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.

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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.
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