Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Five short words

When one door shuts, another opens
(so they say)
but they have never been inside this place 
where doors are closing every day.

How can this be? you ask. How can so many doors
have warning signs of loss or pain?
Don’t fret, they say, you’ll see some secret door,
some passageway that leads you out again.

You look but do not find. You wonder if
your looking is to blame?
Or if the riddle is too hard?
Or if the riddler is insane?

Time trickles on, relentless in its flow;
too fast, by far, some days; but other days too slow.
And always people tell you 
what they think you want to know.

But all you need to know is held 
in five short words:
you do not walk alone.

For there is more to life than this.

And there is more to you than flesh and bone.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Like geese arrive in winter,
the people I love returned.

The house was full of their laughter.
Their conversations ebbed and flowed in every room.

Then as quickly as they came they left again.
Silence grew like cobwebs in the empty spaces of the house

And now the woodlands beckon me
for if there is to be silence I will choose the silence of the trees 
and if there is to be loneliness it is the loneliness of forest I would crave.

So I will find myself a hidden place within a womb of woods,
a nest between the fissured trunks;
and under arching limbs.
I will curl up small and rest my head
on banks of bracken watching the grey relentless clouds pass by.
And I will sleep;
my dreams infused with moss and sap and old dead leaves

until the sadness seeps away.    

(C) A McNaught 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Austerity Haikus

A sleepless night convalescing from a nasty chest infection gave plenty of time to think about the way our communities - schools, libraries, hospitals, housing -are being dismantled. I would be less cynical if there was the slightest shred of evidence that 'we are all in this together'. We're not. 

These are the haikus:

#1 the Beast

Like a mythic beast
inequality devours
our children's future.

#2 the Thieves

Those who know no want
stealing from the people's purse...
then blaming victims.

#3 the Auction

Sell the schools, close down
the libraries; all centres
where the needy go.

#4 the Strategy

Underfund all things
until they fail. Then sell them
cheaply to your friends.

#5 the Lie

Tell the lie again
"Tax is bad". Forget the truth;
strong communities.

#6 the Fearmonger

Urge the status quo
"Better the Devil you know"
(says the known devil)

(c) Alistair McNaught

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In by starlight

I slid out when the tide was high 
but the sun was easing itself 
towards the horizon.

It snagged on a mountain
and with a hiss of escaping gold 
it shrank away;
but the passing clouds
were sprayed with light in a thousand 
shades of warmth.

Out on the waters I watched with 
childish wonder as colours I could never name 
danced and swirled in bright reflection;  
oiling the surface with a liquid light.

And as the sun died the wind grew.
The waves slowly organized themselves, 
jostling and shoving until long lines began to move together.

I let them lead me,
lying back as they rode towards me,  
squeezed beneath me,
rocked me gently,
brushed me shorewards.

One by one the stars appeared,
lighting the ragged gaps between the clouds.
With the fading light the wind sank to a sigh; 
the gaps between the clouds grew large and 
lonely stars joined constellations.

I came in by starlight,
hissing gently on the water,
riding on the dance of reflected constellations 
until I grounded 
on the dark, wet sand.

(c) A McNaught

Cluj Napoca by night

In the dark and cobbled streets 
I followed the liquid cats that flowed through the inky shadows 
sliding, gliding 
under the sleeping cars.

Faint noises   
leaked from the open windows
into the warm night air.
Syllables of speech butterflied above my head;  
moths of invisible meaning fluttered  to the place 
where conversations go to when they die. 

This city was not always so. 
The wooden doors still hold an echo of the ancient woods;
every contoured grain a signature of summers long since gone.

Trees still line the streets, lean from courtyard gardens with their elbows on the wall, peering with sightless eyes at where their neighbours used to be. 

Their sap still rises from the forest soil beneath the streets. 
The birds still sing.  
Crickets serenade the grass as if it were a meadow still.

Walking slowly, silently, alone, 
I let the ghosts of woodland whisper 
through the cobbled streets and castellated walls.

The crickets call; the summer nightwind tousles trees 
and in the darkness of the gardens lope the ghosts of wolves; 
a haunting howling drifting on the breeze. 

(c) A McNaught


In a caravan by Plaitford Common

An August storm spawned a tantrum wind that stomped across the heath, kicking the heather, shaking the gorse and slapping the tails of donkeys.

A misty rain muttered in the treetops but the leaves, conciliatory as ever, simply nodded and agreed. 

