Cycles of the Light

aldeburgh readers
SPS Poets who read that day

National Poetry day’s theme this year was Light, and Suffolk Poetry Society invited me to join some of the other members to read poetry and celebrate the day in Aldeburgh.  We took turns to read on the circular staircase of The South Lookout on Aldeburgh beach in perfect weather, warm sun with the light shining off the sea.  I ‘restructured’ two of my poems to be fully compliant to the day’s theme, and this one, Cycles of the Light,  emerged from the recent poem Migrant Counterpoint.

Colin Whyles, for Suffolk Poetry Society, recorded this event, and his video of me reading this poem is shown below.



Sunlight draws the crozier of each fern’s new uncurling,

a poised flexing these aching aging joints can only envy.

Do birds sense time’s passage migrating above deserts,

guided in  the featureless by  North’s magnetic presence?


 I try to cram each day with tasks, irrelevant peripherals,

stretching time that’s left, checking for signs of senescence.

The swoop shriek of returning swifts, like circling kids on bikes,

teases me that simple joy is now in very short supply.


In my autumn I seek assurance in cyclic tokens of the spring:

blackthorn’s first white blossom, siskins’ restless gathering

as the Northern dark shortens, drawing Southern migrants.

These endless cycles  ease the  fear of my light’s dimming .


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