I Saw a Little Bird

I saw a little bird –
Flying high in the sky –
I don’t know why –
– but I said goodbye.
and he said
‘Who on Earth is she? Maybe she is calling me.’

By Freyja Cleary (aged 7).

Ten Dogs

10 little dogs in the garden.
The 1st went to play in a pool.
Two others went to a park. Two more played.
Two more relaxed in the sun.
Two relaxed in the shade.
And the last one had a smoothy.

By Freyja Cleary (age 7).

Dog with smoothie by Freyja

Polar Poetry Featured in New Book & Exhibition

My good friend Dave Walsh is an accomplished and well travelled photographer, who has just published a book of his remarkable images of remote polar places available for purchase: click here.

He asked me to collaborate on this project and as a response to the images I composed twenty small poems for inclusion in the book (available by clicking here).

I was honoured to introduce Dave’s exhibition ‘The Cold Edge’ in Dublin, 13th September at the Copper House Gallery. For more information and superb images see Dave’s website.

Polar Haiku

A new book, featuring some of these poems with their original inspiration images by photographer Dave Walsh is now available by clicking here.


Round Hall, now empty –
Echoing still, with proud boasts ~
Walls glow from within.


Lucky pair, untouched –
By our hands ~ delicious –
Frolic, salty, cold.


A splash –
Between your limbs –
Warmer than you.


A lone humpback whale –
Singing songs, that go unheard –
Bouncing, wall to wall.


Archean craton –
Its sister, shines high above –
The straight and the smooth.


The heat approaches –
Soon no ice will be left here –
Enjoy while you can.


Our Tor, high and true-
Ice: our metamorphic rock –
‘The Black Republic’.


A sleeping giant –
Frozen in time, undisturbed –
Dreaming of warm Sun.


An Ice Rialto –
No merchants, no canals here –
Pure wind, eye of God.


Ovaries and womb –
Centered with a melted child –
Reverse pregnancy.


Fibre optic hair –
Conceals my Arctic night skin –
Soon I will move South.


Many fingered hand –
Squashes the ice, and drops it –
White, fresh cold mála.


A race with the sun –
To be ice-bound ox-bow lake –
Unseen, transient.


Ephemeral coasts –
Ice melting ~ we now keep pace –
With our satellites.


Maniraptoran –
High above the ice ~ supreme –
Little black-eyed god.


How now, my Brother?
Pray, never have occasion ~
to smell of my blood.


Scourge of the bivalves –
and much else ~ the tusks reserved –
mainly for fighting.


Eyes atop my head –
Near submerged, checking for bears –
and photographers.


The warmer ice gets –
More and more stuff is revealed –
Like meteorites.


Midnight Polar Sun,
Endless light illuminates ~
White Bear’s shadowself.


Inspired by images of the Arctic and Antarctic taken by my friend Dave Walsh:


Nature’s Bulldozer

This curious thing:
A wall of white, approaching –
We are in retreat.

Ice wall advancing –
Erasing past and future –
The road not taken.

Ice melts, retreating-
Concrete eskers, black morraines –
Ruins, roads ~ ground ~ dust.

Melt waters, flowing –
Red bricks, lining fresh cold streams –
The deepest of clean.

[There is nothing new under the Sun]

He’s by the river –
Unaware, of detail, past –
The salmon, returned.

Click here for my speech introducing my friend Dave Walsh’s ‘The Cold Edge’ polar photography exhibition, including a reading of this poem.