comfort and his joy
When on crutches he could hobble
Round his tiny, darkened room,
As the sun’s caressing shaftlets
Filtered softly through its gloom.
And, when on such days he sat there,
Bony fingers thin and red
With the flow of blood within them,
“He’s been out,” his parents said.

“One fair spring, the neighbour’s youngster
Brought a leafy beech tree bough,
Which the poor sick boy would dangle
O’er his head, and wonder how
Bright and happy he would be if
He could sit beneath the trees
In the forest every summer
‘Midst the coolness of the breeze.

“Then the neighbour’s son collected
Many sprigs of springtime flowers
From the woodlands’ verdant arbours
And the valleys’ leafy bowers.
And amongst them was a white flower
With its fragile roots preserved,
Which, when watered in a plant pot,
As a small flower garden served.
Thus it flourished, sending blossom
Forth each sunny summer’s day,
And it gave him hope and comfort
In its simple humble way.
Soon it entered e’en his dreamworld,
As it bloomed for him alone.
And as e’er he watched, it seemed that
Even fairer had it grown.
For its beauty was his pleasure,
And its spirit was his breath.
And towards his flower, forever,
Still the boy turned, e’en in death.

“For a year the flower had stood there,
Lone, forgotten by the world
When the boy flew up to Heaven
Where a new World lay unfurled.
And when finally his parents
Moved away to other lands,
They forgot the drooping flower, and
So it met with stony hands,
For into the street they threw it,
Like an old and broken toy.
But the happiness and comfort
That it brought to that sick boy
Is the reason we have placed it
In our nosegay with the rest.”
And the child was filled with pleasure,
As with wonder was he blessed.

“Yet how knowest you of all this?”
Asked the small, enquiring child.
And the angel answered gently
With a murmur calm and mild:
“Every word I spoke is true, and
Now the answer I shall tell –
For I was myself that sick boy,
Yes, I know my dear flower well.”

And the infant’s eyes were opened,
Filled with Happiness and Love,
For they then, at that same moment,
Were in Heaven far Above.
And the infant, like the angel,
Now had sweeping snowy wings.
And together flew they softly
Hand in hand, in endless rings,
While, their lives renewed forever,
All their flowers bloomed full of joy.
But the happiest by far was
Still the small flower of the boy,
For it gained a voice in Heaven,
And with blessed delight it sang
With the seraphim forever
As the chimes of Heaven rang.
For the wondrous bliss of Heaven
Stretches on without an end.
And fore’er its peaceful radiance
Shall, to all, God’s message send.

But of all God’s great creations
Shaped by loving Hands of Power,
None could be more truly happy
Than that white once-withered flower,
Which sang ever to its Father,
For its joy was now complete,
Saved from Death and borne to Glory
From a dark and narrow street.

Monday, 20 December 2010


This poem borrows, adapts, and interweaves a number of separate strands – the legend that the cruciform marking present on every donkey’s back was placed there by Jesus in gratitude for being carried by one of their kind during His triumphant procession into Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday; the idea of that particular donkey being granted immortality, so that it has secretly survived in unchanging form down through all the centuries into the present day; and its chance discovery one Christmas morning by a group of children who have no idea of its origin or significance.


Christmas drifts silently downwards ‘ere Morning
Rises from dreams through the depths of the sky,
Softly caressing each child wrapped in slumber –
Sleeping in peace as the stars twinkle by.

And in a field stands a little brown donkey,
Gazing through Space from an icicled world,
Nuzzling the snow with his soft velvet muzzle,
Shaking its crystals from eyelashes curled.

Now, as he pauses, the dawn flushes brightly,
Blushing like rose petals strewn from Above,
Waking the children with murmurs from Morning,
Carolling joyfully anthems of Love.

Soon they chase merrily into the garden,
And as they sing of what Christmas will yield,
One of them points to the little brown donkey,
Standing alone in the snow-covered field.

Swiftly they race through the shimmering snowflakes,
Up to his paddock with eager delight,
Each to embrace him with warm, tender kisses,
Melting the snow in its spiralling flight.

And as he brays in the midst of the children,
Gaily they deck him with tinsel and flowers –
Joyfully plucked from their Christmas tree’s branches –
Glistening brightly in colourful showers.

But as the heavens’ first frost-killing sunlight
Glints from each bauble and gleams from each boss,
Softly a shadow falls over his shoulders,
Sombre and still in the shape of a Cross.

And as he stands there, a tear trickles slowly
Down through his lashes in sorrowful flight,
As he remembers through centuries countless,
Whom he’d once carried with love and delight.

Palms and hosannas regaled him in triumph,
There on his back sat our Saviour and Lord,
Smiling and nodding to people and children,
Standing all round in a vast, cheering hoard.

“Why did they spurn Him, betray Him, and kill Him –
Nailed to that Cross and then left there to die?”
Still the poor donkey weeps long at the memory,
Held for Eternity deep in his eyes.

And as the children, not seeing his sorrow,
Run away laughing, the donkey’s warm heart
Burns with a passionate love so intense that
Not e’en the chill of the icicles’ darts

E’er could refrigerate, e’er could extinguish,
Burning in silence this cold Christmas Day,
Lingering still, like the Cross’s dark shadow –
Borne from a green hill so far, far away.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Dragon (Dr Karl Shuker)

What would happen, I wonder, if, tired of being slain by knights errant, the ancient dragons of evil decided to adopt new guises in order to survive and continue spreading their malign influence within the modern world of mankind?


Are you there, o monstrous dragon,
Coal-black scales like pools of Night?
Are your hellfire eyes still burning,
Flaming orbs of scarlet light?

Do your spiralled horns still glitter
On your brow like evil towers?
And your heart of bitter longing,
Does it bloom like fiery flowers?

Old you are, yet ever-changing,
No more gusts of toxic breath,
Spurts of fire through roaring nostrils,
Beating wings, or gaze of death.