The thirsty earth drew the water downward. 
Dry bones of soil soaked up the welcome wetness 
and the worms rose silently;  
like long pink tendrils of a tender plant. 

But it was night; 
a dark, buffeting blackness
stretched from the shivering leaves 
to the shape-shiftlng clouds in the showering sky. 

Slowly I sank in the ocean of sleep rocked by the wind and  
lulled by the rain on the roof 
like a long lullaby.  

(c) A McNaught

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The talking tree is silent now

It was me to blame.

The forester was unaware that your immensity of height
was held together by the thinnest barrel ring of wood where rot
had hollowed out your beechen heart.

"Listen" I said
and they heard the creak and strain of bark.
"The talking tree we call it, when the wind runs by."

It always hurts to see a tree come down.
To see the trunk stagger and the airy boughs bow low,
scattering their leaves and flowers on the forest floor,
is like watching a bird with broken wings
or a fish in the long slow suffocation of air.

The sky is thinner now, the intricately folded spaces of the canopy are gone, the rich rune of branch and twig has lost a volume of its poetry.

I wish I had been silent too.

(c) A McNaught

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

I may not be asleep

Almost as if to compensate
for the delicate fragility of life

or the deer like deft fleet-footedness of days and years that leap and run so swiftly through our lives

the brain decides to stay awake at some unearthly hour to let me hear the low, slow 
crawl of seconds through the night..

And this is your heart.
Did you feel the syncopated beat?
And now the red tide rises as the
blood runs down your
arteries and veins.

Thankyou but I’d rather sleep.

And now a second heartbeat. And a second tide
to reach down all the rivers to your fingers and your toes.
Are you ready for the third?

Inside, the stalking fears; the what ifs, whens and why. Outside, night noises that I never normally hear.

Through the secret hours of night cats creep, moths sip nectar in the dark,owls tune voices to the moon;
The big earth, tossing slowly in its sleep, turns towards the morning sun.

Then I read between the lines of thought, the bubbling restlessness of head and heart the anxious circling vulture thoughts with which I strive...

I may not be asleep but, yes,I’m very much alive.

Alistair McNaught

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Another moon so soon?

It seems so little time ago I stood in dark tree shadows
gazing like a lover at her pregnant curve and
pale enchanting light.

Moon by moon the spool of my life unwinds.

Moon by moon the bobbin turns, the thread of years uncoils,
the memories more long and distant grow.

All things end; the music, the breath, the pulse.

There will be many other moons yet one will be
my last long loving look.

May it be a full one, fat with illumination
drawing the Spring tide up onto a midnight shore,

a final ecstasy of flood
before I see the moon no more.

A McNaught (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Sunset fire

Sunset over West Wood

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

But sometimes

But sometimes I seem to be
someone else when thoughts and
feelings wax and wane
like the watching moon.

I consider how I change;
tracing the dark mark of the poorly aimed hammer as it slides from
nailbed to nail tip at the speed of
a lumbering continent.

A few short months and all my skin and nails are new.
A few short years and hair and bone
have followed suit.

I am a surfer following a wave of life
riding a body that is never twice the same;
like the surf curling through the water or wind
billowing through a barley-field.

Small wonder then
that sometimes I surprise myself
with inconsistencies of mood and inconsistencies of thought.

Forgive me.

Though I change no faster than
a speeding continent

...I still struggle to keep up.

(c) A McNaught

Saturday, January 23, 2016


And here I am
in orbit round her once again;
held by the delicate
gravities of love  
that keep me falling ever inward
on her selfless grace. 

Like moths that spiral
round the lamplight
in a country lane
I'm greedy for the light she sheds,
the new perspectives that
her gentle wisdom lends.

But I am fearful too
because the circling moth  
is big and clumsy as a goose;
the flap of wings could
break the lamp
or blow the candle out.

Where, then, is faith that
even geese have souls? 
That, even now, my clumsy
too self-conscious
awkwardness of love
has merit in her eyes?


(c) A McNaught

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Tide turning

The tide had turned but no one seemed to be in charge
and so the sea just hung around exchanging murmured comments with the shore.

The sun was busy with the sunset stage;
shuffling flocks of multicoloured clouds according to the brightness of their hue. 

I stood by the edge of the road looking down the low cliff where
pale, summer- bleached grasses trembled in the evening breeze.
Something in me trembled too.

I breathed the healing air with heavy heart, 
out of my depth and drowning 
in the aching impact of another's pain.

