Looming, a lead-grey blanket

hanging over blue-milk evening light.

In cooling electric air

an urgent blackbird bound for a home

hidden in the waiting hedge.


The world withholding breath.


A distant growl; the breeze stiffens,

the rain-crescendo starts.

Drains delight in baby-gurglings,

roof-moss droppings smear the panes

of the back-door porch.


Across the street, slates are steaming,

the gutter a gargoyle, incontinent.

Ripples chase each other down the hill;

street-borne rivers meet, swerve round tyres,

threaten to breach their kerbstone banks.


Diminuendo now, the spilling eases.

House-lights flicker, then fail; dark descends.


In the dim unrefrigerated stillness,

the flare of a match,

lamplight licking kitchen tiles.



‘Lamplight’ was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition, April 2012.


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