Smitten by St George’s valour,
Risen now to strike anew,
Born again in new disguises,
More deceptive now, as through

All the lands you steal unnoticed,
No more talons, scales, or flame.
Now you dress in human garments,
Yet your soul remains the same –

Tempting human minds to vanquish
All the love they know is true,
In the guise of friends or kinsfolk,
Those that they feel closest to.

So beware of all such dragons,
Different though they may have grown.
They alone Death dare not call on,
Lest they turn e’en him to stone.

Friday, 12 November 2010


It was my mother who introduced me to the evocative light-classical compositions of English composer Albert Ketèlbey (1875-1959). Many of his best-loved compositions were thematic, such as ‘In a Chinese Temple Garden’, ‘In a Persian Market’, ‘In the Mystic Land of Egypt’, and perhaps his most famous work of all, ‘In a Monastery Garden’. It was while listening to this lovely composition one afternoon that the idea came for the following poem, which I duly wrote while the strains of Ketèlbey’s music played on, inspiring and shaping it into its final form.


Out of the nightmare of War’s raging battle
Struggled two soldiers away from the field,
Walking in silence so far from their homeland,
Hoping that somewhere a vision would yield,

One that would show them why War must continue,
Why they must struggle when all else seems lost,
Why so much bloodshed should lie over Europe,
Death being Victory’s ultimate cost.

And as they wandered, they heard from a clearing
Singing and psalms drifting softly all round,
As in the branches a nightingale’s lilting
Filled all the vales with melodious sound.

There, up ahead, lay a monastery’s garden,
Golden and peaceful in sun-dappled bliss;
Fountains danced brightly in dazzling crescendos,
Flowers stretched up longing for sunlight’s warm kiss.

Here the two paused, looking into the garden;
Then to the gate they approached side by side,
Gazed for a time, and, refreshed by its beauty,
Opened it slowly and entered inside.

And in the wonder and peace of the garden,
Each sat there thinking of all that was past,
Knowing that they could reshape the world’s future,
Knowing that freedom forever could last.

Blossom fell gently upon the two soldiers,
Fragrant and fragile as transient dreams,
Bringing them sleep to escape from the fighting,
Hiding War’s shadow with Light’s golden beams.

And in their dream stood an Angel of Mercy,
Towering over the spectres of War,
Till, when his countenance gazed on these phantoms,
Each one was shrivelled, and War was no more.

Now, when they woke, they possessed a new wisdom,
Knowing at last what their fighting must bring;
Blessed with new Hope ‘midst Despair’s cloak of Panic,
Hearing the churchbells for Victory ring.

And as they sat there, they talked of the battle,
Each one now conquering War’s bitter Dread.
Then, as the first paused in thought for a moment,
Up stood the other in silence, and said:

“Never has so much been lost by so many,
Lost in the dream of a kingdom of Peace,
Hoping their sons will be born into Freedom,
Praying that by their own deaths War will cease.

“Never again must our world be divided,
Fighting in vain for the pleasure of War;
Next time the war will not end with our dying,
Next time our world will be lost ever more.”

Then they walked slowly away from the garden,
Back to the fighting, the guns, and the war.
Yet they knew not of the Presence who watched them,
For they looked back not, and so never saw

There in the garden an Angel stood softly –
He who had sent them their vision of Peace –
Watching them go to a world draped in Sorrow,
Doomed till their fighting could bring them release.

And as they vanished, the Seraph spoke softly:
“Eden was lost to you, children of Greed;
Never again must such war come to being,
Next time from Woe you will never be freed.

“Next time your fighting will be your destruction,
Mankind will wither, and Mankind will die.
And of the world left polluted with Evil,
Only a mushroom will rise through the sky.”

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Poster for 'Le Ballon Rouge'

In 1956, French film-maker Albert Lamorisse directed a short but enchanting film entitled ‘Le Ballon Rouge’ (‘The Red Balloon’), which featured a small Parisian boy (played by the director’s own son, Pascal) who encountered a large red balloon that seemed to have a life and will of its own. Tragically, a gang of bullies saw the boy with it, pursued them, and finally burst the balloon, only for a host of other balloons all over Paris to break free of their strings and rescue the boy by lifting him up into the sky and carrying him safely away on a breathtaking flight above the rooftops of the city. I saw this poignant but delightful film as a child, when it was shown on British television during the late 1960s, and its magic remained with me long afterwards, giving me the idea for a children’s poem about a balloon, but written as if it were almost a living entity.


Like an animated bubble
Bobbing gaily through the sky,
Nodding happily to cloudlets
As it gently dances by.

Spinning swiftly o’er the meadows,
Just a merry, bouncing clown,
Bowing joyfully to Heaven
As it spirals up and down.

Soon it whirls amidst the woodlands,
Here a gaudy, twirling sphere
Rolling slowly down the branches
Like a bright, gigantic tear.

Then some splinters stroke it softly
As around the trees it wends,
But their fond embrace is fatal,
And its life is at an end –

Bursting loudly into pieces;
But, as hours so swiftly pass,
Who will miss a merry bubble
Lying dead amongst the grass?

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


My street of Yesterday, the subject of this poem, is a side street in Wednesbury, in the West Midlands, England, where my grandparents and great-aunts once lived in a small but lovely old house, and where I spent many happy days every year throughout my childhood and teenage years. Although they are all long departed now, whenever I walk down this street today – whether in reality or only in my mind – I never see it as it is, but only as it was – back in those far-off youthful days when it was home to those dear folk who loved me so much.


Along that strangely silent street
Of Yesterday I strolled,
Where humble ragworts gaily tossed
Their joyful heads of gold
Above the gleaming wisps of grass
That peered through pavements worn,
Beneath the silken spiderwebs
Suspended old and torn
Between the ruddy bricks and slabs
Of broken tumbling walls -
Where oft I watched lithe centipedes
Laboriously crawl
On countless pairs of trembling legs,
As sparrows chattered long,
Or breathlessly in torrents poured
Out eager, scolding songs.

