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!

Sunday, 9 December 2012


One day, I was gazing idly at the flames in the fire when I saw a lion there, stirring amid the very heart of the blaze...


Out of the flames the fire lion steps,
Padding slowly, insouciantly,
His mane ablaze, his eyes aglow,
Amber and scarlet, crimson and gold.
A coruscating kingdom is his to rule,
To reign amid the fiery splendour,
The burnished resplendence,
Emblazoned, eternal,
Incarnate, infernal,
A feline conflagration,
Flickering in the dark,
And casting forth sparks,
As he burns through the evening
Like a candle through shadows,
Torching my dreams and my hopes
Till they shrivel in cinders
Of unfulfilled promise.
And only their embers remain,
Now that the fire lion has triumphed,
Now that the fire lion is gone.


Thursday, 29 November 2012


Some of the happiest days of my childhood were spent strolling through the fields and forests near my home. Today, many of those beautiful retreats are gone, paved over and lost beneath the ever-encroaching shadow of urban settlement, but I see them still in my mind’s eye, and there is no doubt that part of my essence lingers on in those green and pleasant lands of my youth.


Back to the countryside’s
Still morning air,
Where grass softly sways, for
My heart remains there.

Small singing birds perching
On leaf-covered trees,
The sun shining down on
Small yellow-striped bees

That gather sweet nectar
From every wild flower.
Magnificent Nature,
For this is her hour.

The field-mice in cornfields,
The swans on the lakes –
All Nature’s perfections,
Not man-made mistakes.

And as I gaze fondly
On all that I see,
A child’s voice sounds softly,
It’s calling to me –

The voice of my childhood,
The laugh of a child
Who listened, and followed,
The call of the wild.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012


Here is something new and very exciting for my Star Steeds poetry blog and for me – a guest poem, contributed by Randi Macdonald, one of my many good friends on Facebook. Enjoy!


The Ocean, lapping calmly under the sun.
Its surface,
Rarely telling the wealth of magic and drama it keeps beneath.
He is the Keeper of Mysteries,
With depths untold, and unseen.
But there below his waves the Ocean's soul of splendor pulses.
Fathoms and fathoms, expanses warm and colorful;
Cool and clean and free.
At his heart, the deepest chasms - places to hide and just Be.
Volcanoes, fires from the deep - shelter for those seeking warmth.

He is the Ocean of legend, full of danger and beauty and life.
Watching for hours, though some may not witness his power,
I know what wonders he hides.
I know that what is not seen is infinite.
What goes unsaid is what counts.
The truth is:
Still waters run deepest, the current beneath stirring strong.
I don't take him for granted, nor his surface so calm....
The peaks in his soul would shame Everest,
And here be dragons, I know.


Here is my darkly delicious (in every sense!) Hallowe'en twist to Edward Lear's much-loved tale of the Owl and the Pussycat!


The Witch-owl and Wizard-cat set out that night
On a broomstick that flew through the sky.
Then drove a black hearse packed with many a curse,
And laughed as the miles soon sped by.

The cat gazed long at his feathered friend,
And purred with a smile that was wide.
"Oh big fat Owlie," he thought to himself,
How tasty you would be inside, inside, inside,
How tasty you would be inside!"

To the Owl then said Pussy: "You elegant hussy,
How sweet is your form, and how wide!
We two must be married, too long have we tarried,
I yearn for you, Owl, as my bride!"

And so, to honour their precious love,
They entered a café to dine,
And here, all evening, they ate and they drank
Its finest cuisine and sweet wine, sweet wine, sweet wine,
Its finest cuisine and sweet wine.

"Just one dish remains," said the cat with a grin,
"'Tis a rare and an elegant fowl.
Can you guess, my true love, just what I'm thinking of?
Well done - you're correct! Yes, it's Owl!!!"

Alone he now dined, the Wizard-cat,
With only a runcible spoon,
Then, wiping Owl plumes from whiskers of white,
He danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon,
He danced by the light of the moon.

Sunday, 14 October 2012


2012 was not the best of years for me, but 2013 proved infinitely worse, because that was the devastating, accursed year that took from me my dear mother, Mary Shuker; the following poem is my way of expressing what has been, is, and (I hope) will be.


