Sea  Watch

Published  1972


This, my first book of poetry, was divided into three sections with each section having a short preface poem. I hoped this poem would make clear the quite distinct, even if interwoven, levels of experience from which the poems in that particular section were written.

In my mid twenties I had been overwhelmingly made aware of two different types of love. To distinguish between the two I used then - and still use - a capital ‘L’ to represent Divine or Spiritual Love. I used a small letter ‘l’ for human love, ‘romantic’ love.

The first section contains poems about love and the loss of that love, between woman and man.

The second section tries to express my experience of Divine Love. Dorothy Sayers described the Vision of Beatrice as sometimes leading to the Beatific Vision. I have not found any better way to describe, in prose, my experience. This understanding, this Vision, this sense of a Presence, God, something greater than and beyond that contained in a material world has never left me. It is the cornerstone of my life and work.

In the third section my poetry explores on a less intensely personal level, a variety of subjects that interested me in the mid to late 1960s.



A Song
Song of Two
Fragments:  2, 4, 5, 6
Crying Dark City
Dumb Sight:  1, 3, 5, 6
Warm Night of London Spring


Now it is Eden
Who will love just for Love?
A Prayer
Virgin Night
Harvest Home
The Sailor


Child Songs:  2, 3, 4, 5
To a very young man
Old man
'Eternal Womanhood leads us on'
All Europe is now in High Harvest
Chemical Warfare:  1, 2



Dirked into love that has no common lover’s time,
Impaled by essence into essence of being,
Ripped open into the whole self
I face you and Love.

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A Song

Some lovely thing embraced me in the night,
Strange as the dark forest,
Ancient as the animals of Eden.

A licking life of the earth,
Sap of the first mad oak,
Creature with Puck and the deer.

Some lovely thing embraced me in the night,
Washed me in strong pagan tongue,
And I was cleansed into love.

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Song of Two

I am the peach with living fur
I am the white stars down on earth,
I am the green moss warmed with sun
I am the small dark bring life.

I am the young beech leaves in Spring
I am the dawn that trembling waits,
I am the thick grass rolling ripe
I am the rounded hills that see.

I am the wheat fields hot in gold
I am the ivory with moist flesh,
I am the curling wave inshore
I am the slim goblet that laughs.

And you, beloved, give me this.

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In you
I was lost
In a world I knew.

In you
I came back
A stranger to home.

In you
I was,
With the universe my heart.

In you
I saw born
My beginning, life’s birth.

In you
Was my soul
And in me, yours.

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Earth lies about us like beloved arms
And the ethereal night rests in out soul.
Because we are here together
We dare to lean and touch
And breathe the Universe.



About the hills there is no Art, no Thought, no Talk,
All is itself.
A pebble, leaf or weed.
And no more reason has anything for being
Than that all is, than that all lives.


Venice with sea eyes flows away,
Hills of the Hebrides vanish.
With your returning
I am focused solely on your sight.


Come let us love out through all time,
Forget the past,
See nothing, only no
Love will not wait for settled hours
So we must catch her,
Sing if she sees us.
All time is now
And we all time can keep,
If only we love now.

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When you have gone from me
My love, rising like a tide with no moon,
Grabs wildly out to gulp and eat the seas that live
around me,
For the finite love for you swells me to infinite love for fishes
And I catch all creatures in my mouth.

When you have gone from me
I gasp, a stranded whale
Shored on the sand by all the love that breeds and sings
within me,
And dream towards
The wild, sharp ocean birth of your return.

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Crying Dark City

Dark city,
Ghost gull crying
From the sea.

Heavy licking sea
All around.
Shrill lost cry
Lost sea
Lost love.

Smell of salt
And wind blown warmth.
Wandering sea
Wandering love

A ship,
Tar smelling wood,
Cuts, falls.
Huge stars
Shine on white masts.

Tight, hungry sea,
Whining sea
Hungry love

Hot silence
Flowing , talking
Whispering water,
White moon.

One cloud
Covers light.
Black funnels in an ocean

Plunging prow
Wild spray.
Hard wet storm.
One love is the sea,
Shouting sea.

Hissing, hurting water,
Shrieking ropes.
Winds kill sea, sails.
Wet dying sheets,
Dying love.

Wide, endless sea
Endless love.
Wide winging gull,
Crying dark city

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Dumb Sight:

The snow is in the room
Everything is naked.

A star has fallen into the fire
And the snow is burning.

Love looks and is blinded,
Numbed back.

Outside the door it is dumb
Pain frozen.


In the curve of the moon
In the darkness of night
In the quietness of night
I see,
I see you.


Because we cannot trust
We cannot love,
Because we fear to give
True love is lost.

The swallows go swooping to the south summer,
Geese, ducks fly away from winter,
I leave with the geese
But leave Spring here with my lover,
To go out to my winter.

Love him well while I go with the swallow.

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The moon is full
The wind is wild
I stand now by the sea
And her power beats in me.

You have my love, you leave my love
I hold you in my hand.