For here, a thriving neighbourhood
Survived through two World Wars,
And from its ceaseless gossiping
There never seemed a pause.
But all things end and soon are lost,
As progress marches on,
For Future has no time for Past,
Its ancient dreams far gone.
And as I watch, a pang vibrates
Within my beating heart,
That all my childhood dreams of Life
Should all too quickly part
Like curtains drifting back through Time,
Till, fading from my sight,
They pass fore’er from Memory
In dismal, clouded flight.

And as the leaves around my feet
In rustling dances whirl,
A tear runs slowly down my cheek
Like some reluctant pearl,
But as I gaze, my memories
Flood quickly back once more.
I see again a tiny house,
And watch its open door
Swing to, as phantoms from my past
Continue on their way,
All unaware of future worlds,
Of other, unborn days,
As like a rushing stream of ghosts
Each vision flashes by,
Recapturing their long-lost forms
Within my watching eye –

Like characters from fairy tales,
Now distant, far, and gone.
For like a living carousel
Our world moves ever on,
Till one fine day we’ll see again
Those kingdoms of our past,
And then, like they, as phantoms we
Forever more shall last,
Amidst the world that we knew best,
For all must fade and die,
And pass at last beyond the clear
Blue shadow of the sky.
And as I turn, a last farewell
Upon my ear is cast,
For still my dreams are haunted by
The murmurs of my past.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010


Patch (Dr Karl Shuker)

My very first dog was Patch, a rough-haired Jack Russell terrier, whom I loved dearly. As he grew older (he lived for twelve and half years – a good age for his breed), he became ever more relaxed, but in his younger days, like all puppies, he took great joy in waging war with the world outside. Yet with us he was a gentle, intelligent little soul, filled with love and wisdom far beyond his species.


A little whiskered face enquires
If he may join me by the fire,
For oft we sit, just he and I,
And watch the red flames flicker by.

And though the night be dark and cold,
He slumbers, reaching Sleep’s calm fold
Of visitors to dreamy lands,
With silent shores and silver sands.

Yet when he wakes, he sits up straight,
Or if he’s sleeping, and we’re late,
He growls in puppy-thunder tones
For ending dreams of juicy bones.

But then he’s up, and runs outside
To see if any cat dares ride
His fence with velvet paws of steel
That, five curved silver claws, conceal.

And if there is a bird in flight
His anger makes a dreadful sight,
As gates are mauled in raging storms
Of fury from this tiny form.

But when the world is still and calm,
Then he bodes no-one any harm.
And two dark eyes gaze up at me,
So brown and warm for all to see.

Those eyes: like liquid pools of Thought,
So dark and deep, for Nature caught
The intellect of other minds,
Of his and human thoughts combined

When she designed those shining wells
Of secrets he can never tell.
For we know not his canine speech,
As we have no-one who can teach

Us his strange tongue of howls and barks,
So we are e’er left in the dark
As to his knowledge of our world,
And truths that ne’er will be unfurled.

And yet he understands our speech,
Though he had no-one who could teach
Him, so as Life just flits us by,
Who is the dumb one – he, or I?

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


I wrote this poem as a paean of praise to Nature – and, indeed, to Supernature, even Ultranature, perfect Nature beyond humanity’s normal sensory perceptions – and to its glory through all eternity, as personified by Perpetua.


Through sleepy vales of pastel green
I passed, one Summer morning;
‘Neath dreaming skies of blissful blue
Reborn with Daylight’s dawning,
While faraway the ocean’s roars
Still echoed long from silent shores.

And on I strolled, ‘neath golden clouds,
Past dancing, crystal fountains
That leapt and sang in sparkling joy
From lilac, snow-capped mountains
Like diamond stars with lucent glee,
And blessed by Immortality.

And through the skies the sun was drawn
By two emblazoned horses
That raced along a burnished trail –
Two crimson, fiery forces
With streaming tails like scarlet lyres,
And scorching eyes like dancing fires.

Still on I passed through glades of trees –
Tall, silver dendroids gleaming
Like astral arcs with spangled boughs,
And fragrant flowers beaming,
Pulsating light in fragile streams
Like cloudy, half-forgotten dreams.

Ah, Nature! Truly thou art here,
Amidst thine own perfection,
In this, thy world of unborn dreams,
For who could give correction
To this, thy realm, and thine alone,
Which Time’s own seeds could not have sown.

And meadows flecked with sleeping flowers
Lay far into the distance –
For Nature gave them love of Life,
The will for their existence –
Exuding sweet, enchanting scent
That zephyrs’ drifting murmurs sent

Across the cerulean hills
To kiss the mauve reflections
Of pool and lake in lilac groves,
Translucent, clear perfections,
Each rippling long, with violet torqued,
As turquoise swallows skimmed and hawked.

And here I see thou dwellest too,
Perpetua, my dearest,
Whose eyes reflect the vales of Space
Like pools of beauty clearest.
For here thou too can seek release,
For here alone thou findest Peace.

Ah, Peace! I see thy figure bright –
A slender, tranquil maiden
Amidst the elvish vales and woods,
All intricately laden
With gauzy webs of spider-thread
In rippling green and blushing red.

So look into the western skies
And see her shadow shining –
A smiling face with deep blue eyes
As pure as Heaven’s lining.
And there, amid the clouds above,
A Sign is born – a snowy Dove.

Perpetua – all knowest thee –
Celestial, immortal –
Who passes e’er through Space’s door,
Through Time’s eternal portal,
To other worlds concealed from all,
Till all receive the Shining Call.

And from the rainbow’s golden end
The souls of Colour fluttered
In evanescent cloudy drifts,
As ageless mountains muttered
‘Neath shattered brows of crumbling stone,
As old and pale as whitened bone.

And all around lies Space, supreme –
A vacuum dark, unending –
Which bore thee once, Perpetua,
To send thy spirit wending
From wells of Time to strange new worlds
Where dormant Life would be unfurled.

