Aunt Sylvia

They remind me of her, the

sparkling silver earrings, smooth

white elegant, fingers carefully

lifting them from the box,

her fragrance, the white silk

blouse she wore, delicately

applied make-up, pale pink

lipstick, translucent powder.



She was overjoyed at the gift,

father took a photograph of her,

it too was in the box among

treasured possessions, my dear

aunt Sylvia, slim, chic, I will never

forget seeing her one warm

spring afternoon, a yellow

silk dress matching coat

and yes, her favourite earrings.



He declared his love in the rain,soft,

moist, falling gently.  I stood there

lightly brushing drops from my hair,

hands linked, promises made,

we dreamed of the life ahead.


The years passed, still hand in hand

we walked together, buffeted by the wind,

blown this way or that, the only certainty

our love for one another.


Now alone, frail faltering, mist swirling

I think I see you, long to touch you

if only just for a minute “Let me come

with you, walk through the mists of time

to the place where our life began.”


On The Anniversary of The Holocaust

I want to sit in Berlitsplatz
Drink cognac at the cafe
To watch the Linden trees in bloom
The larks sing overhead.
But I don’t sit in Berlitsplatz
Nor drink at that cafe
I watch the guards their long list call
Will mine be there today.
My mother and my father gone
Mere mists across the moon.
My brothers and my sisters
To ashes gone too soon.
Midst ghosts and shadows all around
My weary way I tread
“Work makes you free” the words they said
Now leads us on to death.
And now at length my time is spent
To shower but not refresh
The acrid odour starts to bite
I close my eyes and rest.
And now I sit in Berlisplatz
Drink cognac at the cafe
I see the Linden trees in bloom
The larks…………………..


Winter Fire

Down by the margin

Of the frozen lake

Willows are ablaze,

Kindled by last rays

of a lambent sun.

On frosted branches

Rubies sparkle in

Transient glory

Black billowing clouds

Extinguish the flames

And up among the


A lonely heron

Wings his way across

A distant winter moon.


Sleeping Warrior


I gaze across the stone grey sea

Across to the island where you now lie

I watch in wonder: I wait now to be

The one adoring the sleeping big guy –

The fellow who guards Scotland’s West coast

Lying still on the ridge of Arrans high peak

Protesting the shores and the lands we boast

Are the fairest by far whenever we speak

We owe much to protection silently giv’n

And I watch you now fascinated, in awe

As you lie looking up high toward heaven

I walk on the beach and think of my beau

Who, like you guarded these coasts just for me

And all those folk who live by the sea.


To a Giant Hogweed

Great, handsome,towering,wondrous weed

’twas I who sowed yon shrivelled seed

Infertile ground.

Now I must do a loathesome deed,

The Council found.

You are an alien, dangerous thing,

Your sap and foiliage worse than sting

Of wasp or bee.

But I shall bide till you will fling

Your progeny.


The Council declared war on you

With poisonous, worse than you can brew

Within your veins.

Mere minions fuss with much ado.

My anger flames.

Your parasol so fair and white

Stops many an insect in its flight,

To rest and feed,

Perchance to meet a mate that’s right

To love and breed.

Fecundity’s a mighty power;

For seven years I rued the hour

Your brood did fall.

Compelled to toil with spade and trowel,

I am your thrall.


The Siren


I was bewitched.

Danced down the road

Across the bridge

Towards the hill.

And I was still

And listened to singing,

Glorious singing.

So beautiful I cried.

Tears blinding my eye.

Hughie and the violin had gone.

But I realised I was not alone.

A beautiful, ethereal, lady said

“You are mine now, as good as dead.

All your times are in my hand

You came when I called you to my land.

I am the Siren

You can never leave

So stay with me

And be my slave.”