The tide is high
The wave is white
The night is big, awake.

You have my love, you leave my love
I fight to love more and be weak.

For the moon is full
The earth is alive
I stand now by the sea
And salt milk throbs in me.

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Warm Night of London Spring

Roars in the trees
Beating leaves out to bud.

Thrusts into me
I dance with the earth.

I, life, rush with life
Towards fresh growth,
Blindness bloods into green.

All life turns, I leap
Open to the embrace
And the seed.

Life lying with life
Is love,
Virile to create.

Tonight I am Life
Not woman
My male all that lives.

I sing
With the universe
As my self.

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Worlds of evil, worlds of good, cities of smoke and pain
And forests thick with birds.
All thought, all intuition
Reason and emotion
Circle into a

At this centre,
At this living core
Lies the union, spirit or flesh, or divinely both.
Nothing lives out of this, there must be other to complete the whole,
And in the silence of the meeting two, matter and mind join into love
And there is growing in to birth.

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Now it is Eden

Now it is Eden
Each is the first Adam, Eve.
Today is the first snake,
Today is the first apple.

Eden was not once,
The snake not then, forever,
No one was cursed,
They have forgotten.

Eden is each Adam, Eve,
If memory will remember
And not use love
To make the garden walled.

For Eden will not barter,
Will not be used.
Eden has no child
Eden has no altar.

Eden is just Love
Flesh out of flesh,
Denying self had rights,
Eden is a desert garden.

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Who will love just for Love?

Who will grasp that first whole world,
Shake off the thousand snakes,
Who will dance the dawn, the dark
And naked shout to naked Love.

Who will take the hiltless sword,
The hoof without the shoe,
Who will catch the rose
Up into the daffodil.

Who will stride into the earth
Who’ll seize the primal root
Who’ll stamp the bone into the sun,
Who will love just for Love?

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A Prayer

The lover
Seizing with beauty the beloved’s wild body
Gives birth to the garden of flame.

Then she all bright
Carries him through the limbs and the breasts of the woman
Out from his primal loving of beauty, his loving her body,
And leans him into the body of the universe.
To that body huge with Beauty
That holds in its wide womb the life of all creatures, Love.

He, warmed with her loving
Touches this place of Creation
Moving beyond beloved to Love.

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Virgin Night

Radiant universe!
Through love, Love is reborn into flesh.

Limbs become altars sacred and strong
Eyes pierce for candles, fire movement for song
Thighs sway as choirs shouting glory to soul.
All is together.
Love ripples in sinew, Love sings in spirit,
Hot burning bone is soul.

Fierce fingers build temples, cathedrals,
Rich hallowed life lies through lips.
Sharp brilliant light flesh with flesh
Human soul, god soul are one.

Body laughs to other body,
Spirit shines into meekness
Kneels as body to other spirit.
Each cell is creating each essence of its one
Back to join each to its godhead,
Give out all to be all,
Give up self to All Self to be self.

Body burns with the Infinite, being Infinite.
Thighs, soul and lips
Rejoice in one Beauty, one Holiness.
All is Love.

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I am whole
In that I live
And Love lies in me
Without other.

He whom I love
Is whole, complete,
And does not need
My love to live.

But he, flesh, other
Gave me myself
And I remembered that within me
I was complete.

His flesh, my flesh
Returned my birth,
His male, my female
Cut me from him.

Alone, myself,
My eyes cleared back
To where with Love
I could completely be.

He whole, I whole,
Both creatures and complete,
But he I love, other,
First fleshed back Sight.

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Harvest Home

You live in the wheat
That lies in the field,
I see you stand by the tree
Holding a child and the moon.

Your hands are driving the tractor,
Husbanding the growing earth
And You have made this harvest,
This apple, this cherry, this peach.

I know You sleep in the oak
As well as in the stable
And in the farthest field
You are planting the rice and the palm.

You lie in all my living,
Consecrate my wine
And make my bread be love,
Gather me home with the harvest, my love consummated.

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In the garden
We first loved,
Flesh and flesh,
Life living.

In the garden
I sang alone
And first knew
Life was betrayed.

Into the garden
You returned
My love was healed,
Flesh leapt away.

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There is joy in your existing,
You are alive, you, you,
You are shouting with the cities
You are naked with the seas.

You live, I know a leaping
Through the roots into the earth,
You live, and I as blotting paper
Absorb the universe.

And desire that hungers always in the bone
For you, who are the blood
Cannot kill Love, that singing out from flesh
Makes you rise son above the lover.

For the joy lies in your living,
Your born soul is the virile act.
You live and I rejoice,
You live and I am glad.

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The Sailor

You who showed me Love living in all flesh,
You who from your ‘I’ threw me to the sand
To bite the outline of noon sun with only human mouth,

You, who as other life
Lifted me to the throat of a world so banqueted
That I eat all days from it,

You who clean as the heat of deserts
Loved me to Love in one night
And left me chewing the earth and wave and Man,

You, who as that ‘I’ that one only ‘I’,
Who pushed the firmament to me -
Take from my tongue the searing stone,
Push with your hands that firmament away.

