ink and wash


dawn’s ink and wash
you ask me what I see…
time has no meaning
in mountain and mirror-lake
a rorschach of reflection

Atlas Poetica: 25 tanka poets from Great Britain & Ireland


once again
you merely brush by
in this garden of days
when I am lemon balm
perfume for your fingers

A Hundred Gourds 1:1


the path of the sun…
your lips on my shoulder
in hip-high grasses
a day empties
into the wind

A Hundred Gourds 1:1


I’m delighted to be published in these excellent journals and to be in such wonderful company.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 04:21:51


    A British poet you may be but you have internalized the Asian aesthetic so profoundly in this first poem. Then again, perhaps that aesthetic merely captures a certain universality that dissolves borders with its inks, washes & reflections? Above all else, I ‘see’ this poem in much the same way that I see and experience a Chinese scroll painting.

    Gardens flourish in their season. They offer us their pleasures freely but sometimes require our engaging them directly to release their potencies. Unless one crushes the leaves of lemon balm between the fingers one misses the full-effect of its scent.

    The “hip-high grasses” (beautiful word-music like that of the grass itself) and the diurnal path of the sun, remind us that “all is grass” and from your pagan heart leaps forth imagery almost “biblically” sensual and didactic.

    It is as if these last two poems were sung in duet by the authors of the Wisdom Books, “Songs” and “Ecclesiastes”; interestingly, both books thought by some biblical scholars to have non-Hebrew, pagan antecedents.

    What pleasure these poems, so like watercolours, give us.



    • Claire
      Dec 02, 2011 @ 10:18:40

      Your deep appreciation of my poetry, your ability to see right into the heart of me, to drop a stone into this deep, dark well to hear the echoes that come from a place I barely know myself, never ceases to amaze me. If ever I struggle to hear myself the value of my own words, I only have to look at your comments here…

      Thank you, dear friend.


  2. Robert
    Dec 14, 2011 @ 21:25:37

    I love the clear, fresh imagery. Skilful and unpretentious


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