But the sea saw little of my sighs, 
busy as it was reflecting sunset skies 
into a bright and liquid luminescent flame.

I have no answers here 
and yet I'm glad I came.   

(c) A McNaught

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


The  geese came down together, 
flying over the tree tops to the 
saltmarsh creeks.

I heard the ancient gutturals of their call,  
the stridency and potency of language without words.  

Each syllable ran as a ripple of sound In the grey twilight air, 
tumbling onto trees and 
spilling into the evening tide.

They fix their feathers for the final glide.
Overhead I hear the hiss of air on wings. 

Three geese in formation. 
A neolithic arrowhead 
arcs across the evening sky,
slicing  through the fading 
tailwind of their calls. 

(c) A McNaught


The wick so perfectly matched the candle that only the faintest rim of wax remained. 

I love the alchemy of wax to light - the captured hydrocarbon sunlight of a hundred million years ago, releasing warm 
Cretaceous light into the humble darkness of this room.

Dancing to a different music

Let the light in your eyes 
shine with the secret love of life 
that you alone have understood.

Let there be a song for you 
in the silent things of earth and sky; 
the eloquence of trees, 
the poetry of  clouds, 
the love-song of the morning light.

Forgive the world that fails to see 
the things you see 
or hear the music of your soul 
that sings such melodies 
as skylarks  crave.   

and smile your secret smile 
while dancing to a different music  
from a different source 

(c) A McNaught

This was written for a friend's toddler, a beautiful sparkling child who is also deaf. The words might be a blessing or might be a prayer. Either way, it's a heartfelt desire.

The ache of the isn'ts

It's the isn'ts that ache 
and they take 
by surprise.
There once was a bowl 
where this emptiness lies; 
there once was a basket tucked under the stair
but now that there isn't 
its just empty air.
There used to be rhythms 
of breath where she lay
but now that there isn't 
it's silent all day. 

There used to be greetings
wherever we sat,  
a shadow that followed;
a chin on the lap
but now there's a nothingness 
follows me round. 
There isn't a shadow, 
there isn't a sound.

The ache of the isn't 
is painful and yet..

the is's were worth it 
I have no regret. 

(c) A McNaught

We lost our canine companion of nearly sixteen years. She accompanied the older children through teenagehood and the youngest child through his whole life till then. She was my main kayaking companion and we shared many a memorable moment together on the water. Sometimes it was hard to believe we were different species but then I'd find her eating - or rolling in - something disgusting and my illusions would be shattered...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Desert dunes

Desert dunes before the morning light caught fire.



I left the hut when all the stars
had left the sky
but day was yet to come.

I walked a virgin sea of sand
where lizard tracks
in drunken routeways ran.
A silent expectation toned the air.

Then she came –
a pinprick, red between two distant peaks,
then a brimming dewdrop;
brilliant condensate of orange light
inflating with a sigh of heat.

Quivering she grew;
till bigger than the distant hills
which framed her birth.

Silently untethered from the gravity of earth she rose
in bouyancies of brightness
to the surface of the sky.

Then the monochrome light of morning melts away;
colours run across the world until the sand
is a sea of yellows and gold
and the sky is an ocean of blues.

Shadows arrive, seeping up through the sand
and with deft liquid touch
etch black inks on the land.

There among curved shadows of the dunes
and corrugated shadows of the sand,
the shadow of a person stands
and mimics every move I make.

This genie of the sands may mock my moves
and yet his gnomon shadow
points unerringly to home.

As little children do..

Under the desert moon
I walked the dry skeletal land
stumbling over black contorted
bones of rock.

Barren as a brickyard in the dark:
only ants and spiders moved across the clinkered ground.
In the torchlight spider eyes
reflected golden green.

A soft wind teased the tent,
the fabric skin breathed slowly out and in,
leaving secret whispers in the air.

Cicadas in the wadi sung
and on the very edge of hearing
distant waves were booming in the night.

And I am somewhere in the dark
above a nameless wadi
on an arid peninsula
in a foreign land.

No rhyme or reason to it all,
just the deep, deep draw of solitude
that needs to be alone
to learn to wonder once again
as little children do.

(c) A McN 

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Moon setting

Gibbous moon going down at 3am in the desert.

(c) A McN

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sanctuary stillness

Pine trees sift all sounds;
softly filtering the air
till only silence dusts the darkness.
a sanctuary stillness
hanging in the night.

