top of page

TankaPoetry 1

Poems 1 - 115



I live in tall trees

Where hope wraps itself in chains

But pain loosens them

And pulls the world in focus

Until it imagines dreams



Storms can be empty

They can sit between spaces

Throwing hail outside

Coating lives with peaky hues

Strangely silent in the blue



The contagion swells

Spread by clinical refrain

Yet souls swallow the light

Of imperfection and rain

Regardless of Earthly pain


As the fire dies down

I see a wild fox stalk the ash

Until it sees morning

A glint from the night's burning

In the emptiness of day


This New York dreamscape

Is like lead around my belly

I can't move or stand

Or claw from the hollow fibres

As I masquerade in sleep


I may push my head

Into the hollow mouths of thieves

To decant humour

Where it rolls on prickled leaves

Back into the hollow trees


The brimming darkness

Hardening the present crush

Pushing the present

Until the earth breaks apart

Releasing us to a new dawn



A word blown in by the wind

Scuttling through the town

Catching people by the heels

And manically roaming around


You, slayer of time

Bemisting the future light

Until darkness folds

Into an abyss of dreams

Marking the coming fight


Seldom see this light

Or the seas so green and calm

A pastose melody

Painted with infinite vibe

As if a painter turned a scribe


His beatitude

Striving for vocation

For a place to land

For a place to cherish dear

When dreams have turned to sand


Under God's candle

Feverish desires cease

Yet under moonlight

There's no telling what you'll meet

Whether it be man or beast


The orbs that you grow

Those unexplained dashes of light

Cutting through the ice

Revealing your frosty heart

As if it were the burning sun


In temporal dreams

We have unbounded beauty

And unchained emotions

To better see the limits

Of all human endeavour


Perhaps we are just

Skeletal dynamism

Rounded by the flesh

Lost within the folding Earth

With one hand from the dirt


Marbleize my eyes

Until they cannot see light

Until the world is dark

But for rainbows interspersed

Between the plankton of life



The atua sleeps

Among the wild kauri trees

Shrouded by moonlight

Amid a sea of broken cleaves

A deity lost to dreams


Nymphs of the rough sea

Secret lepers of the land

Who have swam rivers

To find cities in darkness

Under pools of holy light


The dark woods echo

With deific whispering

Callings of the shrine

An embodiment of stone

Set forth by the river flow


The sun shines over

The castellar walls of virtue

Where pale faced monks sit

Among the dull artless shade

For the sins of godless men


The playa fills up

As the desert rain descends

And the molecules

Gather to form a lake

Of temporary bliss



Two legs in winter

The rest tucked away inside

And now the summer

Can shine on uncovered legs

And leave winter far behind



The sleep sick homeless

From Glasgow to London to Rome

Dunked down in cold air

Buying time in shop doorways

Hoping the night will be kind



A pearl of beauty

Here in the hollow black sky

Where space unifies

Every whisper of man

Into a wormhole full of lies



These last feathers lay

Outstretched wings sailing towards

A room without end

A light without luminescence

A Freedom from gravity


Life affirms repeat

As this shuddering juggernaut

Heads into the void

Where dreams surf the rising sea

And drowning permits repeat



In the gallant dreams

Of Tarkovsky's universe

You showed empathy

For the dark waters that seep

Into the shadows of man



To be freely drawn

We fight to break the inside

So we can fly over

All the nameless souls of grit

And break the chains of our teeth



Unfurled desire

Sadness between joy and hate

Ice between fire

We melt between the edges

And fall at the hands of fate



If stillness could beg

Then I a better beggar be

If movement could feed

Then I a banquet waiting

For a beggar better than thee



Amid the humid air

I see you carrying me

And I wonder if

You might lend me your wide eyes

So I may see the light beyond



Silence between dust

The particles swimming through

An ocean of air

Where the atmosphere looms bright

In the dim void of my mind



The edge always has

Something beyond the drop

Waiting in the dark

Ready to collect the souls

Who have fallen off the brink



Does the microscope

Take the soul of its subject

And hide it in the world

That exists beneath our own

So that no eye can see it?



You eat your pain whole

Under bowls of mouldy soup

But what of the fruit?

What of the ripe banana

That destroyed your broken dreams?


