"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." ― W.H. Auden


Edge of the Universe

Always in my grandfather’s study I found his telescope,
Stashed away in the corner,
Off duty until,
Exploding the dust,
I loaded the lens to my eye.
At school
I learned the history Of Galileo,
Discoverer of dreams,
Sunspots, and Jupiter's moons,
Dissonantly defiant
In his views of the Sun,
Centre - of our universe.
I also learned
My grandfather’s history,
Carrying his telescope
In the trenches
Of the Somme,
Scanning No Man’s Land,
Not for a new planet,
But for a comrade
At the very edge
Of our universe.



A pygmy shrew mouse with nose
Chiselled like a beak
That runs up and down
Then stops
To research a crevice
Analyse the manuscript of silvery bark
And extract the text from a weevil’s back.
The treecreeper flies away
But will soon return
To edit the trees in my garden.



On a rock, on the way up Suilven,
A miniature earth -
Acting out the theory
Of continental drift
In white, green, yellow,
Burnt sienna, colours
Of geography textbooks,
Brown paper wrapped.
If I look closely, I can see
Scotland and North America joined,
And Africa, India, Australia:
Remnants of Pangea, supercontinent.
The lichen cling on,
Surviving the changes,
Creating a universe
As ever changing
As their own.

Suilven Lichen.jpg