Bright planets and a crescent moon
slip low behind the curtain of the trees.
Up above the constellations dance;
the Great Bear tiptoes silently
across the silhouette of trees.

Dew on the grass, tree breath on the air.
Needles of starlight lacing the velvet sky then
falling like snowflakes on inky black pines 
where they sift,
with the silence,
in sanctuary stillness.

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Friday, March 16, 2012


I think of her, 
wondering how she always sees 
a persons heart through eyes of love.

I think of me
still tangled in tight nets
of self preoccupation.

I hope one day
to be more empty of my ceaseless thoughts;
more full of gentle grace.

(c) A Mc N

Monday, March 12, 2012

In peace

His words 
were few but 
few were better chosen
words than his.

I loved the craft
with which a phrase 
was drawn or metaphor 

I loved the silences
he shaped between 
the words as if the silence
was a syllable to sound.

There will be longer 
silence now.
but still his words lie
softly on the page
resting in peace.

(c) A McN

Ron was a local poet whose gentle way with words will be much missed.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


I like to believe
the little places in my heart,
that haunt my mind and memories,
reciprocate a special part
of me in some strange way.

The marsh-edge oak
with leaning bole and rhino skin;
the birches bursting concrete slabs
like elven mischief breaking in
where industry once lay.

The gravel spit;
the forest river where we swing,
the jetty on the muddy creek,
the foreshore where the salt waves bring
black shark's teeth from the clay.

The maze of gorse
where horses hide from summer glare,
the downland where the skylarks thread
their song like stitches in the air
the pond where children play

I carry all
these landscapes of my heart and mind
as phantoms in my memories
that whisper in my barren times
"we're here for you always."

And may it be
in distant years when passers-by
are seeking solace, needing space
they sense a kindly ghost that sighs
"I also loved this place".

(c) A Mc N

In hospital

Stormcloud bubbles;
boils black against the moon.
Clouds race, light dims and fades.

The moonglow thins to yellow candleflame of light
stuttering in the dark storm- shredded shadows of the night.

I have watched you from a distance teeter on the edge of life.

I have feared for life's fragility
but felt the deep resilience of love.

I have seen the father-love of God
expressed in human form by parents I am proud to know.

I know however deep the cloud or dark the storm
the moon still shines a beacon in the dark;
as love illuminates our fear
and makes us hope anew. 

(c) A Mc N

It is hard to have a grandchild live so far away, harder still when they are seriously ill. But neither love nor faith  diminish with distance. And he is recovered fully now!   

Shoal of stars

A winter's night.

A canopy of branches casts 
an inky net across the sky. 

The air is cold;  
dark as an ocean deep.

Looking up I watch a shoal of stars 
bright as herring flash and
heave in the fishnet weave
of winter twig and branch.

Something in me;
something very, very deep 
from long ago
longs to stretch imagination on tiptoe 
and pluck them shining from their net
to lie as silver sixpence
in my hand. 

(c) A Mc N

Open door

From beginning to end 
the door was open.

The autumn air slid in,
cool and fragrant,
gliding down the aisle,
exploring every nook and
cranny of the place.

One by one it touched us all, 

stroked every face and 
mingled with the breaths 
we breathed.

 And this is why you came.. 

Not because you wanted to 
but from a deeper calling of the God 
who's heart is always 
open like a door;

whose grace is always gliding 

through the nooks and crannies of your life,
even in the places you would hide from view. 

 Beyond this cool October air, 

beyond the liturgies and symbols of  this day 
there is a deep reality 
who longs to be as close  
and vital as the air 
in every breath you breath. 

(c) A Mc N


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Carols in the care home.

A wet December day, dark with dusk.
A ring of armchairs rimmed the room;
carol sheets stirred like sleepy butterflies, 
nestling in the laps between the wrinkled hands.

While shepherds watched their flocks by night

One by one the carols came.
Crotchets and quavers filled the air like festive snow,
settling in the snow-white hair as voices,
bass with age, sang songs of ancient joys.

Away in a manger

In a gap between the songs I heard a sob.
"He can't have gone" she said, shaking her head in disbelief.
"He'd never leave me here alone".
"He's back tomorrow love" they said but 
though the arms were quick to hold and 
voices gentle to assure
nothing could be said or done 
to mitigate this moment
of fearful lucidity.

Oh come all ye faithful

She was not his wife the way she used to be.
On good days she'd remember him and cry when he left.
On other days she'd not know who he was.