And so, as star steeds raced in joy
Across their twinkling haven,
I took my leave of Nature’s bliss
‘Neath darkened mountains graven.
For Time is swifter still, it seems,
And past are all my Nature dreams.

For now I wake, once more alone
Amidst my own surrounding.
Yet still within my sleepy eyes
The star steeds’ souls are bounding.
And still, Perpetua, I see
Thee shining far ahead of me.

Yea, ever will I see thy face
Before my life’s ambition,
As e’er wilt thou personify
My lifetime’s expedition,
Till I no more this world shall see,
For, yea, thou art Eternity.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


No-one who has visited Stonehenge, as I first did a decade or so ago, can fail to be impressed by its aloof, stark grandeur, embodying a remote agelessness that effortlessly transcends the tedious minutiae of our modern-day world – hearkening back instead to an unimaginably distant time, yet quite conceivably lingering on, unblemished, long after we have vanished elsewhere, leaving behind a dead, desecrated planet to this ancient monument’s silent, eternal vigil.


Like a ring of empty windows
‘Neath the mirrors of the sky,
Draped in silhouettes of Silence
As the evening’s phantoms die

In the hush of newborn dawnings
From the clouds each hung in sleep,
While the moon sinks down to slumber
And the stars so softly weep.

But these pinnacles of Shadow
Notice not those tears of dew,
Theirs is Past alone – not Present –
From which long ago they grew

Changing ne’er, as if forgotten
By the sentinels of Time,
While the winds breathe murmured echoes
Like a stream of ghostly chimes

Through their empty arching doorways
To the meadows of the Past,
For their pagan ring of darkness
Seems forever more to last,

Like a cold, unending nimbus
Where the sun has never shone.
And their ancient chill still lingers
As their dismal forms stretch on

In a mesmerising circle,
Like a world removed from all,
While the years flit by, pale shadows
‘Neath their stony, rugged walls.

They have watched the silver starships
Glide away through silent Space,
Growing fainter every moment
Till they passed beyond their face.

And behind, a dying planet
Drew its last polluted breath
‘Neath a shroud of radiation
‘Ere it sank away to death.

Yet these sombre tombs of Silence
Lingered still though all had gone,
Penetrating through the darkness
As their forms stretched ever on.

They – alone – who could not crumble;
They – alone – who could not die;
Still persisting, silhouetted
‘Gainst a vacant, empty sky.

Friday, 16 July 2010


I owe not only my lifelong love of poetry but also my own inspiration to write poetry to this poem, which was a joint effort between myself and my mother. It began life as a school assignment at a time when I had yet to make any serious attempt at writing poetry. My mother wrote the outline of it, which I then expanded, and in so doing realised how much I was enjoying creating an original poem. And the rest, as they say, is history. The narrator of the poem is me, as a youngster; Mary-Rose is my mother, Mary Shuker; and the airman represents my mother’s first husband, a young RAF pilot called Harold Hooper, who died shortly after World War II ended, as a direct result of the war.


My friend and companion is dear Mary-Rose,
A great nature lover as everyone knows.
She travels with me over long country miles,
Through deep greening woodlands and over the stiles.

She took me one day to her favourite place,
The sun shining brightly, the wind in her face.
She suddenly looked sad, a lone tear on her nose,
And winds whispered softly of dear Mary-Rose.

She said: “My young husband, a long time ago,
Would always come here when his spirits were low.
He’ll never again come to this lovely spot,
Will never again feel the sun, oh so hot.”

And then she just smiled, and said: “Come on, young man,”
And into the dingle she laughed as she ran.
We’re going to watch birds, and excitement soon grows;
And a young airman whispers: “Goodbye, Mary-Rose”.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


Tigers have always fascinated me, but I was only too aware that any attempt to capture this great cat’s beauty and power in verse would be fraught with the peril of comparison with William Blake’s spellbinding ‘Tyger Tyger’. Nevertheless, eventually the lure of challenge became too great, and the following poem is my own tribute to this most magnificent, and terrifying, of creatures.


Deep in the primeval fires of the cosmos
Death was released from his shimmering tomb,
And as they danced in the dawn of Creation
Death bore a child from the flames of their womb.

You were that child, spawned by Death’s great Inferno,
Hidden on Earth ‘neath his Shadow of Fear,
Shrouded by Night until Heaven sent sunlight,
Then, by its silhouette, did you appear.

Who could have known that such beauty held terror
Deep within radiant emerald eyes,
Wrought and emblazoned in Death’s blazing furnace,
Dewdrops of fear like the tears that you cry?

Space cannot hold you, and Time dare not chain you,
None can oppose you in glittering might.
Ebony ripples lash amber resplendence,
Scorning the shame of the sun’s feeble light,

Scorching through Night like a firebrand of crimson,
Shredding the skies with each thunderous breath.
Yet, though so splendorous, e’er are you deadly,
Chilling in form, for your beauty is Death.

Friday, 25 June 2010


Although much of my poetry is of the rhyming variety, I have ventured from time to time into the less constrained world of prose, as with this composition.


A vibrant whirring of wings filled the room, and I gazed up to see a large, bewildered fly whirling wildly round and round in dizzy, eccentric circles, periodically crashing into the deceptively transparent freedom of the windows, only to buzz around once more in unceasing, dazed convolutions.

“Kill it!” I thought, spearing it with dark, forbidding eyes like chilling sabres of death, as it spiralled above like a demented spirit drawn ever downward to damnation, pausing momentarily to wring its suckered appendages in expressionless despair.

But as my arm rose like a shadowed scythe of fear, the hopelessness of its plight enveloped me, and I sat back as if I were a lonely silhouette bowing before the inevitability of Fate, for I was stricken by the similarity of our twin existences.

