River Song


I am very sad to have to report that the body of my friend, the haiku poet Martin Lucas, has just been found on a beach near the mouth of the Ribble, a river he deeply loved. How this happened we do not yet know. He had been missing for more than three weeks. Martin has long been the editor of one of the world’s finest haiku journals, Presence. When Martin visited Japan in March 2003, he had presided at a kukai held by Hailstone in Osaka; and again, in May 2005, Hailstone had linked up with Martin’s ‘Roses’ group in the North of England for the world’s first international synchronous kukai (conducted ‘live’ via the internet). He had only just published, in the latest issue of Presence, his review of our new book.
The following haiku sequence (or rensaku) – what he simply called “River Song” –…

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Thought for the Day

“There are a thousand ways our essential nature can be expressed in the world, infinite ways to hold and love the world. If you look at your life from within that sense of the quiet stillness you are, you will see this inner-essence, this innocence, like a bright thread woven throughout the centre of your life. It has always been there because it is what you are, and living it consciously is why you are here._ ~Oriah from THE CALL

What is that thread that runs through the centre of your being, your life, your cells & your breath- the thread that guides you home over and over? Sometimes we feel it like a tug in the centre of the chest. Sometimes our whole body wants to turn toward something we cannot see. Sometimes our dreams point to it in symbols & metaphors. May we be awake to the opportunity to find & follow the thread of our own life today.



Cider Sweet Morning


A gentle sea breeze

shifts through the Maple

beneath a freckled sun,

where clouds comb

a powder blue sky

on a cider fresh morning.


The cat circles

lukewarm shadows

stretches into the light.

The day is young

in her kneading paws

pink pads on a fleece blanket.

She wipes her sun soaked eyes

smoothes her soft fur coat,

yawns in the harvest glow.


Butterflies doze on yellow centres,

daisy dreams of Indian Summers.

A posy of roses

lean long against the fence

beneath an bower of honeysuckle jasmine.


A lustrous September day

tingling with Autumn.



Snow hills in Helsinki

On the radio

Massenet’s Meditation,

and I picture a young girl

in shimmering green

playing the violin.

I close my eyes

stilled by the haunting melody.

It takes me to snow hills in Helsinki

where day and night are black.

Candles flicker orange and warm

circling sunless forests.

Reflections from a frozen sea

tint a starlit sky.

There are nuns in flowing purple,

pilgrims from Copenhagen.

A silver crucifix held on high,

the stars light their way.

Shadows bounce

behind fogged up windows,

whiskey salutes

to a melon moon.

Wood smoke from chimney pots

carries across the sea.

Icicles glint from rafters,

and the scent of mulled wine

fills my kitchen,

my daughter’s voice

behind me,

home for Christmas.


Beaded Dreams (11 November 2013, Remembrance Day)

Morning air stilled

across a  poppy light dawn,

rivulets of cloud ripple.

The sea speckles gold and silver,

fields an ardent green.


Tender yew fringes hallowed ground

beyond the cemetery walls,

where slices of autumn gather,

dance flame, russet and ruby red

on cold marble stone.


A lace cobweb spans angel wings

shreds of youthful dreams

caught in dewy beads,


they gather in your memory.


In The Life

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