What if I should gain the whole world yet lose all happiness within it?
What if I should gain immortality yet lose all those whom I love?
What if I should gain eternity yet lose you forever, my Lord and Father?
The shadows and darkness have pursued me for so long, O God,
And only you can dispel them and illuminate my life once more.
Hear my voice in the night, calling out to you from the depths of my despair,
Let your benevolence ward off the malevolence encompassing me,
Guide me safely into the welcoming light of morning,
And may the salvation that I seek be mine at last.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012


According to science, genuine black lions do not exist, and on my ShukerNature blog I have exposed as photo-manipulated hoaxes a number of eyecatching internet images purporting to show these creatures (click here and here). Yet the dark romantic majesty of such a noble, spectacular beast ceaselessly stalks my imagination, prowling with silent menace through the twilit recesses of my mind.


Darker than dark,
A shadow from the shadows,
A black lion steps forth from the night,
With the night,
Into the night,
His melanistic mane a stole of sable
Enveloping his shoulders in inky might.

So regal he seems, and so powerful,
I can scarcely conceive that he is not real,
Just a figment of fable and fantasy,
An illusion of imagery and imagination,
An embellished embodiment of ebony,
A dream from the depths of the darkness,
A mirage from the midnight of my mind.



The inspiration for this poem came from Maurice Maeterlinck’s classic play, The Blue Bird, a delightful fantasy work first produced in 1908 that seems nowadays to have become almost forgotten, yet which is filled with wonderfully evocative scenes and imaginative personifications.


‘Midst the cerulean heavens
Lies the fabled Pool of Dreams,
Veiled in rosy mists of Slumber
Casting tender lilac beams
Through its cyanescent waters
To its darkened depths of blue,
Each transforming purple ripples
Into iridescent hues
Racing swiftly o’er its surface
Like a phalanx borne from Light,
Flitting rainbows glinting brightly
‘Ere they disappear from sight.

For the dreams of sleeping mankind
Lie within this glossy pool,
Which releases them like phantoms
To emerge through evenings cool
In the drowsing worlds of mortals –
Empty shadows of the mind,
Which with rapturous enchantment
Mortals’ conscious spirits bind,
Till the morning’s pale suffusion
Rises softly through the sky,
Then away through twilit heavens
To the Pool of Dreams they fly.

And within its silken waters
Lies each tiny unborn child,
Sleeping long in drowsy silence,
As the Pool’s reflection mild
Shines upon these infant dreamers,
Till their mothers softly pray,
Then they wake from golden slumber,
And are borne on sunlit rays
Down to Earth, where every mother
Will, her newborn babes, embrace,
As their tiny eyes then open
And behold their mother’s face.

Yet among the Pool’s clear waters
Lies a dead child, for he lay
So entranced within his slumber
That he dreamt his life away.
But the angels take him softly
On their snowy wings of Peace,
For from Life’s harsh world beneath them
They have given him release.
Now between the clouds of violet
Like a cherub winged he flies,
To the Glory that is Heaven,
‘Midst the splendour of the skies.

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Aeterno (Anastasia Korochansckaja -

Dreams are such transient, elusive entities, almost feline in their sleek, prowling restlessness...


A dream leopard stalked across my sleeping mind,
Its azure paws as silent as the morning dew.
For just a fleeting moment it gazed upon my still, prone form,
And then its pale moonstone eyes swept by,
Its long slender tail switched in the darkness,
And like a cool twilit phantom it was gone,
Leaving me alone once more with the night.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012


To stroll through such a breathtaking array of Wisteria as this must be like walking amid a mauve mist of fragrant dreams, as far removed from the mundane reality of the everyday world as it is possible to imagine, and inspiring a very different kind of purple prose from the type normally associated with this phrase.


I could lose myself in subtle shades of lilac and lavender,
Immersed in a miasma of mauve and magenta,
Empurpled in veils of summer-dreamed violet.
Yes, I could lose myself so easily in lavender and lilac,
And who would ever know?

Monday, 6 August 2012


When I looked at this wonderful illustration, I envisaged Autumn's subtle, scarcely-perceived, yet irresistible approach, and wrote the following lines accordingly.


Autumn in auburn draws closer, ever nearer,
The last green swathes of Summer scuttle by
Like lizards before her golden shadow,
Evading for now her amber embrace,
Yet still destined to die
Within her soft mellow mists of russet and copper,
As, indeed, are we all.

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Strange as it may sound, this is one poem that quite literally wrote itself. There was no planning, no previous thought involved – I simply sat down one day with a blank sheet of paper and pen, the words came unbidden into my head, and I wrote them down, acting as little more than a thoroughfare along which the verses coursed, fully-formed, from my mind and onto the paper. If only all poetry were as easy to write!


