The strewn bales lie – a fleet of barges moored
in their stubble harbour – expectant, as though ready
at evening, when the slant sun liquefies
the landscape, to go bobbing out to sea

on golden tides.  The equinox glides past
unnoticed like a stagehand at his work

discreetly rearranging scenery.
Soon we’ll learn to call this season autumn. 

© Anthony Watts


Grimly iconic, your three-score-and-ten
Behind you, you can’t help but wonder when
The Big D will arrive; although for years
You’ve known that nothing justifies those fears:
An absence (pace Larkin) cannot feel
Itself as loss, or death as an ordeal;
Not for ourselves we turn from that good night,
But those who love us – their forsaken plight.

When days speed up like hyperactive kids
Racing towards the inevitable skids
It’s time for magic and for sapience:
Comb out the long beard of experience; 
Release the magus; summon to the fore
Your inner Merlin, Gandalf, Dumbledore.

© Anthony Watts


Climate’s a cat: the world

a ball of wool.


Here in our garden

it’s little more than kittenish,


cuffing the trees to sway, swashing

its tail against the window.


Others are not so lucky: lives

left torn and tangled where the sea pounced


or parched and cropless

under the eye’s furnace


as the planet begins to unravel. 

© Anthony Watts