Why, are we not from parallel worlds? You – from an outward macroworld, while I grope ever through an inward microworld. For I too am continually searching for the knowledge of my own fate, chasing alone through the endless channels and lonely corridors of my own mind, seemingly devoid of hope beneath such curtains of gloom, searching for that which eludes me, passing through empty chambers of nothingness

This is my unknown, this is my Eternity – an eternity of hopeless dreams of fulfilment. A door lies open, a mirror lies within, and from its glass-illuminated interior a colourful circus clown gazes out. But the clown is weeping, for I myself am peering into the mirror – a mirror reflecting only my innermost feelings and beliefs.

And as I look, eyes bear down upon me, and faces appear. The world is watching, and waiting. People are murmuring, and raucous laughter surrounds me. Where am I to go? Only Fate can tell me. Yet I am unable to ask.

And so the world continues, the people turn away, finding some other source of amusement, while I am left to chase ever on through the phantoms of my own melancholia.

Thus my sympathy, little fly, is yours – we are both lost in alien worlds. Mine is of my own making, mine to endure. But yours may be replaced by your natural realm via my intervention, for yours I see through inward-reflecting mirrors, though you can never hope to see mine through your myriad-faceted orbs. Mine is yours inversely, and where they meet, there one day someone shall find the ultimate Truth.

So leave now, and forget the unforgettable. Why should we both suffer? Why should one stranger die by the hand of another?

I slowly arose again, almost as if I were a vast statue awakened from a deep sleep of petrification, and moved forward.

I raised my hand like a crescendo of silver trumpets, I opened the window and let the fly go.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


Image by Erté

In Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the mother of the nine Muses, and was also the personification of memory. But just how accurate, how reliable, are our memories? For when we look back at our life, how much of what we remember is real, and how much is what we’d have liked it to have been?


Dark, still, enshadowed, the mirror of Mnemosyne,
Moonlight encircling its chill, quicksilvered face.
Standing beside it, the masked goddess of Memory,
Ageless, all-seeing, transcending time and space.

Dare for a moment to gaze into her looking-glass,
See what you may in its crystalline mirage,
Brimming with happiness, hope, despair, and tragedy,
Each mood reflected upon its pale visage.

Do not anticipate viewing your own imagery,
Nor will your past be recaptured and displayed.
All you will see is the sum of your remembrances,
Rose-tinged distortions, each summoned and replayed.

These are your yesterdays, edited and modified,
Transformed by memory, shaped and cast anew.
Now just as real as the past itself had ever been,
Dreams become history, tangible and true.

So, as you linger, your captive eyes still mesmerised,
Drawn through the depths of the mirror’s sable pool,
Who can be sure that the past is not a fantasy,
Mocking our minds like the laughter of a fool?

Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Loch Ness monster (Richard Svenssen)

This wouldn’t be a book of mine if cryptozoology didn’t rear its head in it somewhere! So here, for mystery beast lovers everywhere, is a little snippet of crypto-history – the very first piece of writing that I ever penned (over 30 years ago!) in relation to the most famous cryptid of all. Nessie, this one’s for you!


Through swirling mists of early morn,
Across the loch’s dull light,
A dark shape moves with hidden power,
Then disappears from sight
Beneath Loch Ness’s mirky cloak
Of water black and cold.
What lives in this vast underworld,
In Ness’s misty fold?

What creature thrives below the waves,
Beneath the surface grim?
What beast appears in photographs –
Obscure, opaque, and dim?
What creature gave the myths and tales
From bygone days new fame?
Of water horses, fierce, malign,
Which from the waters came,
To strike the hearts of every man
With terror of their forms.
The kelpies – dark, malignant ghosts,
And harbingers of storms.

So what gave all these legends life –
A creature huge in size,
With tiny horns and rhomboid limbs,
And glowing, deathless eyes?
A relic from the ancient past,
Disturbed by modern worlds?
It will be long, indeed, before
This secret is unfurled.

Sunday, 23 May 2010


'The Rose Garden' (Carl Frederick Aagaard, 1833-1895)

I wrote this poem in fondest tribute to my dear grandmother, Gertrude Timmins, who, throughout the summer each year, would spend many happy hours most days in her garden of roses, lovingly tending their showy blooms, and where as a child I too spent many equally happy hours with her. Sadly, my Nan and her garden are both long gone now, but for me they are captured forever within the kindly mirror of Memory, and for the rest of the world within my verses here.


Each sunny Summer afternoon
Amongst her roses royal
A widow old as Time itself
Laboriously would toil.

Her roses grew like ruby crowns
‘Midst thorns and rich green leaves.
So full of life, they seemed to speak,
Or so she would believe.

They lived for Beauty, Truth, and Life,
Like crimson furls of fire,
Whose rosy petals upwards soared,
E’er seeking to be higher.

Their scarlet hearts beat long and loud;
They only lived, it seemed,
To keep their beauty fresh and true,
Or so the lady dreamed.

For though the plants around them drooped,
They stayed unchanged through Time,
As if their very beauty gave
Them Life and Peace sublime.

And even when their own leaves died,
Their blooms rose up still higher –
Their love of Beauty burning more
Than any scorching fire.

They were their owner’s greatest joy,
For them she journeyed on,
Through Life’s strange world of constant change,
Her younger years far gone.

Till one fine morn she passed from sight,
Dismissing Life’s dark lane,
And to her flowers her soul returned,
Ne’er leaving them again.

Perhaps one day her form we’ll glimpse
Through Summer’s sunlit hours –
A Queen amongst the whispers of
Her bowing court of flowers

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


This is one of many poems written by me that attempt to convey in words a detailed picture, or, more specifically in this particular instance, a mood-picture – combining the subtle changes of light and sound that attend the coming of day with the birth of new thoughts and aspirations that accompany my own awakening.


Softly the skies part their star-dappled curtains,
Drifting from sight as the shadow of Morn
Lights up their world with her heavenly candles
Held in the warm golden hands of the dawn.