Oh my love, my Love,
As the sailor home from the joyous and sharp sea
Knowing he will return for his blood is salt,
Let me hold you face, let me rest, let me sleep.

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Ship of white gulls
Ship of one watch
Ship of one love
One humanity.

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Child Songs:


2.   Wet Streets
And pavements snatch fast
The lights.
Leaves float on light
And legs.
Feet dance on rainbows
Which grin at their backs.
Colour beams skip
And swallow each other.
Shades swim from curves
And heads become fishes.
All is a-ripple
A glow of wet sparks
A shimmer of splashes
A damp, darting dapple.

3   Autumn Leaf
A gay lipstick leaf skips in the wind
One it was young, green on a twig,
Now sometimes hard battered
Often lazy in sun,
It whispers its problems
But always it lives,
And seems to like being a leaf.

4   Thames Water Lights
Red daubs, green daubs, merge into blue,
Sky blue, water blue.
Waggling Thames lights under each bridge
Watch with wonder rush hour.
Hurrying, distraught, woman and men
Do not see any river
With its wide swimming eyes.

5    The Robin
The robin waits,
A morsel of breath
Bright on the moss fence.

The mountains ponder,
Huge snoring old rocks
Dark on the sky-cloth.

Both awake at sunrise.

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To a very young man

You love to kiss, to hold girl’s hands,
To flirt and feel girl’s hips, girls’ lips.
You love to know you are a man.

Your smile is love
Your eyes are love
Love is your touch,
Unconscious love of being loved, alive.

Your love is sure, delights in play,
Sings in simplicity,
Boy’s joy in man.

Your love is here, is everywhere,
You see all life as love, a game,
And hold the essence in that game
Of purest love.

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Old man

Old man with living eyes who sees the flesh of girls still bright
Old man who must remember,
Feeling still the ritual of his father’s father
And the breakers shouting across the beach up to his swelling throat.

Old man who is old and ageless youth,
Old man whose mind can now seize woman’s mind.
Love one in not desiring all,
Old man who loves at last love alone.
Old man who being old must lose flesh, love,
Pinned into flesh and love, alone.

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'Eternal Womanhood leads us on'    Goethe, Faust II

And I
What do I do?
I that am Woman.

I that speak in love
To a blind world,
What is my guide?

I at ease in Love
Locked in flesh,
What helps me forward?

I caged in my power
Of creating,
Trapped in my love by life.

I stopped from being
The love that I am,
Forced from many to one.

I that in understanding only love
Am used,
Where is my stillness.

I, what is my god
That will receive me,
Lead me on?

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All Europe is now in High Harvest

 All Europe is now in high harvest
And rich warm crops are squeezing
The barns of every size,
Half empty lands now lie rested
From their burden of wheaty loads,
Yet a few stray wisps still struggle
And keep their private souls.

Miles of smoky fires
Stir the calm of a tiring day,
The lingering haze spreads across
The bare, brown ocean earth.
Each country is gathering its harvest,
Its agony of a year’s full pain
And neatly storing it away.

All Europe is beating more slowly,
The joys of the year are past,
And the hope of more youth is shattered
With the shredding of the full wheat.
And tired, knowing eyes grew dimmer
Bending into mists of winter.
Each man pulls hard in his harvest.

The dust divides now more sharply
Bright day from the black old night,
While a wall of spiked hot colour
Breaks back the flow of Europe
That is closely collecting its bounty
And shivering at the one sun’s age.
All Europe is cracked in its harvest.

Rabbits poke in amongst chaffing,
Gay, darting movements on plains,
Unseeing the past year’s disasters,
Meeting children of Europe in play.
While grave, grey-bearded elm trees
Ponder and mourn for dead leaves
As sane men remember dead Europe.

Wide-flinging arms of sunset
Carry Autumn branches deep in the sky
As brilliant, blood-coloured patches
Of dreaming, untroubled peace,
While beneath in numberless places
War crosses brood in puzzled, sad rows
And daily these blood mountains grow.

All Europe is gathering its harvest,
Those seed scattered freely at birth
Which grew and conformed into patterns,
Line after line of uniform colour.
So too all the gatherers join
Across the miled measure of Europe
As massed, moving ghost minds.

The crows poise in the currents,
Hovering, undecided to fall
Or rise high above the left pickings.
And now this spilling harvest,
This earth of ancient, turned leaves,
Is trembling as it gathers its wheat.
All Europe is gathering its harvest.

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Chemical Warfare:

1    Woman to Man
You spend your time in destroying my life,
My gradual growing is our mind’s exercise.

How many women are planning a birth?
How many men are testing nerve gases?

2     Poet to Man
I see the drunken tree
The earth growing into wheat
Hands holding hands
And feel good

The tree, the hand, the earth
You put into a tube
And made diseased into a desert,
And feel good.

What will you do with the bones
When my flesh is dead?

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