I’ve never seen it
but the tree is so big
that for two whole weeks
each autumn everyone
within a one-mile radius
munches pink ladies.
Someone always brings me
a bag-full and every year
I say thank you and think
they taste so good
I must go and find it
for myself but I never do.


Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017


Traveling North

I do not buy into
the drumbeat soundtrack
that seeks to make sense
of the night as I sit
drinking black coffee
trying to stay awake
(I’ve a long way to go).
There are no dancers here
just tired bodies
strapped into the machine:
you’ll see for yourself
if you step outside
into the dark and if you
look in through the window
you’ll see a man
sat at the table there
watching the lights move
on the motorway
and trying to write it all down
before it’s too late


Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017



My Favourite Hole in the Ground

My favourite hole in the ground
is on top of Harkerside Fell.
It’s not very big but
you can lie down in it, just,
so you’re out of the wind.
If you look over the edge
you can see for miles
only don’t get too comfortable
or one of the straggly nettles
that live there
(vicious bastards that they are)
will bite you on the arse,
even through your trousers –

so take care.

Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2017

Five Short Poems


I wrote a haiku this morning, while sitting in the garden next to the rhubarb. It then occurred to me to gather together the last few haiku I’ve written into one place. Here.

Shandy Hall -mentioned in an earlier post- was the home of the writer Laurence Sterne.

The ones about birds I wrote almost exactly two years ago. Without realising it -I was just cycling past- I had almost the same thought about curlews in exactly the same place a couple of days ago on August 12th, the date I originally posted it in 2014.


Rhubarb Leaves

rivers running down
from curly mountaintops through
shiny green valleys


Shandy Hall

footprints through the grass leading
to the next chapter


Three Bird Haiku


A constellation:
seven starlings flying in
the shape of the Plough.


A heron standing
very still by the river.
Is it a model?


The days get shorter.
You feel a chill in the air:
the curlew is gone.


Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2016



Walking through the fields at twilight

Walking through the fields at twilight 
it's as if this is the only time 
and that daytime and night-time 
are no more than dreams of longing. 
Little has changed since I first went 
walking through the fields at twilight: 
it's as if this is the only time 
and the new house on the hill 
is no more than a dream 
and the spinning of the earth 
is no more than a dream: 
the sun is set, the moon is risen and I'm 
walking through the fields at twilight. 
It's as if this is the only time 
and that I have always been a man 
forever neither young nor old 
and the stones are the same stones 
and the trees I walk under 
have hardly changed since I first went 
walking through the fields at twilight. 
It's as if this is the only time 
and that daytime and night-time 
are no more than dreams of longing. 

(c) Sackerson, 2016

Autumn Day

This Summer, I came across some of Rilke’s poetry. I’d been looking for poems to set to music. I’ve been getting up early most days for the last few weeks and it has often been the case that the first few hours after dawn have been the best part of the day. The further August has progressed, the later and later sunrise -and, consequently, breakfast- has become and the more I’ve found myself coming back to this one. It’s the shadow on the sundial that does it for me. I can just about ask the way to a railway station in German but that’s all – I’m lost without a parallel translation. I’ve provided one that I hope conveys the gist of the poem below it:


Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr groß.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren laß die Winde los.

Befiel den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süße in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her

Rainer Maria Rilke

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was stupendous.
Let your shadow fall across the sundials,
and let the wind blow on the meadows!

Let the last fruits ripen to the full;
give them another two more southerly days
urge them on to fulfillment and drive
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Who has no house now, will not build.
Who is alone now, will remain so for a long time,
watching, reading, writing long letters
and wandering the avenues restlessly,
to and fro, while the leaves are blowing.