Tardiness is futile

Time will be the death of you

For nothing escapes

The military juggernauts

Who turn tardies into stew



All things unwitnessed

By ever-present eyes

Must be unhurried painters

Who have found delight

In the soles of their sleep



The intimate silence

Has to be filled by strangers

Else we'd hear the souls

Clanking around in heaven

Oiling the cogs of time



We are as flowers

Fighting against gravity

Our heads to the sun

With petals swaying

In the amber light of dusk


The midday sun rises

Into the chemical sky

Buried beneath the earth

Yesterday's sun illuminates

The seeds of tomorrow's youth



Do not shelter there

Beneath night's dusty coils

For the moon is calling

And daylight will end its reign

In a light of unknown arc



The night breeds the abyss

And open am I to that void

To crawl into space

And be closed by the weight

Of the spherical pearls within



The outside calling

Out for diminishing dreams

Then crawling back inside

To multiply the dark night

In a bed that's never seen



There are monsters there

In the wild and silent wood

Where nights are threaded

Into the fabric of dreams

And torn apart by broken seams



Words serve as my echo

The familiar called strange

The face of reason

Unmasked by simple letters

Brought home by simple words



Every curve wilts us

Every corner can blind us

Yet every note falls

And this thing called life goes on

Play, repeat, pause, rewind



Material world

How solemn you make me grow

When the hollow fibres

Desiccate my mindful words

And eradicate my soul



Emptiness is catching

It can rot you inside out

So you've got to fill it

Before the hollow takes hold

And you become an empty void



Lines of fish that swim

Beneath the dark silky waters

Find the flow of life

A spirited journey home

To the place where they were born



Melancholic woe

My legs hold back the river

Yet standing takes a toll

As the waters become fiercer

And my feet start to absorb



The borders are closing

On the dreams of man and woman

Yet still we fight on

For a place among carers

Who enforce the human spirit



What have I seen and felt

That goes beyond my beating heart?

Memories never won

Heartaches never suffered

A life vicariously lived



Sadness on mountains

The grey crown as the storm wears in

And the sky sullen

Darkens atmospheric bliss

Then the beautiful rain



The last hope for man

Is not to reach new planets

But to find empathy

For every living entity

From humans to a trapped fly



I want to escape

And live among the letters

That make up this verse

Jagged and humble - though some are

I could sleep beneath the R



As clear as sky

Not falling into dusk's hands

Just teetering the edge

Letting the dissolved darkness

Fight the particles of light



Never more true

Than was in truest form

For that the lie jailed

So that no man can hear it

And no truth sayer can know it



In a moment's fleeting

We are all that we can be

Thunderous and childlike

Like the corals that shiver

Beneath the waves of the sea



This moment of virtue

Akin to heaven's passing

Is rapt and ready

Like trees that rise to the skies

We grow to be on heaven's side



We kindred spirits meet

In the hollow void called molecule

Where all matter hides

Between science and numbers

At the shallow end



Winters seldom get

The sculptures of ice they seek

For summer melts them

Before two parallels combine

Like the opposites of time



Creatures under moon

How rare your beauty becomes

When the sun dances

And the last ripples away

To a place where echoes stay



Love resigns to hope

Many flakes that fall will melt

Yet some resign to freeze

In the heavy winters

Of my long enduring heart



There is nothing here

But a clock to tell the time

To watch the seconds go

And to feel the present move

And to watch the setting sun



Far from this window

Many treasures are often seen

Yet here behind glass

There is only poorest junk

Set around worlds of knowledge



Immortal stillness

Here lies death without disguise

The pale ocean bliss

That carries far from my eyes

Lay you not tomorrow's kiss



Oh poor envied fool

What world casts you in darkness?

And what unknown place

Plays host to your tired feet

When the day is final done?



