#29 – ‘quelea’


At the Malawi/Tanzania border
I stepped out of the bus
and saw dark wisps
moving across the sky.

They were birds, sparrow-sized,
and each wisp was hundreds
or thousands. As each wisp left,
another appeared, and another
and another and another.

While we were there, I thought
perhaps 500 000 birds
flew over us, give or take
a hundred thousand.

Red-billed Quelea.
Not many species
can be identified
by numbers alone.

When I tried to interest my friends
in one of nature


#28 – no title (dawnlight)

| dawnlight shines on the webwet | a fur of globes – pricked with shimmer — cold to the sole – as the shade slips back to itself | throaty effervescence of blackbird – orange and black — agape | darkness marks the walked on | a contrail ghosts the thinblue – spreads to air | stilled nymphs — unflying – a damsel clings the lilybud |


#27 – pseudo-ku

Passing traffic lifts
a blizzard of cherry petals.


possible poem for tomorrow

in case I forget

I cut a slice through my fingernail a few days (a week?) ago, while cooking. It’s nearly grown out. I read once that the moon retreats from the earth at about the same speed our fingernails grow. I can see that growth happening. I feel there’s a poem in it somewhere.


#26 – ‘Poetry in Motion’

Poetry in Motion

but poetry is too slow to catch
the moment when a striker
sprints onto a pass, looks one way
to fake the goalie
and slides the ball
into the other corner of the net;
or when a batsman sees
the bouncer coming,
leans back, and lifts his hands
to crack the ball for six.

How odd, that combination
of adrenalin and calm;
Hector must have been like that
when, in the noise of battle,
he turned, and with a graceful sweep,
crashed his sword into the neck
of Patroclus.


#25 – not title (poeming)

I didn’t write a poem today –
I cooked instead
and it was better.