In the bleak midwinter

(c) A McN

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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Xylophone leaves of autumn

In the morning fog as
thick and white as cream,
distance dissolves.
A strange illumination,
neither light nor darkness,
fills the air.

An intimacy of being....
wherever I stand is only here.
Beyond me is no there;
only the pale opaque of air
muffling the silent world.

From the grey looming trees tinkles
the fogdrip from fingers of branches.
High bright tones,
tuning the xylophone leaves of autumn.

(c) A Mc N

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Dark waters

Being loved by one who understands my stranger needs
there were no questions asked
nor fears expressed.
"I'll put your supper on the side if you're not back" she said.

The shackles of the day fell fast away
And with a childish pleasure tingling in my blood
I ran along the winter lane towards the sleeping sea.

The sun had long since set and winter darkness
lay across the creek, blanketing the marsh where
geese dreamed long dark chevrons in their sleep.

It was a small half hearted tide that lapped the
muddy slipway by the quay but even so the water
glistened blackly in the dark.

I sloughed the kayak slowly over mud
until I felt the weightlessness of water pick me up.
Birdlike I was free and paddled
silent as a whisper to the waters off the shore.

In the darkness all perceptions melt and flow.
All familiar things are strangely new and
even if you're never lost,
you never know quite where you are.

All was silent save
the lap of waves against the marsh,
the call of curlews in their sleep.

In the darkness overhead a presence dimly grew.
I felt the weight of moisture in the air and
knew that rain was on it's way.

Suddenly the wrinkled skin of water sang with rings of ripples dancing everywhere.
Out on the open water I was caught
and kissed by cloud, romanced by rain.

When I returned to shore, wheeling the kayak up the darkened hill
I was a different person from before and (true to her promise)
found my supper waiting still.

(c) A McN

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Between the lines

Late on a summer evening
in the not-quite-day
and not-quite-night of dusk
I walked out with nothing
but an empty net
to catch some twilight words for you.

Thoughts fluttered like moths
across the moon but I held back;
I did not have the heart to trap them in my net.

A night breeze slid gently
down the slope on which I lay,
tumbling metaphors like scents across the nodding grass
but they were delicate as gossamer and slipped between the weave and warp of words.

So I returned without the words
to tell you what you've meant to me;

but if you read between the lines
you'll find a poem there.

(c) A McN
Sometimes you want to show appreciation to someone but don't know the best way to begin. This was one of those times.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Night fog at the docks

(c) A McN


Night passion

Thin clouds scud ragged across a gibbous moon.
Storm and moonlight stir some ancient magic;
Sleeping trees awake to animated life.

Dancing and shuddering to wild
wind rhythms,
an ecstasy of branches
billow in the dark.

I watch this passion ride unbridled through the winter-wizened trees,
faintly jealous of the raw extravagance at work.

When did I ever love with such abandon?
When was I loved with elemental energy like this?

My giving and receiving
filter through self-conscious lenses
till the passion runs diluted
and the colours wash away.

But I still hope
because the high tide of my breath rises with this moon,
the taut drum of my skin sings to the beat of the air's blunt fist
and my rivers of blood pound the red walls of their channels in spate.

Despite of the numbness of a clumsy self awareness
I am still gifted
with a body
that is buzzing
with the spark and fizz
of being.

I too can
wake to animated life
beneath this canopy of scudding cloud
and silver moon.

(c) A McN

Inching Alchemy of Spring

Suddenly I noticed
how the green shoots grew,
and birds were singing in the eaves..

The brown and barren forest floor
was spiked with lunging life
that perforated winter's skin
of dry dead leaves.

Soft as whispers,
sharp as knives,
green blades
unsheath before the sun.

The inching alchemy
of spring is come.

(c) A McN

Saturday, January 08, 2011


And the forest welcomed me again;
bearing no grudges at my absence,
harbouring no expectations at my presence.

Space was simply made for me.
The air parted for me,
the fragrances infused me,
the mattress of grass held me,
the deep dark soil undergirded me.

It is good to be home.

(c) AMcN


Embalmed by silent shrouds of fog
l stand in a stupor of dreaming,
watching the thin misty light
seep into the shadows of evening.

The trees are wraiths around me,
hovering in and out of dreams;
only the drip of cloud-liquor
distilled from their branches belies their true being.

Space and distance are drunkenly dysfunctional;
invisible blackbirds scold invisible rivals.
Their calls dissolve in darkness and
randomly rematerialise
with fog-softened edges.