An utterance of words

A plea for salvation heard

Never kill the birds

Or be still of nature's song

Let the dance bestill all wrong



Cautionary tales

The past unfolds wisdom's pearls

Yet we are cautious

To swallow these blessed things

But instead make the tale anew



Beauty owes no debt

Yet we a debt to beauty

In flowers grown

There is harmonic bliss

And in all things - nature's kiss



Galloping over land

Eyes saddened by human war

Sides never chosen

Only masterly loyalty

Until hoofs are broken



Milky moonlit-darkness

Thoughts tumbling down the hillside

Here is the divine

Where I escape my own mind

And rise above my thoughts



Let the gates open

Swallow your inner thoughts whole

To affect, to affect

Stir the tornadoes of winter

Inside all of our hearts



Words walking down a street

Humming tunes of yesterday

Still can be freshly served

In digestible chunks

And insatiably consumed



Autonomy lives

In the eyes of the children

Who live by design

And who give away their free minds

For the dilution of time



Vivid enlightenment

Of your amber broken dreams

The ground raised me up

To see over the tops of trees

And there a ladder to the sky



The endless breath

Caught in a boundless depth

Of stillness floating

And wisdom rising kingdoms

From the pits and to the sky




You stir the weather of my heart

Always leaving me

With the chance of sunny spells

And a slight risk of showers



We do not know death

It hides around corners

Yet touches us all

The essence of all life's end

Preserved in a darkened room



Upon the dying wind

A kiss moulded by the land

And harshly received

Like frozen flowers to the touch

A thought crushed in the mulch



Envelopes of fortune

Treasured lives cast in ink

Memories foretold

Future bleak in winter clothes

Myths dispelled by ragged prose



The trees talk at night

Whispers in the humid dark

Calling for water

For sustenance underground

A tree root knocks on my door



The desolate world

Where icicles falling

Are the only sounds

No human ear, no human mouth

Intelligence is no more



Dignified silence

The flickering of the mouth

Willing tears to stop

Emotions to hide in cages

Until the darkness gives up



These branches hurry

From the eyes and to the sky

Waiting for answers

From the raindrop factory

News of a place in heaven



The clock erases time

Eats it up as if it were soup

And we are only

Beginning to understand

Its unbecoming nature



Quiet destiny

Can you hear the whisperers?

And the unsubtle dwarfs

Who mime-slit their quiet throats

As your destination awaits



I am a falling leaf

Fate-wrapped by the winds of change

Duty-bound for life

Whether wilting on tarmac

Or falling into the earth



Forever falling

But kept in place by the Earth

Our souls are resting

On the land of the living

And in death we shall awake



The sound of emptiness

Then an amazing vibration

As the tibetan bowl

Sings its melody of calm

Through the peaceful air



The ethereal peace

That rests within human hearts

Is often buried

Deeper than conversation

And greater than conscious thought



Uncommon gazes

Are like sparks of gentle light

Where passion underlies

The framework of loves' guise

Until clouds become night



Black leaves gradually wilt

To a silhouette of fire

That beckons the day

Into night, like a fountain

Recurring dreams will out



Cocooned inside warmth

This bird that knows no outside

So when an open door

Whispers the words of freedom

It flies to its death



Awaiting events

Is all life seems to be for

Whether its yours or mine

Doesn't matter anymore

It's all just broken space



The wire frame wilts

And this body slopes to the ground

To be consumed

By the crunching soil beneath

And hungry earthworms below



The night is rising

The stars are moving in place

I am gently resting

Hoping to find oblivion

In the quiet corners of sleep



It seems to me that

Time passes without refrain

And we cannot hope

To cherish a moment through will

Or sheer determination



Enraptured in all things

This beating heart chooses words

As delicately formed

As petals in the breeze

Weighed down by the falling rain



Never shall we see

The cogs that turn the machine

That's not for us to see

Instead I'll settle for nature

And contentment sprung from ants



Silence is a cloud

That rises with the wind of life

As wisdom grows out

And as purity sinks low

To the deeper waters of the soul



Nothing illumine

Nothing wet from dusty rain

Just a sadness

That pervades the physical realm

Like a fine mist sweeping through



Observing still life

In the borders of a dream

Then opening eyes

To a black and white world

Monochrome at best



Empty vessels

Electric dreams

Disengaged harmony

They are the mechanical

Pariahs of our age



The jerky prism

Shedding its beauty like leaves

Throwing nature's dice

Releasing a thousand dreams

From the dark side of the moon



To burst free of these walls

To stand up against logic and sense

To believe in angels

To walk into a mystery

Is fiction at its very best



Like sleeping dragons

There is hope in the absurd

While outside of our dreams

Reality bites its boredom

Inside them we live for hope



The lady sleeps

Resplendent in silent poise

Happy perhaps

With the land she has discovered

Unaware of the world's turning



Gentility misplaced

In your urban flowers

Where foxes hunt the night

And the rivers flood their banks

This is nature's anarchy



The subtle sinking

Of seas not sailed or sallied

Here the aftermath

Roars like a tiger's soul

As the world gently unspools



To be encased within

This vessel of mortal splendour

I wallow in the wind

For the antithesis

Of all freedom's woes



The quiet of Earth

The invisible turning

Milkshake frothy head

Melting into obscurity

Thickened skin like melting glass



What lies entrenched

Beneath this soggy chamber?

What past shadows darken

Beneath the ruination

Of this forgotten house?



In dreams we wake

To the alabaster sun

Then sit under a tree

Until the lie is complete

And our real lives can begin



Storms gather oceans

And bring their moods to meet

The sympathetic

Dwellings of our tired Earth

Born in yesterday's rage

bottom of page