The Magpie


Lonely and wild, the magpie flies

Skudding past clouds,

Beneath briars and under boughs.

He settles on a branch or fence post,

Then dives —

And the taffeta ties

Of his silken body glide

And pull down the curtain of the sky.


Where do you fly little magpie?

Where do you go and why?

A glancing feather;

The wink of an eye

Then his flight becomes incendiary:

And fire-lit, explodes into the sky.



Manchester, March 2015

Iceland, The Midnight Sun


At Erikshuis, late spring


My love, sometimes the night are lonely.

They are stark.

The arms of thin, bare trees are wands

flying like wings in the dark.


At least it should be dark, but instead

the sky is white as a popsicle;

wet and ice-light.

My longing feels deeper


set against this forever-day,

when the blackbirds and redwings

don’t know when to stop singing

and the grass grows twice as fast.


The old poets warn us:

Life is slippery as glass,

Beware what comes to pass.

What contradiction can I brook


against these words or the mauve slab

of sky I glimpse beyond a dusty window frame?

Only a name: lauguatunga,

the beautiful babbling tongue.



Reykjavik, May 2015