And as I watch, all alone with the morning,
Thoughts dance and ripple from dream-spangled eyes,
Racing in silence like ebony islands
Gliding through twilight ‘neath faraway skies.

Onward they soar through the shimmering moonlight –
Guiding them gently through sapphire seas,
Hushed by the whispering winds of the evening,
Soothed by the murmuring songs of the trees.

Far from the morning that beckons before me –
Stirring my mind with mellifluous strains –
Onwards they fly to where moons shower their teardrops
Downwards from Heaven as pearl-polished rain,

Sweeping the cosmos in gleaming crescendos,
Spiralling softly round turrets of dreams,
Sparkling through colonnades hewn out of starlight,
Shooting past filigree, fountain-borne streams,

Fading from sight as the morning now greets me,
Sweeping my dreams from awakening eyes
Far to the evening like pale ghosts of autumn,
Leaving me gazing at bright newborn skies –

Laughing through mirrors of radiant sunlight –
Lighting my life like a scintillant shore
Softly caressed by the ocean’s reflections;
New worlds are calling – and dreams are no more.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Painting by Lei Cheng

Many moons ago, I came upon the name Elvina, which entranced and captivated me, refusing to relinquish my mind from its sweet melancholic enchantment until eventually I penned the following verses, granting it a story and a reality, and in so doing releasing me at last from its haunting charm.


When through the violet pool I look,
To see what Fate may show,
Your smiling face still haunts my thoughts
Of worlds from long ago,

When you and I stood here, amidst
Each dappled glade and grove,
And in your hair a flower shone
Through hazy mists of mauve.

And all around your slender form
The trees in silence stood,
And murmured long your elvish name,
A name so pure and good –

A name as old as Time itself,
Yet bright as sparkling streams.
And in your eyes I saw a world
I visit still in dreams –

A noble world of elvish grace,
Where you no longer are.
And only night birds see my tears
Beneath each silent star,

Like dewdrops on the ruffled grass,
Like pearls upon the flowers,
As I among the woodlands sit
Through many starlit hours,

‘Ere morning calls me back once more
To mortal lands and time.
And then I leave this other world
Of memories sublime.

But still I see your smiling face
Within the lucent pool,
And so I stroke its surface bright,
And feel its ripples cool

Embrace my slender fingers ‘ere
Your image fades and dies,
To leave me gazing through the blue
Reflection of the skies.

Yet though beyond me you have passed,
From my world you have gone,
With elvish charm, Elvina, still
You are my lovely one.

Monday, 5 April 2010


One of the most mesmerising figures in fantasy literature must surely be the Snow Queen as conceived by Hans Christian Andersen. Here is my tribute to the alluring, illusive kingdom of snow and its bewitching, pitiless monarch.


A wilderness, white and unending,
Lay waiting, my soul to enfold,
As softly its slim, chilling fingers
Froze even my whispers with cold.

Its shimmering mantle draped slowly
My ankles with starflakes of snow,
While winds from the chateaux of Winter
Sent billowing murmurs of woe

Through clouds each suspended from Heaven
O’er landscapes enveloped in white,
As faintly a polar sun flickered –
A candle of shivering light.

And ever the icicles glittered,
Like pendants transparent and cool,
And ever the visage of Winter
Laughed softly through crystalline pools,

While snowflakes drew pale, bitter petals
O’er window, and garden, and door,
As slowly my steps led me onwards,
But only a nothingness saw.

For grimly the blizzard lashed downwards –
A phantom as chilling as Death –
As ever I strove to avoid it,
To turn from its glacial breath.

But Winter’s pale wraiths sang out softly,
And slowly their song drew me on,
Till, howling, the winds quelled their music,
And when I looked up, they were gone.

Yet there, in their stead, just beyond me,
The Snow Queen stood, calling my name.
To struggle was futile, was useless,
As ever approaching she came.

Her arms stretched out glowing towards me,
Enticing me nearer to Doom,
As, frozen, my spirit lay dormant –
A ghost in a windowless room.

Her eyes laughed in terrible silence,
Cold diamonds of shimmering blue.
And closer I stumbled towards her,
As stronger her influence grew,

Till spectres of snow loomed all round me
Like phantasms shapeless and pale,
Enshrouded in misty grey mantles,
And spangled with gemstones of hail.

Then softly a Voice spoke beyond them:
“Walk on – to your world, and your home.”
The sun shone forth strongly above me,
A beacon from Heaven’s bright dome.

And when I looked onwards, the Snow Queen
Grew wan in the sun’s holy light
Until, like a great mournful shadow,
Her form passed away from my sight.

And silence once more lay behind me,
Retracing my vanishing track.
And ever the sun led me onwards.
And nothing again called me back.

Friday, 26 March 2010


When writing, I often find myself returning to certain themes and motifs – mirrors and reflections, shadows and phantoms, parallel worlds, the past and future uniting, solitude, silence, and God. All of these, and more, can be found here.


Who stands ‘neath the eaves draped in shadows?
Who dwells ‘midst the darkness of Night?
Who calls with a whisper of pathos,
In sorrowful, meaningless flight?

“I stand – ‘midst the dusk of the evening;
I call – from the far side of Time;
I flit – ‘midst the valleys of Sadness,
Rhyme lacking in reasonless rhyme.

“I call – I alone, I unnoticed
In Morning’s pale sun-shadowed dawn.
I call – from the noontide’s bright wonder,
As I through all kingdoms am borne.

“I dwell ‘midst a grey world of Shadow
E’erlasting, past all mortal sight –
A parallel world, silhouetted
In pools’ depthless doorways of Light.

“And here you may see me reflected –
A phantom transparent in Space.
And in your eyes, Memory-painted,
Look inward to witness my face –

“A face from the Past and the Future,
Recaptured and borne into being –
A shadow – till stand I unblemished,
An infant before the All-Seeing.”

