Showing posts from July, 2018


My village is in an area once part of Al Andalus, the Moorish kingdom which covered a large part of the Iberian peninsula from the 8th to the 15th century. The remaining Muslim communities were expelled from the Valencia region in the 'Expulsion of the Moriscos' after 1609 leaving emptied villages and devastated communities. The evidence of their presence is still visible in the terraced hillsides and water installations and in the place names and faces of their descendants. This poem was inspired by their history and nature's slow reclamation of the land after people have gone.  REWILDED Stone, prised from red earth by  weathered worn ghost hands, laboured into walls and homes, lies forgotten, tumbled like piles  of tannin soaked sugar cubes. Mossed into the hill as pines spike  through floors where children played, ivy twines over slab lintels as creeping green invades mans’ space, nature reclaiming, rewilding. The echo of a Moorish f


In the fierce heat of a Spanish summer walking among trees is a cool pleasure tinged with awareness of the constant risk of forest fire. I have seen our hillsides burn and the explosive flare of a resin filled pine tree, followed by the whisking of fire by wind to set light to more trees is a terrifying vision of nature's destructive potential. After the fires the land is blackened and seems dead but some trees and shrubs survive as small flushes of green and under the ash nature is renewing itself. Spring sees fresh shoots, the land slowly greens and in a few short years verdant growth replaces the burnt earth.  This poem is inspired by a recent walk on a misty afternoon, the humid heat broken by shafts of burning sun as the clouds lifted.  Following the path and spotting the trails of the wild boar who are at home on the hills of El Carrascal, I felt their eyes watching from their daytime lairs.   HOLM OAK Winding through pine trunks, path scuffed  by wandering so

The Path through the Woods

This is a short poem to send my birthday best wishes to Carmel, who lifts our spirits everyday with her beautiful facebook page, The Path through the Woods. We all need nature in our lives, the photographs and messages Carmel posts daily bring the beauty of the natural world to all those who are not fortunate to have immediate access and remind us to find time to recharge and heal in nature. Thank you for your time and generosity.  WITH THANKS On the day of her birth, we who have been touched by her generosity of spirit, we who daily walk the Path through the Woods, guided by her hand, give thanks and wish her happiness and serenity, at peace with the whispering of the leaves, sustained by the light shining through the trees. 


At this time of year the fierce summer heat dries all the surrounding landscape. The spring flowers and waist high grasses wither into a brown, dusty crisp, the hillside pines an ominous green shadow carrying the menace of sudden fire. The holidaymakers enjoy the sun, sea, pools and Spanish welcome. My northern blood screams with exhaustion after the first few weeks of intense heat and I start to long for the cool, for rivers, woods and mountain lakes, for wild seas, for the green that only refreshing rain can bring. Then I dream of water.  TO DREAM OF WATER Levante damned by drought, bleached stones like Dover chalk exposed in dried up beds awaiting Autumn’s torrents; husks of scorched plant life, death grey, crunch underfoot, hillsides a spark away from flame, an exile dreams of water. Licking lips moist from mizzle, toddler boots stomping, splashing; breath holding cold of paddling feet, toes sinking in squelching sand; slipping in moss coated