Poem: Silver

An owl takes a night flight

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay

Happy #WorldPoetryDay everyone!

I’m really enjoying my online course with the London School of Poetry: “The God In the Forest – Nature Mysticism.” Here’s a poem inspired by our last assignment, with many thanks to our tutor, Seán Hewitt, for an inspiring course:


The night we took our bowls of chocolat
and sat on deckchairs in the soft damp grass,
the murmur of the radio from the house
merging with the purling sounds of spring,
when from the dark a movement drew our eyes.
She swept across the orchard flying low
a barn owl’s eerie, oiled and silent flight,
silver in the full moon’s silver light
from cottage roof to barn roof in one swoop
from rush of air she stilled to standing stone,
regarding us as we sat dazzle-eyed,
worshipping in broken whispers. I
never saw you look like that before
or since that night, you were a boy again
holding your breath in case you broke the spell.
The minute an eternity until
unfurling her imperial cloak she swept
from sight, impassive, other, fading into night.



Daybook: 12 March 2019

I have been struggling with the writing thing for weeks now. How can I be a writer (for a living) and want to write (for love) – and yet resist writing? It’s like pulling teeth to engage with the poem or short story that is on my worktable at any time.

I feel as though I am doing my degree homework, with no-one to give me a mark, or responding to a client brief I won’t get paid for. So inevitably, I now approach every ‘writing hour’ with this toxic backstory, with fear and loathing. Having dragged myself to the desk, whipped myself into some kind of enthusiasm, got a glass of wine and some nibbles lined up – I start surfing the internet.

God. I bet Hemingway didn’t have to go through this pain barrier every damn time he sat down (no, stood up) to write. Maybe my props are wrong. Maybe I need a bottle of hard liquor and an ashtray full of stubs. Oh and one of those muscular metal typewriters where I can smash away at the keys in a creative frenzy…