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.

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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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Monday, 6 June 2011


'Emergence' - Jack Shalatain

What might happen if a flock of swans somehow coalesced with a herd of horses, even if only in a half-dreaming mind? That intriguing premise was the starting point for the following word-picture – a poetical flight of imagination…in every sense!


Like a phalanx borne from Heaven
On a golden drift of Love
Glides a stream of snowy shadows
From the cloud-worlds far above
In an ever-wider spiral
Sweeping slowly through the skies,
While the lake’s reflection shimmers
Like a star within their eyes,
Growing brighter every second
As their silhouettes descend
To its violescent waters,
Where the ripples softly wend –
Each a trembling ring of sunlight
‘Ere it falls away to die,
Just an iridescent nimbus
‘Neath a cerulean sky.

Now the swans reside serenely
Near the sable-mantled shade
Of the melancholy willow
From the lakeside’s dappled glade,
Where the breezy zephyr murmurs
As its gusty whispers cool
Catch the willow’s pearly teardrops,
Each a tiny silvered pool
Cast in deep, despondent sorrow
As the willow bows in grief,
Dewdrops trickling down in torrents
From each slender yellow leaf.

Here the swans glide by in silence,
Necks held high in regal stance
As their eyes gaze up to Heaven
While its darting sunbeams dance
Through their incandescent plumage,
Wings held proudly o’er their back
Like an arch of sparkling crescents
Tipped with inky plumes of black.
On they glide, past ruffling meadows
Flecked with starry trains of flowers,
Blooming brightly in the shelter
Of their viridescent bowers.

And across these speckled grasslands
To the silver-spangled streams
Chase a herd of snowy horses
Like a host of starlit beams,
Manes caressed by breezy fingers,
Like a sea of moonlit waves
Surging down across their shoulders
From its underwater cave,
As their eyes, afire and glowing,
Burn with bright undying flame,
While their tails toss ever skyward
With a joy that none can tame.

Soon they pass from sight and being
‘Neath the woodlands’ leafy shade,
And my eyes grow weak and heavy,
Each with slumber overlaid.
Yet as Hypnos murmurs softly
From the drowsy realms of Sleep,
Still the horses race before me
As their flowing spirits leap
‘Cross the streams and to the lakeside
Where the swans sedately gaze
Through the heavens’ golden shadow,
Through the skies’ translucent haze.

And as clouds float by in silence
O’er the warm, caressing skies,
Strange to say, the swans and horses
Merge as one before my eyes –
And as Morpheus casts softly
Dreams of slumber round my mind,
Wingèd steeds ascend to Heaven,
Leaving lake and streams behind.
Wings spread forth, and lustrous feathers
Gleam and glow like rays of light,
As these fair, enchanted visions
Pass so swiftly from my sight
To their mellow hierarchy
That no man shall ever see.
Earth is ours – a world of mortals.
Theirs is Immortality.

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