Rising glow of neon
balms the backs of motorways,
cascading careless
coffers into night.
Down dark parades the traffic roars,
somnolent by measured shores,
where falls of satin,
sudden, gaudy,
curtain all suburbia,
cold time creeps on.

- - With a just-like-that,
an old black cat
slips deep into oblivion
as, somewhere
in a sidelong street,
the icy edge of ten-o-clock
nips at the fingertips of winter,
glistened roofs,
whose glaze stray moonbeams hold,
then out across wet walkways
the neon spreads its gold.


My song is not of palaced kings
Carriaged in pomp for rare delight,
Nor of bold war, nor martial things
whose wrongs uphold the cause of Right.

Ambition's dizzy heights shall sway
No pride in me; I shall not pine
For shades beyond this passing clay,
Deserting dreams and what is mine.

Though friendship's cup be frothed with ale,
I would not seek the tavern's glow.
Aye, feasting might the world regale
With richest fare - But I'd not go,

For I belong to quiet span
Whose life extends through simple ways,
Where never prize was greater than
The treasured weft of homespun days.

So I'll not yearn for high estate,
With power's rod and wealth untold,
Nor morsels from the hand of fate,
For I have found - - - a greater gold.


Twelve o'clock,
a cold cloak clinging
dampness on the late-night air;
the calm vault singing
silent bells, and everywhere
a myriad cascade of gems
to keep ablaze their night with stars.

Cold midnight,
and, while Jesmond sleeps,
the street lamp's amber
stains that storeyed tower,
and the paned and pin-pricked
worlds from curtain peeping,
half-detached and out of sight.

 - A witching hour!
My footsteps treading
sanded sounds by gravelled ways,
as through the night
a house-dog barks
ambivalence, that strays
quick-slinking fur from hunting-grounds;

While, out of dark eternity,
the season's cold nocturnal things
have battened down their savage wings
to hoot their age-long
anguish in the park.


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