Thursday, 21 December 2017

Midwinter's Morning

Night's shadows still hug the holloway
As a chorus robins and wrens
Greet the dawning grey light.
A clattering of jackdaws
A shattering of pigeons' wings
A sneeze and yawn from a battered tent
In the copse of tangled trees.
Molehill milestones mark the muddy track
As I climb the hill, until sea is seen,
Standing on a cairn of stones
At Midwinter's summit.

Monday, 30 October 2017

A little egret
Alifts from the riverside
Like an ancestral apparition
Bound by its being to the ever-flow of water
But released by the freedom of the moment
To rise and ride the wind -
Haunting the liminal land on wide, white wings.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


Shadowy shade savoured
Walking through the old orchard
As fermenting fallen fruit
Infuses the warm, humid air
With sweet cidery smells

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Colpexies of Colmers Hill

With its iconical conical shape and crown of nine perching pines
Colmers Hill has long been known, since golden, olden times,
As a favoured place for festivities of the faerie folk:
The Little People, The Good Neighbours, The Shining Ones, The Others…

All dressed in red and green, with feathers in their caps,
But rarely seen as they make merry on hallowed hilltops
At special, spiritual times of year, such as Beltain and Midsummer’s Eve,
When God-fearing folk believe it’s wiser and safer to stay inside,
With salt sprinkled on the doorway, for fear of being pixy-led:
Involuntarily taken on a dangerous dance; a dalliance with doom!

And of all the varied array of faerie folk the most secretive and shy,
Hardly ever caught by human eye, are the Colpexies -
Digging and picking in the sandstone sides of Dorset’s hidden holloways.
And perhaps you've seen their strange symbols and stone-carved runes,
Or perchance you’ve found one of their dislocated digits -
Colpexies' Fingers - which those of rational, reductive minds call Belemnites.

Great good luck for those who find their fingers – wealth and health and lustrous long life;
But the Colpexies are tricksy, treacherous folk, not to be taken lightly or joked about,
And to interfere with their habitations is to invite trouble into your own home.
So be warned and beware: lest you find yourself bewitched and betwixt...
...this world and the Others' world!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Taking myself for a walk

I never see another walker
When I go for a walk
Except a walker with a dog -
A dog taking a walker for a walk
But I don’t need a dog
When I go for a walk
I can walk all by myself
Without a four-legged friend
Who lives in my house 
To take me out for a walk
But I, like a dog, need to walk
Every day, because if I stay
In my house without going out
I feel sad and start acting badly
So I do daily take myself for a walk
Perhaps I am a dog?
A dog and a walker rolled into one
Or perhaps I just don’t need one,
A dog, to go for a walk
But like a dog on a walk
When I go for a walk I don’t walk
I bound along, like a happy song,
Until suddenly I stop
In my tracks
In the middle of the path
For no reason, other than to listen
Or to stare at something
That catches my eye or reaches my ear
Or better still I sniff the air
And wonder what it is
Until I’ve forgotten why it is
That I’m still standing there
And so once more I walk on, on my walk
My inner dog taking his walker out for a walk
And I when I go for a walk
I never meet another walker
Except a walker with a dog…

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

For Jude

A poem for a departed friend, whom I didn't know that well, but whose positive actions and attitudes were interlaced within the place where we shared a home:

Rambling around the ancient hill
In the thickness of the mist
Turned into tears by the dripping of the trees
I stumble across a patch of pale primroses
That suddenly seem to glow:
The brightness of their immanence
Marking the impermanence of the seasons
And I am glad to have see them; there and then.

Chiffchaff chiffchaff
Sing spring sprung!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Late January Early Morning

After a seasonal cold snap
It's mild and moist again
Now in the old woods: new shoots
Tiny, tender and tentative
Amongst a morass of mulched detritus
Fox-musk scent lingers
Along dank, dripping banks
Deep in the hidden holloway
A little dribble of white
From russet-brown bottom
As pertly perched wren
Promptly evacuates...

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Waes Hael

After Christmas is cleared away
And shops are shorn of lurid displays,
Now, outside, on Old Twelfth Night,
There’s a stirring in the trees
As merry music leads us
Along the Old Ways
Into the orchard,
Flickering with torchlight,
And log fire burning bright.

With wreaths of evergreen leaves
A new king and queen are crowned
And the ‘loving cup’ is passed around
Filled with mulled cider, or lambswool beer,
Bringing both warmth and good cheer…
In the cold of winter
And the darkness of night
We wassail and carouse
To waken and arouse
The naked apples trees
And wish good health to them,
In root and branch, fruit and stem.

Then: pots and pans are clanged
And shotguns banged
Uncluttering the branches
Of lingering malingering elements,
Replacing them with shining lanterns
And pieces of dunked, drunken toast
For robin, the good-fellow, to make the most
As we raise our voices in joyful boasts:
‘Ere’s to thee, Old Apple Tree!

And so enjoining one another
To make merry in midwinter
And joining together both bark and skin
We hope, once more, the trees will bring,
In autumn after summer after spring,
As much as we give to them
In our wassailing
So that next year, we may all share
The abundant health and wealth of the orchard
Many an apple, many a pear

Waes Hael!! Drinc Hael!!

Monday, 2 January 2017

A Haiku Through The Seasons

January to December 2016, Martin Maudsley


Dark path
Beneath bright night sky;
Stumbling amongst stars.

New moon of the New Year
Brings new inspiration;
Following the old ways...

Pale-yellow primroses
Fluorescent, florescent will-o-the-wisps
Leading deeper into the woods.

Walking through the night
Pale ghosts of snowdrops
Luminous in the moonliness...

Garden bonfire,
The embers of a brimming day,
Blackbird sings-in the gloaming

Morning walk
Littered with gold
Celandines coruscating in the sunshine

Blackcaps' bubbling singing,
Effortless rushes and gushes,
In praise of the greening of trees.

Lying amongst bosky bluebells
Dreaming of green dragons
On the feast of St George

Old railway line
Hunting butterflies -
Caught by a cuckoo 

First scream of swifts
Rising cream of summer
Bringing warm air on welcome wings

Delicate bramble blossom
The sweetness of sunshine
Nourishing flourishing wings

Hogweed high as my head
Nettles up to my nipples
Summer's profusion scented with elderflower

Swimming in summer's secrets
A watery world seen
Through dragonflies' eyes.

Iridescent green
Beetle on barley
Bronzed by the sun

Summer's colours
Seeping away;
Spiders creeping in.

Picking blackberries with my daughter
Harvesting my own childhood memories;
A profusion of ripeness

No more soaring wings:
First bite of autumn
Leaves me un-swallowed

Morning after Michaelmas
Still picking blackberries
Defying the Devil...

Autumn-tinged hedges
Along the old Roman road
Moonbow glimmering in the mist.

Standing still in the dark woods,
Storm-tossed and lost;
Suddenly showered with falling gold

Soaken oaks
Dripping in the darkness
Amongst sodden, trodden leaves

Old sycamore
Craggy-limbed and shaggy-skinned
Last leaves rattling in the wind

Hoar-frosted morning:
Sprawling hawthorn,
Calling wren defends her tree.

Full Moon before Yule
Sinking slowly into
The rising morning.