Reed Marsh


A southern marsh, all green and brown
Is the place we call our own
Our first, most restful home.

Here we were hatched,fledged and taught
Here we sported, played, mock-fought
With other nestlings.

Wingtip to wingtip we filled the sky
Exulting as we learned to fly.
Over that reed-filled marsh.

Nowhere on earth is quite the same
As the marsh where I was born
It calls to me, it cradles me
Away, I feel forlorn.

Here, we attend annual gathers,
Though older and wearing different feathers
These are the friends from long ago
I’ll never forget.

Black cormorants, their wings outspread
To dry,
Waiting for the sun to rise overhead.

Elegant grey-suited cranes, red crowned
Dancing their way across the ground.

Demure kingfishers with orange beaks
Suddenly becoming bright blue streaks
As they swoop and fish.

The harsh summer sun drives us far away
We fly throughout the night and day
To cooler climes and snow-melt streams
But there,
Pre-winter storms bring on the dreams.

Of southern skies, of marsh and reed
Red crabs, shell- fish, the best of feed,
The marsh calls me with its siren song
I join my flock, a thousand strong.

Flying high, calling in clear, high, tones-
Our brains hard wired to magnetic zones
As we arrow South.

We elude the winter, evade the hunter,
Migrating, soaring, on and on
Returning to the reed-marsh where we were born.

Ch easy-peasy?

I slap a slice between slices of bread
They call me unrefined, ill-bred.
There are, I know, three kinds of cheese,
The spread, the ‘sprinkle-on-pizza-piece’
Or the slice, as i said before,
But you tell me of hundreds more?!

Sourced from cows or sheep, mellowed,
Thick, creamy, crumbly– I’m buffaloed.
Oh,that’s mozzarella, you say
Well, have it your any-old -way
Somewhere milk or curd or whey
Is left to ferment many a day.

Certain kinds of bacteria as starter
Make it smelly,sweet or tarter.
I’m sure my tongue needs no PhDs
In the multifarious avatars of cheese

To enjoy to the full this delicious taste
Whether as powder, slice or paste!

Wake up, Gita!

I know its Sunday, but the hours will mot keep
Don’t waste this day in unfeeling sleep.
There’s so much to do, much to see
Birds building nests, although the trees
Stand undressed in the yard.

On weekdays you have jobs to do
This morning, you can roll in the dew,
Drink from a raindrop caught in a leaf,
Wonder at the cicada’s unerring belief
That seventeen years are gone. Why
Would you want the world to pass you by
When you can shout and laugh and cry
Out loud to the clear blue sky?

Ode to the harvest

Harvest grain glows burnished bronze, in the sun’s warm glow
The tall proud stalks, crowned and tasselled bow to the passing wind.
The wayward wind ruffles their heads and gently passes on.
I hear the rustling of gossipy leaves, as they draw near one another,
Ive seen them young and green and tender in the cool of the spring weather.
Soon enough they’ll be bunched and tied in rows of dry corn shocks
Ready to feed the mighty on the earth, but knowing well the worth
Of all living things,the farmer will surely leave for the littlest ones
The last of the harvest gleanings.

Night walk

I stride freely, swing my arms high,
Breathe deeply, wave at Orion in the sky.
The road is clean and clear, no traffic snarls
No blaring horns, only a barn owl’s calls.

The dust has dettled, the smog is gone,
The beribboned roads lead me on.
The highways are shining coloured bands–
The city uses to greet, shake hands
With the suburbs.

Once a lone truck trundles by
Then I’m alone again with thr earth and sky.

Ocean spirit

I am fluid, adapting, changing,
Between the shores of life and death,
Restless, birthing waves, eroding
Cliffs, slowly grinding stone to sand.

I have deep depths where you may find
Fantastic fish of every kind.
I play in the shallows, i ride the white foam
Gently I carry many fishermen home.

I throw up great ships, tumble them down
My titanic slopes.
I clasp to my bosom the sailors that drown.

I wear sun-sparkles over robes of blue-green,
The full moon covers me with a silver sheen.
But exuberant at high tide, or despondent at low,
I am confident that i truly know
My unchanging role
As immortal soul.


More than a fish, I’m an idea, a dream,
You think I’m a salmon swimming upstream.
I’ve swallowed the bait of your gauzy flies,
A mesh surrounds me: all your false lies.

You’ve woven this net, but you cannot kill
My memories of the Gulf Stream, deep seas and krill,
Of leaping the rapids, to return to spawn
In the highland pool where my race goes on.

I’ll just move on, my colours, my breath,
Will fade to the rigid grey ghost of death.
But, just be still and listen, and you may hear
The song of the salmon, distant and clear,

A sussuration of fins, new eggs hatching
To journey to the ocean, to hear the waves sing.

The call

I feel the pull, hear the siren call
Of books that push me into free fall,
No sense of fear, or time or place
In ocean abyss or the depths of space.

I meet mercenaries, tyrants, a bloody pirate
Delve into a psychotic mind and yet
Retain my own identity.
Its the people, society,
That cause strain
Pressurise my poor brain,
So that all day long I toil on
To conform to some vague old norm:
Of living in pigeon-lofts in a city
Of losing all freedom, the elasticity
Of a flexible, enquiring mind.

I work all day pounding laptop keys
Like a galley slave on grecian seas.
Its only in books that I live at ease
Vicariously experiencing whatever I please.

Scent of Summer

I flex the muscles of my mind
To stretch back, reach out, try to find
Why I suddenly recall a summer day
When all around is a gloomy grey.

Laburnum in a vase, a fresh fruit platter,
Picnic by the pool, laughing and chatter,
Are you then, wearing that special fragrance:
‘Soupir d’ete’? It evokes such remembrance

Of long summer days, glowing, lucent,
When the autumn of our lives is almost spent,
My love?


Dark street at night, a circle of light,
An arch like nothing I’d seen before,
Was it a portal, a wormhole door
Leading to somewhere else in the cosmos?
I froze.

I did not think to run away
I was seized in the grip of awe:
My mind trying to make sense of
What my dazzled eyes now saw.

A science experiment gone wrong?
ET’s in my mundane town?
Wondering, guessing,I waited,
For my pulses to calm down.

I stood transfixed in wonder
Till a whiff of ozone, a clap of thunder,
Caused the apparition to vanish.
How I still regret and wish

That I had never paused to guess
How I wish I’d answered “Yes! ”
To that inviting, open door.