Samhaine Song

We sit here tonight
At one more year’s turning,
We hold our friends close
In the darkness returning.

Samhaine is here
And the great wheel is turning.
The apples are gathered,
The leaves are all scattered,
The bonfires are burning.
Samhaine is here again,
Samhaine is here.

Inside there’s laughter
And firelight and candle-glow.
Outside is the night
And the rain on the window.

(Repeat refrain)

The grain's in the barns
But the Wild Hunt is running.
The apples are sweet
But the sharp frost is coming.

(Repeat refrain)

The Lord of the wood
In the Shadowlands, waiting,
Like seeds in the earth
For the new light's awaking.

(Repeat refrain)

The Lady, the Crone,
By her cauldron is spinning
The thread of our lives
Through all ends and beginnings.

(Repeat refrain)

So set a spare place
For the old ones returning,
As we sit here tonight
At one more year's turning.
As we sing here tonight
In the darkness returning.

(Repeat refrain)


Down by the white noise of the river
I took my palette and my brush. I thought
To paint my words upon the water.

But the current took the lost calligraphy
And shook it in its headlong, feral jaws,
Worried it amongst pebbles in deep pools
Between the grey and lichened rocks,
Then drowned its voice with roaring.

So I took my knife to score the idle breeze,
Cutting quick characters with rapid strokes,
Skin deep. A scar-tissue of graffiti.

But the year turned and the wind awoke.
The words were caught up in flying leaves,
Dispersed, and scattered on the ground.

So I took my chisel and my hammer
To engrave the words that I had dreamed.
I carved into the surface of the sea,

But the lines were swallowed by the undertow
As fast as I could swing and strike the blade,
Sucked down past tiny, spiralled pearls of air
To coral, shipwrecked and transformed.

So, there is no remedy but to shout,
Regardless, at the patient, open sky,
Where thoughts give birth to flocks of birds.

A murder of crows, a cloud of starlings,
A bevy of larks swoop and wheel and write
Kaleidoscopic verses on the air.

As ephemeral as music,
As fickle and as fleeting as a dream.

DJR Sept/Oct 2013

Exciting Forthcoming Event


Poetry and storytelling

October 20th 2013

King's Hotel


Click here to buy your ticket

David's collection of poems, and a few images, is now available to purchase.

Please follow this link:

"The Book of Paper Dreams"

Follow this link to see Ben Johnson and me

reading in St.Thomas's Church 

Please click here

My To-Do List

Instead of mucking about with words,
I should devote my life
to the pursuit of some high enterprise
for the betterment of all mankind,
and for the improvement of my soul.
Also, to astound my friends,
confound my enemies.

I shall make a little list.

First, I'll write a catalogue of daydreams
fully indexed and cross-referenced.

And then, a large-scale map of passing clouds
as a foolproof aid to navigation.

Design a device to plot precisely,
to seventeen decimal points,
the exact parameters of the perfect kiss
and the significance of any smile.

Build a compass so sensitive it shows,
to plus or minus one second of arc,
exactly where the time does go.

And a small machine to analyse
why and how one thing leads to another.

I'll draw a graph to plot trajectories,
accurate to a thousandth of an inch,
for all unintended consequences.

And lastly, if I really choose to try,
I shall transcribe, in copperplate,
the definitive answer to the question:

DJR July 2013

David, and Ben Johnson, will be reading a selection of their poems as part of a concert at St. Thomas's Church, Lymington on Saturday 27th. July.

Dancing Ledge

Will you dance with me on Dancing Ledge
on a night when the moon is round?
When the arc of sea
and the vault of sky
cannot be told apart,
when the night is old
and the tide is low
and the stars are leaning in.

Then our feet will step
on the shattered rock
between the gleaming pools,
and we will turn and we will sway
like fronds in the submarine world.

And everything now will be different
though nothing will have changed.

And if we danced on Dancing Ledge
by the whispering of the sea,
the pale, jealous moon
would cover her face
and the curious stars
would turn away.

And we would stand still
and look to the east,
as the sky and the sea drift apart,
and out of the rift between the two
the dawn would flood in like the tide,
and the day would break open too soon.

And nothing at all would be different
but everything would be changed.

DJR May 2013

Cover Your Eyes

When I come to you,
cover your eyes.

I dance on points on the very edge
of the chasm of the world,
eyes closed, arms flung to the stars.
The sight alone would scorch your retinas.
But I will never fall.
Cover your eyes.

I hold the runes and the prophetic cards.
I carry the scissors and the paper,
in my hand is a rock,
The odds are stacked against you.
You must play the game, but you will never win.
Cover your eyes.

On the highest levels of the wind
I fly with crows and angels,
laughing, with both wings tied behind me.
Look, no hands! Vertigo would stop your breath.
But I will never fall.
Cover your eyes.

I am the holy fool.
I pirouette on the axis of your soul
without your permission.
I sang your life into being
while you were looking the other way.
Cover your eyes.

When I come to you now,
cover your eyes.

But you are too late.
I am already there inside you,
Where I have always been.

DJR April 13

Seems appropriate to post this today, February 14th......

The Book of Longing

Opening my book of longing,
I find you written there.
The ink's still clear despite the years
Since I first learned to write,
Tracing your name with trembling hand
Upon your burning skin.


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