The webs of Night draw back their gowns
As rosy clouds of Morning
Pass softly through the waking sky,
While still the sun lies yawning
Beneath a drape of starry sleep
From which the dreams of Evening peep.

But mine are dreams from far beyond,
Sent ever by the future,
Like golden keys to shrouded doors
Of Nature’s hidden sutures.
For these, my life must make its ways
Through shadow worlds and lightless days.

Alone I stand – my world has gone –
The past was mine, not present.
Now shades of Death lie all around.
As I – a humble peasant –
Move slowly through and ever on,
Until my dreams at last are done.

These worlds are strange, unknown to me,
For these I have no feeling.
And only stars may see my grief
From Heaven’s spangled ceiling,
As on I pass through sombre dawns
While e’er for Light my spirit mourns.

But I must bear my silent doom
In alien surroundings,
And suffer as the world demands
Of me – a lonely foundling,
With dreams for which my spirit lives,
For which my life I freely give.

And so, though oft my chosen way
Is dismal and despairing,
I must prevail through dark terrains
Within this world uncaring,
Through deathly vales where shadows loom,
Before my dreams can light their gloom.

Yet this is but a twilit zone
Of deep, forbidding sorrow,
Which all must e’er endure if they
Are borne into Tomorrow,
Until their dreams are each fulfilled,
As Destiny and Fate have willed.

But when at last my pathways end,
When dreams are dreams no longer,
My world will call, with songs of Peace,
My spirit – free and stronger.
And I shall go, and this will seem
To be at most a bitter dream.

Friday, 13 July 2012


After viewing this entrancing artwork, the following words were carried to me upon the wind of evening, as light and as free as the dancing notes from the piper's flute.


The piper plays her pale banshee notes,
Soft and shivering in silver elfin dusk,
And I am lost, a child alone in the darkness,
With only the silent white ravens of Faerie
To greet me, to come to me, or to take me back home.


I have always been fascinated by unicorns - to me, they epitomise the purity and joy of Nature, which have always given me so much pleasure and happiness throughout my life, and without which there would be so little of either for me.


The unicorn stepped softly through the snow,
Its sparkling horn and hide illuminated by the sunlight above,
Caressed by the moonlight before,
And dappled by the starlight all about.
And as it moved on, so too did the brightness,
So too did the whiteness,
So too did all life.
And when it was gone,
So too was the light,
So too was the world,
And so too was I.


Nothing lasts forever, not even fairy tales, but something will always be present...


Long after the Emerald City is no more,
In a time beyond wizards, witches, and cyclones,
When Oz is a distant memory, and Dorothy but a dream,
The world will continue, the sun will still shine,
And the land will be green…


'Sweet Dreams' (Elda The)

The wistfully innocent, delicately poignant, and potently nostalgic qualities of the above painting subtly combined and intermingled within my mind as I viewed it, until I found myself expressing my innermost yearnings in the following lines.


For those long-vanished days
Of childhood, innocence, and optimism,
When everything seemed possible,
And the world was an exciting place,
Full of sweet promise and wonder.


The concept of beauty and the beast has never been more evocatively captured than in the above photograph, which drew out the following verse from my mind as I delighted in its incongruous charm.


Beauty is has no fear,
Which makes it so precious,
But also so fragile.


This verse quite literally wrote itself in my mind just a few moments after I had discovered online the wonderful artwork presented above.


What is Love,
But a meeting of minds,
A fusion of feelings,
An offering of opposites,
And a silhouetting of self?


Snakes are inextricably entwined among and around the very earliest outgrowths of humanity - their sinuous, unblinking, inherently unsettling, yet intrinsically fascinating image is deeply rooted within the human psyche, and will continue to be for as long as we exist.


Gazing through unblinking incarnadine eyes
And intimately ensheathed in cerulean scales,
The blue serpent watches long, and waits longer,
For of what little concern to it is time,
When the azure sky and the glaucous sea
Are its infinite dominions to rule through all eternity?


In just a few short, succinct lines, I have sought to convey the ecstacy and the agony, the zenith and the nadir, the dream and the nightmare, conveyed by the bittersweet enchantment of absinthe - the potent green fairy of bewitching intoxication.


Give Grace to My Lady,
To Absinthe of Wormwood,
The dream-robed Green Fairy
Of Delight and Despair.
Delight in her smile
As her lucid inebriate,
Despair in her scorn
As her ague-ridden fool.