Monday, 15 March 2010


Sometimes, not even death is the end…


High above the greening woodlands,
In the alpine mountainlands,
Sat a tiny village church where
Dappled shadows lay in bands,

Sheltering the humble building
Where I passed one fleeting day,
Up the grassy slopes and hillside
To the clearing where it lay.

And inside, sweet hymns were floating
To the altar and the aisle,
Sung by unseen ghostly voices,
Hymn books rustled for a while,

Yellow pages, worn and battered,
Trembling in the cooling air,
And the stained-glass picture windows
Shone arched rainbows everywhere.

And when all was still and quiet
I moved out, and felt the breeze
Curling round the blooming flowers,
Bustling through the leafy trees.

All lay silent in the churchyard,
Each grave decked with blossoms bright,
And between them grew small snowdrops,
Heads bowed low with petals white.

And at one new grave two snowdrops
Stood and leaned, as if in prayer.
Both so small, but both so splendid,
As their forms shone everywhere.

Here I paused, leaned o’er, and softly
Read the name upon the stone.
Yet I felt no shock or wonder,
For I knew it was my own.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


Down through the ages, much has been written about the beautiful song of this close relative of the blackbird and thrush, contrasting its rich voice with its drab plumage. Here is my own homage to the nightingale, shy philomel of the night.


Drawn through the evening by strange haunting sadness
Glides a song glorious, richer than Love,
Lilting and blending in bubbling concertos,
Rising and falling, then drifting above,

Sung by a drab little minstrel of Evening,
Hidden away in the valleys of Night,
Small is his shadow, and sombre his plumage,
Soft are his feathers, and silent his flight.

Yet when his rich warbling notes ripple sweetly
Far through each woodland and dark country lane,
All stop to listen in breathtaking wonder,
‘Ere this fair music grows fainter again.

Dulcet and sweet is the Song of the Evening,
Drawn from the caves of the lost and unknown,
Borne on the wingbeats of swift, chilling breezes,
Past shapeless phantoms and up to the throne

Where – ‘midst the Shadows of Life and Death hanging
Deep in suspensions of Time and of Space –
Night sits, serene in her mystical beauty,
Sable her image, and hidden her face.

Yet if her visage were shown for an instant,
Lit by the starlight, unveiled for a while,
We may perhaps see her wonderful beauty,
And glimpse in silence a solitary smile,

As she hears softly the Song of the Evening,
Borne from the depths of a cool country vale,
Telling of Beauty, of Love in the Highest,
Captured in song by the sweet nightingale.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010


The Robin in this poem was not a bird, but instead an elderly Scottish terrier owned by one of my grandmother’s neighbours. Despite his advancing years, he always raced boisterously to greet me whenever I passed by his house, wagging his long tail wildly, and would then peer earnestly into my face with his dark expressive eyes. Sadly, Robin passed away many years ago, but for me he will always live on in this poem that I wrote as a celebration of his being.


A black-furred face peers out of doors,
Soon followed by four inky paws,
Which plod beneath his robust form
As two dark eyes, so soft and warm,

Gaze up into my smiling face,
And in them lies, perhaps, a trace
Of many long and happy years,
Recaptured still like newborn tears

By cloudy eyes windswept by Time.
Yet Time claims not those years sublime,
Remaining here within these eyes,
Which laugh in silence at the skies,

Then turn again to watch my face,
Like darkened pools of velvet Space.
And eye meets eye for seconds few,
And ageless wisdom passes through

For instants ‘ere it fades and dies
On entering my human eyes.
But for a moment I have seen
A glimpse of worlds that lie between

My human life and canine worlds
Beneath those shaggy eyebrows curled.
For in that second Age met Youth,
And Life was Hope, and Wisdom, Truth.

Monday, 15 February 2010


I was delighted to discover a few days ago that Star Steeds and Other Dreams has been reviewed in the Western Morning News, one of Britain's biggest regional daily newspapers. The reviewer was highly-acclaimed Exmoor naturalist-author Trevor Beer, and here is his review, which appeared in the WMN on 8 February:

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


'The Voice of the Winds' (René Magritte)

Two very different poems of mine owe their origin to an extraordinary, surreal painting by René Magritte. Entitled ‘The Voice of the Winds’, it depicts three huge, alienesque spheres floating ominously above a meadow. Whereas one of my poems, ‘The Music of the Spheres’ (also included in my Star Steeds book), was directly influenced by that compelling image, the other poem, presented below, focuses instead upon the painting’s very evocative title.


Dark the forest lay, silent and sombre,
In Morning’s first saffron-lit rays,
As the trees swayed, each shrouded in shadows
Of glimmering ochres and greys.

But the sun rose up higher through Heaven,
And splashes of sunlight appeared
Through the leaflets of trees overlapping,
As Morning through rosy skies peered.

And amidst shady groves I stood, dappled
With silhouettes cast from above,
While the dewdrops hung round me like crystals,
As soft as the tears from a dove,

Each inverting and changing its image,
Distorting the forest and trees.
And the Voice of the Winds called me forwards,
Borne swiftly on Morning’s light breeze.

And I followed, to see through the clearing,
The forest pool, glassy and bright;
Its calm surface in clear violescence
Reflecting the dawn’s filtered light.

Swirling ripples raced madly in circles,
Increasing, till, skimming from view,
More appeared from the central gyration,
Each polychromatic in hue.

And I yearned for the pool to caress me,
As I on the bankside stood long.
And the Voice of the Winds called me onwards
In lyrical segments of song.

So I entered, and felt the pool’s wonder
Embrace me in eager repose.
And I gazed through its glistening beauty,
As o’er me its silhouette rose.

Here I stood ‘midst its clear undulations,
And Weight left my beckoning soul.
Now the world lay below me in silence –
A solitary, orbiting bowl.

And I stood in this limitless limbo,
Where all was a daydream sublime,
And the Voice of the Winds called me upwards,
To Doorways of Heaven, and Time.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010


Despite its small size, the praying mantis never fails to elicit within me a momentary thrill of icy shock and fear whenever I see one of these extraordinary, alienesque insects, with its mesmerising gaze and lethal pseudo-pious stance – all of which I have sought to encapsulate in the following poem.


