Wednesday, 27 November 2019


I never was a joiner;

I hacked my way ahead
in a mockery of carpentry
time running out,
my repairs merely running;

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

forest fire

             a rainforest burns
        and rain no longer falls
a broad sweep of machinery screams
        its half-track creak cries out ‘timber’
    jibes jibs at trees older than breathing
                it lurches and dives
                      a predatory steel bird
                  spawn of dinosaurs
                      a descendant lizard
          extinction in every rusted scoop

Thursday, 14 November 2019


more water
in the dark-channeled sea
as the tide-race shifts
parallel to the shore

the flood’s convergence
clasps the beach-head
scours its precious stone
tearing it like an appetite

and in the ebb
everything is laid bare
laid drenched and dead

kelp beds wrack fronds
seaweed limp with exhaustion
and water’s absence
passive and patient
for change

more water
drains from hidden places
while blue sky
slack in the shallows
darkens the gullies
where sea must return

more water
swells low to high

more water
under gravity
and the pull of moon
or sun
or the drag of bedrock

all the inertias of earth
in waves of change
in their rising
and their falling
repeat these hours until
tomorrow’s new sea runs
and brings its reckoning
its wet accounting
its tides
© BH, 2019

I read a book about tides on my own very special Scottish island (where tides are important): Tide: The Science and Lore of the Greatest Force on Earth by Hugh Aldersley-Williams. Very informative. Made me think about the volumes of water heaving across the surface of the planet, We have, at most 5 metres, here. Elsewhere, anything goes; influenced by seabed topography, oceanic currents, landmass… And not even as regular as we think. Still, regular enough for me, its rise and fall organises life there - shopping, visits to the pub, scrabbling visits to the foreshore. 

Rising ever higher and scouring the margins of ground never before reached, I wonder at its relentlessness. More water, that's for sure. How could anyone deny it?