Inspired by the spellbinding image above, the following verse calls forth the inner wolf within us all.


I am the wolf at your door,
A howl at your moon.
What big eyes I have,
All the better to see you with.
And what big claws I have,
All the better to seize you with.
I am the shape in your shifting,
The dream in your drifting,
The wolf in your wearing,
The teeth in your tearing.
I am the night and your hunter,
And you are the day and my waking.


The mesmerising image above challenged me to consider what it may be like to encounter a moon cat one dusky blue evening.


I saw a moon cat once.
Its fur was moonlight and shadow,
As blue as the bluest blue moon.
The moon was its mistress and mystery,
And I but a moon-dream in its eye.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


My tribute in celebration of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee - God save the Queen!


Far ‘cross the rich verdant meadows of Britain,
Church bells chime long of the great Jubilee.
Even Britannia raises her trident
Proudly before you in praise from the sea.

Trumpets announce you and fanfares precede you,
Children smile shyly as slowly you pass.
Rose petals spiral from window and rooftop
Downwards in reverence to drift through the grass.

You are our glorious monarch and sovereign,
Bearing our might like a shimmering crown –
Set with the sadness and joys of your birthright,
Sparkling like stars in the evening’s rich gown.

Yours is the fate of our kingdom, and ever
Must you alone bear our sorrows and joys.
Ne’er can the world know your innermost secrets,
Yours must be majesty, splendour, and poise.

So let us praise you this Jubilee season,
Long may you reign o’er our country serene.
Long may your years of resplendence continue –
You are our Lady, our Light, and our Queen.

Monday, 28 May 2012


The purpose of this poem is to demonstrate to children that just because something is small, this does not automatically mean that it is of little importance, worthy only of being ignored or forgotten. In other words, good things very often do come in small packages – and remember, even the smallest of things has a reason for being here.


Forget-me-not, for I am small,
Yet I still grow where others fall.
So blue, so true, with petals five;
Sweet hope that keeps our world alive.

Forget-me-not, for I am but
A poor wild flower, yet I was put
Upon His Earth, with man and beast
To live in peace when Spring’s released.

Forget-me-not, though small I stand,
A tiny life in giant lands.
For though through taller plants I grope.
Where’er I grow, there too grows hope.

Friday, 20 April 2012


Time-slips are fascinating if baffling concepts, which I have utilised in this story poem. Although I haven’t stated it explicitly, I’m sure you’ll realise that instead of the monk being in the distant past (as the child narrating this poem assumes), in reality he is in the distant future, because the finding of the Cross after meeting the monk inspires the child to become a monk – the monk. In other words, the monk that the child meets is himself, as he will become in the future.


One pleasant country afternoon
Through lonely woods I strolled,
When hazy mists began to fall
In swirling cloudy folds
And blinded every beam of light,
None penetrating through,
Until at last the mists dispersed,
And rose through skies of blue.

I looked around, and then I saw
A monastery, concealed
By glades of trees and tiny flowers
That edged each greening field.
A pretty garden lay all round
The monastery, so fair
With trees in blossom, budding flowers,
Whose sweet scent filled the air.

And high above, unseen by all,
A singing nightingale,
Whose liquid trills and lilting notes
Sailed through each wooded vale.
Sing sweetly, little philomel,
Bring happiness to all –
Shy minstrel of the dusky night,
Of silent eveningfall.

And through this garden walked a monk,
A prayer book in his hand.
He heard the nightingale, and smiled
To hear the merry band
Of feathered singers in the trees,
As thrushes joined the choir,
Till warbling music filled the air
As breezes sent it higher.

And velvet bumblebees buzzed near
Each nectar-brimming flower,
While gaily-spotted ladybirds
Flew by from bloom to bower.
And as he saw each tiny life,
The monk’s heart filled with joy,
As he remembered happy days
When he was once a boy –

A quiet boy who loved God’s works
Of beauty, true and mild.
And so his life he gave to God,
To seek our Lord’s paths mild.
But now he turned, and passed from sight
Beyond the shadowed trees,
And then another mist appeared,
Upon the evening breeze.

And when it lifted from my eyes,
The monastery had gone.
And as for garden, glades, and flowers,
Of these there now was none.
For all were ghosts from other times,
Those realms of glades and moss.
But then, beneath a grassy bower,
I spied a golden Cross –

The Cross that hung around the neck
Of that mild monk I saw.
A Sign that spanned the straits of Time
To lie on grass before
A silent child in country lanes
Whose youthful fears now thawed.
Yes, blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see the Lord.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


The Loch Ness monster (Richard Pullen)

Here's an early preview of an in-progress project relating to my poetry - a forthcoming audio edition of Star Steeds and Other Dreams!!

