Walking in the Rain

High up on the misty ridge

I lean into the punch of wind,

the cut of horizontal rain.


Over grey-green, restless waves

eiderdowns of sodden cloud unroll,

sagging with the weight of rain.


A wet September Sunday.

The cool, sweet juice of blackberries

picked and eaten in the rain.


On leaf and thorn and fruit

trembling globes of light suspended.

Shiny, fragile pearls of rain.


Such words as these condense

as droplets falling out of cloud

to the rhythm of the rain.


To the rhythm of my steps

through long, wet grass, over hard stone,

these words, falling down like rain.

Pictures at an Exhibition

Don’t be shy, step in,

cross the threshold, leave this world.

These unlocked doorways,

these open windows,

unspoken invitations

to another place.

Do you know this sky

with its looping skein of birds,

its upswept cloudscape?

This woman dancing

barefoot on a rocky shore

beneath a round moon?

This twisted pathway

under dark, unfriendly trees,

eyes in the shadows?

This couple, naked

on the edge of winter, sad,

leaving the garden?

Having once stepped in,

will you return unaltered,

having seen such things?

Having crossed over,

will you recognise your world?

Will you be the same?

DJR Aug 17

Each day, we eat our dinner and we watch
the hungry, the bullied and the scarred, and all
those sad migrations of the dispossessed.

From comfortable armchairs we watch
the bombs bloom red as sudden flowers
in broken cities with their shredded lives.

Drinking our wine we watch the thirsty.
Here are the drownings, and here the cries,
behind the anaesthetic of the screen.

And day by day the soul fills up with cinders.
How should we measure this slow corrosion,
this acid rust that scars and clots the heart?

Look through the lens. Such anonymity
absolves us. Call it objectivity,
for these are not our neighbours or our friends.

Through the nave of the wood

into the sanctuary; our steps

hushed by leaf-litter, slow as supplicants.

Curtains of silence, hemmed with birdsong, hang

from fan vaulting branches, bare

against a clerestory of sky.

Pale columns rise, beech trunk spires,

polished, cool and smooth as stone.

A stillness here, more profound than prayer,

a waiting deeper still than patience.

The forest, held in balance, holds its breath,

balancing on this one moment

that any moment will dissolve.

Then, the breath exhaled, the prayer spoken,

as each coming breath confirms

the breathless psalm of spring.

Winter Blues

I am in an arid season

where nothing germinates,

and nothing will grow.


Is this a hibernation or a drought?

Nothing will connect,

and nothing cleaves to nothing.


I sit in this armchair, one third awake,

and follow old day-dreams down blind alleys

beside the fire, beneath the cat's warm weight.


Outside the house, in the uncertain light,

wind frets and fidgets in the wet gutters.

Rain clatters, cold, against the window glass.

Three October Pieces

Clouds erase the moor,

beech trees stand and wait, resigned,

trembling with each gust.

Showers of crisp leaves,

dancing with the wind, spinning,

but always falling.

Still pool beneath trees.

Grey heron rises through rain.

Water drips. Leaves float.

One afternoon, upon the wide savannah,
The expansive, rolling plain,
A solitary, lone thesaurus grazes.
The heedless, inattentive beast
Ruminates unobservantly,
Of impending peril unaware.

Danger, meanwhile, approaches fast.
With lethal assegais and deadly spears,
Equipped with nets and gins and traps and snares,
A tribe of natives, aboriginal.
Through trickery and stealth and guile
Our naïve quadruped is double-crossed,
Bamboozled, cozened and enmeshed. Alas!

Later, languishing at the zoo
(Vile vivarium! Mean menagerie!)
Our thesaurus, in custody confined,
Is melancholy, depressed, downcast,
Lamenting, pining for the open steppe.

Here he stoops, a prisoner, dejected.
Laughed at by humourless hyenas,
Beset and basely belittled by bees,
Lied to by dissembling lyre birds,
By reproving reptiles reprimanded,
Terrorised by tyrannical terrapins,
Ignored by ignoble iguanas,
And ostracised by ostriches.

And Oh, the shame! Humiliation!
He finds himself stared at, observed,
Incessantly and without relent.
And witnessed, watched, beheld, by such a crowd,
A press, a throng, a numerosity,
A multitudinous myriad
Of spectators, gawpers, rubber-neckers.
The public, the great unwashed.
The hoi polloi.


Here's a link to some video shot by

Seif Alaya

at The Platform 

at Mad Cucumber:

David reading

"The Book of Paper Dreams"

(A collection of poems and photographs)


David Robinson

In the Kingdom of the Blind

In the kingdom of the blind, they say,

the one-eyed men will reign.

Then nothing will the cost defray


as our best dreams we soon betray

to tedium and pain.

In the kingdom of the blind, they say,


when desire blindly eats away

a hollow in the brain,

then nothing will the cost defray.


Those parasite regrets will lay

their virus in the vein,

in the kingdom of the blind, they say,


and hatch out disappointment grey,

a cold and septic stain.

Then nothing will the cost defray,


and no-one will the curse unsay

that binds us to this chain

in the kingdom of the blind, they say.

And nothing will that cost defray.


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