There it squats – Death’s fearful gargoyle –
Like a monster cast from Space;
Eyes unblinking stare in silence
From its strange, hypnotic face
Like a pair of shining gemstones –
Glinting facets, cold but bright –
Gleaming softly ‘midst the shadows
With a pale, unearthly light.

Here it waits amongst the leaflets
In a pious, praying stance,
Yet the burning fires of Evil
In those deathless orbs still dance
As this prayerful gorgon crouches
In an alien repose,
And its eyes, ne’er closing, flicker,
Each a fiery, blood-tipped rose.

Hush! A movement flutters downwards –
There, a small, unwary fly,
Flitting closer, ne’er perceiving
How it all too soon will die.
For within a second’s lifetime,
Moving faster e’en than Thought,
Flick-knived forelegs take it captive;
And the battle has been fought.

Soon it waits again, unnoticed,
‘Midst the shadows of the trees,
With intelligence so chilling
That the very sun would freeze
If this ghoul e’er gazed upon it
In the glory of the skies.
None but Death may find a shelter
In those cold, unblinking eyes.

Monday, 18 January 2010


Mirrors have always fascinated me, confronting me with my other self, exact but reversed, and showing me a glimpse of their replicate world – as real as my own, and, who knows, perhaps even more so?


I am me, and you are also.
Am I you, or are you me,
As we gaze, each seeming brighter,
Into deep Eternity?

And your mirror world shines softly
With a cool quicksilver light
As your searching eyes call ever
For my spirit’s silent flight

Through the mirror’s timeless border
To the other side of Space,
Where my world is yours reflected
In the mirror’s glossy face.

All stands still in ageless wonder
As my world just flutters by
Like a phantom caught by daylight
In the glowing eastern sky.

But I enter not this kingdom –
The inversion of my own.
Yet I stand before the mirror
Like an image lost, alone,

And my other calls me softly
Through the mirror’s sparkling hue
As I gaze, and still I wonder,
Are you me, or am I you?

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Quetzalcoatl (Dan Staten)

The concept of Quetzalcoatl – an Aztec serpent god adorned with feathers rather than scales, and gifted with the ability to soar majestically through the heavens without needing wings – is one that has long fascinated me, so it was inevitable that sooner or later I would attempt to capture the wonder of this spectacular ophidian deity in verse.


Green feathered serpent like Heaven's liana,
Plumes of bright malachite, jasper, and jade,
Furled in bright flourishes, dazzling in glory,
Verdurous rays borne on emerald blades.

And, as you gleam in your jewel-clustered temple,
Coils gliding over your tributes of gold,
Ruby eyes glow with the flames of the cosmos,
Deadly yet passionate, blazing but cold.

Now, as your lightning-forked tongue flickers brightly,
Sibilant breath hissing softly and long,
Bowing before you in rapt veneration
Kneel your disciples in reverent throngs.

Yet, do you laugh at these weak, puny mortals,
Scuttling like ants in the fire of your gaze,
Shielding their eyes in the depths of your shadow –
Turquoise and terrible, willing their praise?

Quetzalcoatl – reptilian idol,
Soaring through Space like a radiant stream.
Aztec divinity, ageless, eternal –
Incarnate god, or a deified dream?

Friday, 8 January 2010


Airports so often bring families, friends, and lovers together – but sometimes they can tear them apart.


A sonic roar, staccato bellow;
A sunlit tear of primrose yellow;
A drift of summer dreaming done.

A world of clouds awaits your calling,
Through which a misty tear is falling –
A silent star of summer gone.

A silver arrow spirals nearer;
My eyes grow dark, and yours are clearer;
For I must stay, and you go on.

And now we part? A moment longer
And then would all my thoughts grow stronger,
And I would be your only one.

But now you leave like evening starlight,
Too soon to be a pale and far light –
Alight where mine has never shone.

And thus a final smile I borrow,
For I shall not see yours tomorrow;
And here, alone, my world has none.

And so goodbye, our dream is over –
A tender, fragile, four-leaved clover
That love I thought for you had won.

But now I see fate’s cruel illusion –
There now for us can be no fusion;
God speed your way, the summer’s gone.

This poem is from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and is © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. It is strictly forbidden to reproduce this poem elsewhere, either in part or in its entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Welcome to Star Steeds and Other Dreams - a blog devoted exclusively to my first published volume of poetry, entitled - yes, you've guessed it - Star Steeds and Other Dreams. Over the next days, weeks, and months, I'll be posting selections of my poetry here, which I hope that you will both read and enjoy. All feedback is very welcome.

If you wish to buy my book, which is 230 pages long and is ISBN 978-1-905723-40-9, it is readily available online from its publisher, CFZ Press of Bideford, Devon, UK at and also from such major literary websites as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, W H Smith, and sellers on AbeBooks to name but a few. You can also purchase a signed copy directly from me - please email me at for full details. Meanwhile, as a taster:

Enter a world of star steeds and nightingales, childhood’s end and silent farewells, realms of dreams and shadows, memory’s mirror and ghosts from the past, Faerie worlds and flying horses, the voice of the winds and the music of the spheres, roses and rainbows, airports, angels, balloons, butterflies, clowns, dragons, elves, fireworks, monasteries, poppies, Stonehenge, tattoos, UFOs, unicorns, and much much more. Even Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, makes an appearance.

All of these and many others too await your company within the pages of Star Steeds and Other Dreams, whose poems' themes range from the wonders of the natural world, and the mysteries of other worlds far beyond our comprehension, to deeply personal recollections and contemplations of my past, present, and future, my faith in God, and also a series of verses written especially for children. So let my celestial horse transport you right now to a magical, enchanting world that only poetry has the power to create, deep within the glorious infinity of our own imagination.
Free Hit Counter