The Loch Ness Monster meets Star Steeds! Check it out!

My sincere thanks go to Silas Hawkins for his wonderful interpretation of my poem!

Saturday, 10 March 2012


Knowing that I enjoy collecting pictures depicting marvellously impossible hybrid animals created with Photoshop and other computer-imaging programmes, Scoobert Mills, one of my many good friends on Facebook, very kindly posted on my FB wall recently the wonderful example shown above – which in turn inspired me to pen the following lines (with apologies to William Blake!).


Tiger hound-dog, hear him bark
In the forests of the dark.
What immortal hand he licks
That pats his head and throws him sticks?

Saturday, 3 March 2012


The ending of childhood and the onward journey through the teenage years toward maturity is never an easy passage. It is a time filled and fraught with doubt, confusion, and decisions about which pathways, in which directions, to take.


Alone I stand, alone with Fate.
My shadow lies ahead, to wait
For me to come, perhaps too late.

My Past flits by, my Future grows;
I ask myself: “Which way to go?”
And answer still: “I do not know.”

Alone I stay, and softly sigh
To watch my childhood flutter by,
Then turn away, and wonder why.

My changing world through dreams I saw,
As onward e’er my thoughts they bore,
But now my dreams are dreams no more.

And now alone with Fate I stand,
Soon to be taken by the hand
And led away to other lands.

Yet what my Future hides away
‘Neath golden shades of unknown days
I cannot know, for who can say?

I only know that this must be,
Its light is not for me to see,
For this will be my Destiny.

Saturday, 25 February 2012


The rich, evocative Oscar-winning melody written by Francis Lai as the main theme for the late-1960s movie blockbuster ‘Love Story’ lingered long inside my mind until at last, in sweet supplication, I penned my own lyrics to it, yielding the following poem.


Hours flicker by,
My world still orbits through the shadowed evening sky;
The mournful clouds far past my silhouette still fly,
As I sit thinking of where now my past life lies,
Still ne’er surpassed.

You I e’er recall –
My lifelong dream, consuming being, soul, and all –
You never knew Despair, you never knew a fall
From Fate’s fair favour, for you followed e’er her call
To everlast.

For your life was free,
More free, more real than mine could ever hope to be,
A life inspired by Nature’s realms eternally,
So that you ceased to notice Mankind’s worlds, or me –
Just shadowed casts,

Yes, I always knew,
That I was worlds apart from ever reaching you,
Your world was far beyond mine, sacred, strange, and true;
Yet still in dreams your smiling form comes flooding through –
Now is my Past.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Much has been written about the scientific and philosophical associations between sleep and death, but the ancient Greeks encapsulated these links in a particularly telling, succinct manner via personification. For in classic Greek mythology, death is a god called Thanatos (not to be confused, though he often is, with Hades, god of the Underworld), and is the twin brother of Hypnos, god of sleep, with Morpheus, god of dreams, as the son of Hypnos. Moreover, the parents of Thanatos and Hypnos are none other than Nyx (Night) and Erebos (Darkness). In addition, one of the most famous death-related scenes in Greek mythology is the passage across the River Styx to the Underword of the boat steered by Charon the silent ferryman and filled with the souls of the dead. Consequently, to emphasise the ancient Greeks’ perceived kinship between death and sleep, I chose to adapt the latter boat scene, transforming it from one that features the dead to an equivalent featuring sleepers and sleep (though as a female rather than male personification), but acknowledging the link between sleep and death by way of the final verse.


Day sinks away through the oceans of Evening,
Rippling like stars sweeping outwards to die,
While from their vortex the moon rises softly,
Borne from its depths to the roof of the sky.

And ‘cross the waters a boat glides serenely,
Nod is its helmsman, and Sleep is its queen.
Gently it drifts o’er the waves deep in slumber,
Dappled in shadows of violet and green.

Grey are the sails, each dream-woven by Twilight,
Sewn from the cobwebs that Morning passed by;
Pale is its image ‘neath moonlit aurorae,
Fashioned from memories, murmurs, and sighs.