I sweep the torch around.
In the beam a billion droplets dance;
each silver sphere defying gravity,
flocking on the whims of air
like thoughts drifting in a cloud's deep dream.

In the distances a universe away a foghorn sounds.
Resonating waters shiver;
sinews shake,
it wakes the hairs upon my skin.
A second answers mournfully from closer in;
the dialogue of dinosaurs
crying out their lostness in a lonely world.

I wander home, fogdrip falls like tears around me
but something luminous inside
is tingling still,
thrilling to the strangeness of
the changeling air.

(c) A McN

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Acre of water

On a wet walk we sat
Watching a fish flash silver in the rain

Breaching the grey air in a flick of flexed muscle and
Falling open mouthed back
To the liquid universe below.

A single splash swallows the moment;
A fish shaped hole in the shimmering surface.
Then the waterskin heals in a quiver of magic and
The lake lies silent save the hiss and
Tinkle of rain and the whispering circles,
Delicate beneath each dancing drop.

The fish shaped hole has long since gone
But its ripples roll across the lake,
A lazy ring of water sliding outwards,
Seesawing the surface to the very edges
Where the rushes grow.

So a single act of a leaping fish
Shakes an acre of water.

May the leaping of our faith and the
Dreaming of our dreams

Achieve the same.

 (c) A McN

Ice dragon

(c) A McN
Watching the ice melt on a pane of glass.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Glow worms

We walked out in a dark, fern-fronded wood,
a place to try your tears and let the cool pine-fragranced air
purify your broken spirit like an incense for the soul.
The path snaked in the dark tangle of
jumbled shapes of trees and scrub,
rock and heather, crag and stream.

From the formless chaos of a thousand shadowed shapes
imagination spawned grotesque
menageries of fear that lapped against
the narrow passage of the path,
mirroring the misery
of condemnatory demands
that echoed still in whispered
accusations in your head.

Then a single point of pure illumination pierced the darkness;
calm and confident it shone as if a
fledgling star had fallen from a nest and crawled
with patience through the undergrowth
until it reached the sky again.

Tiny as it was it lit a hope beyond its size.
In all the jumbled chaos of our hearts
where words are misconstrued and motives all maligned,
the tiny light of love can still be beautiful indeed...

And though our self-esteem
feels like a beetle crawling in the night,
our worth is like a fledgeling star,
a diamond in the dark.

(c) A McN
When we needed them, the glow worms were there. Half a dozen or more illuminated our walk at a dark time when the misery of others had been heaped on us when we were least able to absorb it.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


On a morning's stillness,
Hung between the seagull's cries,
The lick of water tongues on sand is soundless beauty
where the steaming, gleaming
sun sings symphonies
of molten music
on the rippled shore.

I try to guess the tide's intention as it
dallies with each sliding wave.
Some touch my boot and chuckle round my foot
but others shed their shining skin and drown
as unseen suction pulls them down.

My footprints linger for a little while,
Bronze castings in the morning light,
until a breath of tide glides far beyond
the limits of the strand
to claim new markers
on the glistening sand.

In silence all my signs erase.

I wish in all things to be one with you,
For all my marks to be remoulded by your waves,
For all my faults to be refashioned by your grace.

(c) A McN

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Not a molecule there is
But once was bright star substance
Shining in a universe of old.

And even we
(with all the dull utility
Of flesh and bone)
Even we once shone
And graced an ancient night
In galaxies before our own.

So when I laid you in your cot tonight
And marble moonlight glazed your skin with silver leaf
I left the curtains open to the sky;
unwilling to disturb the moonglow's magic on your face.

Ghostly it was, and you transformed before my eyes;
Creature of heaven; milkwhite in darkness.
The cot cast zebra shadows on your frame.

I shut the window lest you float outside,
riding the moonbeams home while I was turned away.

Tiptoed, I left the room
But could not shake the hauntings from my mind,
The memories imagined from another world, another time
When heaven's light was part of mine.
I long with all my heart
To be transformed;
To break the shackles of a shallow mind,
The harness of a cold and hollow heart,
To be consumed,
And burn with fire again.

(c) A McN
This was written many years ago but I only found it recently in a notebook.
The astronomer in me has always marvelled that every cell in my body owes it's founding chemistry to a long lost star explosion where hydrogen and helium were forged into heavier elements. To look at my young son shining in reflected moonlight brought back something of that wonder - we are all creatures derived from light.

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