A selection of thought-provoking philosophical poems

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Bird of Paradise: Selected Poems 1968-2011


In these 84 poems, including the eponymous love poem from which the collection takes its name, the author reflects on a wide range of topics, everything in fact from the humble earthworm to the mighty Iguassu Falls in Brazil. This is a stirring and thought-provoking poetry collection, the appeal of which lies in its humanity, breadth of vision and universality.


Bird of Paradise, Bats in Batford, Books, Earthworm, Blossom in May, Foggy Moon, Human Resources, Clockwork Orange, Freedom, Easter Evening, Five o’clock, The Waitress, The Health Industry, Redwood Trees, Foot and Mouth, I have Known, It Is So Sad, Language, Dog Woman of Rothamsted Park, Beloved Cat, The Last Mouse, When Monica Was Here, Most of the Leaves have Fallen, Dead Daffodils, The Poppy, Cupressus, Epitaph for My Parents, Me, Ode to Miss Jackie Simpkins, Deadwood, Serengeti Society, Sonnet for My Love, Spring, The Sea, Sumatra Road, NW6, Strimmers, Sunspot, The Goat, Snowdrops, Where Iguassu Falls, Orange Tips, The Pine Cone, The Movie, Ambition, The Fortress, The Greek Ferry, Green Man, After the Thunderstorm, The Oak Tree, Youth, The Frog, One God or Two?, The Winner, Time, the Final Frontier, The Man in the Jacket, Quite Yellow, Where have you been?, Birds of Passage, The Smew, Lavender, To my love, Clouded Yellow, August Moon, City of Flitwick, 2001, Fifty years on, The Poet’s Lot, Home, Foreign Dogs, Kookaburra’s Laugh, A Day Spent at Tenby, The Moth, The Last day of 2005, Travels Abroad, On Kings, Cola and Zola, Beauty, Revenge on the Ash Tree, Awakening, Upon visiting Rothamsted Manor Gardens, What are you thinking my love?, Sorry Not For Us, The Flame of Fame, Mauve Gladioli, Phyllis, Who’s to blame?

Selected Poems

Bird of Paradise

You are my bird of paradise, 

The girl of my tropical dreams,

Near turquoise seas and hibiscus flowers 

And foliage that glints and gleams.  

You are my bird of paradise,

 A goddess fallen to earth,

 By coral sands and waving palms, 

Like the sun kissing the surf. 

You are my bird of paradise, 

A creature of shapely form, 

With an enchanting smile and shining eyes, 

And a heart most kind and warm. 

You are my bird of paradise, 

A species of exotic being,

Below volcanic cones and forest streams 

Where believing is indeed seeing. 

You are that bird of paradise,

 Who I will love to my dying day, 

Come monsoons and wild hurricanes… 

Till my last breath is cast away.

Bats in Batford

There are not many bats in Batford, 

Few that I have seen, 

On soft summer evenings 

When the Moon is apple green.  

Although the Pipistrelle visits from time to time 

Our little garden and smaller pond, 

To flit across dark waters 

Of which the amphibians are so fond. 

Whilst ghost swift moths

With silvery wings, play amongst the grass,

Spectres of the sunless hours, 

That endless seem to pass.  

And further beyond, in Sauncey Wood, 

Where anemones in May white bloom, 

The long-eared owls, with studied gaze, 

Hoot and sporadic boom.  

Or watch in silence the forest floor

Amidst the tree-lined halls 

For signs of life within the leaves, 

The wood mice and common voles. 

But there is alas no belfry here, 

Even so, bluebells still chime 

Where the chaffinch sings his cheerful song

As the Sun awakes sublime.


Language is like a bird.  

However, it is no stuffed specimen in a glass case, staring out into the rude world with beady, brown, disconsolate eyes.

Nor rarely that endangered, hardly extant, species in a gilded cage, waiting patiently  for the day when the door may, by chance, be left wide open,  to allow it to escape…and find a soul-mate. 

More, it is that truly wild spirit that needs the freedom of the rustling air…and perishes without. 

It maintains a desire to preen; to keep its beautiful  feathers continuously in shape; to exercise its pectoral muscles…and thereby strengthen them…so that one day, each day, it may launch itself into that glistening place of colours and shapes, shades and images; of forest, plain, marsh, mountain and the city streets.  

To fly up high, so high, circle around, dive, wheel, bank, loop, veer, yaw, roll in the blueness of the sun-drenched heavens.. and then safely land…back to earth…  confident that it has achieved the impossible; defied gravity; done what those around perhaps thought could not be done.

Proved to itself and all the world…that it has left the nest, and is here to stay, and that nothing…can ever  be the same again. 

It has arrived. 

Found and engaged others of its vibrant kind.

Lasted the test of time…and space. 

Communicated its presence and its passions, and gained the living, ethereal power…of existence.