And from its silhouette Sleep whispers gently,
Calling to mortals who follow like shades –
Entering slowly her boat of enchantment,
Drawn through the evening to mystical glades

Deep in the depths of the hidden subconscious,
‘Neath the dark heavens of shimmering Night –
Silently watching her star-shadowed journey
Into the morning, ‘ere fading from sight.

Waves bear Sleep calmly through dream-clouded kingdoms,
Misty surroundings of lilac and grey,
Fragile illusions like butterfly wing beats,
Melting like ghosts ‘neath the lantern of Day.

And as the dawn blushes shyly through Heaven,
Far ‘cross the ocean is Sleep softly borne,
Each mortal soul drifting back to its dwelling,
Waking once more to the laughter of Morn.

Thus she continues – the wisest immortal –
Fair both in features and mind she’ll remain,
Leading our souls till the world calls no longer,
Then shall we never look homeward again.

Monday, 23 January 2012


Age may weaken and ultimately defeat us, the world may change beyond all waking recognition, and the very universe may crumble into nothingness, but love never dies – when all else has vanished, love goes ever on.


Though the trees may shrivel and the flowers all die,
Though the moon may vanish far beyond the sky,
Though the stars may shiver in a last goodbye,
I shall wait for you, though my being dies.

As the planets circle in the realms of Space,
And the fire-tipped comets in the twilight race,
I look through the heavens and I see your face,
And I wait for you, though my heart still cries.

I shall wait for you though worlds may come and go,
Though the seas have faltered and may cease to flow,
Though the birds have vanished many years ago,
Still I wait for you, on a bridge of sighs.

And when Darkness comes to fill my final day,
When my soul has wings and softly flies away,
To a Land afar, where every Night is Day,
My soul waits for you, ‘cross the endless skies.

Friday, 13 January 2012


There are plans afoot to produce an audio edition of my poetry book, Star Steeds and Other Dreams, with British voiceover maestro Silas Hawkins reading my poems.

Meanwhile, here, as an exclusive first, is a very preliminary audio version of one of them, 'Airport', read by Silas. (The background static will not feature on the final version!). Hope you enjoy it!

Thursday, 12 January 2012


How many times – countless, assuredly – has the question forming the title of this poem been asked and pondered over by thinkers of every nation across the globe and through all the ages of human existence? Here are my own thoughts.


Lone I sat upon a mountain
Captured long by silent thought.
“What is God?” I wondered softly,
As illusions round me fought

To attract my mind’s attention
While I sat beneath the skies.
And the hush of peace drew slowly
O’er this cloudy world of sighs.

For the Voice of God was present –
Not the clamour of alarm,
Or the roar of wreaking earthquakes,
Just a quiet Voice of Calm.

“What is God?” I wondered, seeking
One who ne’er to me has lied.
And my Conscience answered softly –
“I am God,” its voice replied.

“I am God within each mortal.
I – who speaks amid the fire.
I – the diamond in the darkness.
I – the rose upon the briar,

“Leading all who live untempted
By the guiling tones of Harm,
Or the cunning wiles of Hatred,
Or by Envy’s bitter charm.

“I am He Who walks unnoticed
In sweet Virtue’s world of balm,
And the isles of Hope and Freedom;
I – a quiet Voice of Calm.”

And as Night with veils of Shadow
Cloaked the sunset splashed with red,
I at last knew what my God was:
“I am God,” my Conscience said.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


I have always loved the words of William Barnes’s lyrical poem ‘Linden Lea’, as set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Listening to its evocative strains one day, and utilising the same verse form and metrical pattern per line, I composed the following poem, drawing upon the happy memories of many childhood walks of mine through the woodlands just a Sunday afternoon’s drive away from home.


Deep in the woodlands, sunlight filters
Through the golden leaves and flowers.
And boughs curve softly, crowned with blossom,
O’er green ferns and shadowed bowers.
Small warblers lilt in dulcet song,
As celandines in bouquets throng,
Through dappled glades and sunlit pathways,
Past blue streams and fountains clear.

Sun-shadows mottle gnarled trees arching
O’er the leafy ground of gold.
And tiny daisies wake up slowly
As their petals pink unfold.
Here snowy clouds float through the sky,
While turquoise swallows circle by,
As morningtime transforms to noontide.
Now the afternoon is here.

Though days like these soon fade and vanish
In the misty realms of Space,
With only fragments of their wonder
Passing o’er my silent face,
Yet still I live in those fair days,
In Summer’s warm and blissful haze.
And as I sit, a dewdrop glistens –
Is it dew, or one lone tear?
Free Hit Counter