Posted by: John Looker | 23 May, 2021

Haiku for a wet Spring day …

Read More…
Posted by: John Looker | 2 May, 2021

A haiku for Spring (2)

It’s time to repost this one from last year!

Poetry from John Looker

The bluebells are back.

Their caravan pauses here;

they know this place.

© John Looker 2020

View original post

Posted by: John Looker | 30 April, 2021

Listen to Cynthia Jobin’s poetry readings

Cynthia Jobin The outstanding New England poet Cynthia Jobin recorded many readings of her own poetry before her death in late 2016. Now, thanks to …

Listen to Cynthia Jobin’s poetry readings

Posted by: John Looker | 7 April, 2021

One tree and six or seven crows


The old apple tree,
bent over, struggling into bud

and two crows plundering for sticks,
scattering debris and flapping home
unhurriedly with their building bricks:

like Vandals at a Roman villa
just lost in wonder.


© John Looker 2021

I’ve tried to catch them in a photo but they are too wild, too quick.

Posted by: John Looker | 5 February, 2021

Snowdrops are breaking cover


Snowdrops are breaking cover.

They are reconnoitering,

filing their reports.


©John Looker 2021

Posted by: John Looker | 25 November, 2020

Conversation with a Sea Lion

Hey, how you doing? Don’t worry 
I’ll sit over here – like you, where the sand is dry. 
I’ll help you watch the tide. 

I’m good thanks. Yes, 
I like to come by after work when I can. I guess 
I’m putting off getting back home. 
You’ve a nice place here, with the dunes 
and the stream from the hills behind. 

No, I haven’t forgotten the sea. 
Nor the rip that carries you out at your ease …
I’ve noticed you always swim on your own 
and withdraw up here to shelter alone in the lap of the cliffs.  

I do have the family, true, and love them with all my heart  
but sometimes here on the shore 
watching the ocean stirring and arching its back 
and the clouds pacing the sky 
I begin to sense a thread of kinship with you. 
This sound absurd? 

It’s more to do with the sense of being, underneath it all, alone. 
Beneath the bustle of work and the ceaseless interaction of family life 
there’s a certain stillness, 
there’s a layer of deep undisturbable quiet: 
a solitude like your own. 

Or perhaps it’s a feeling … pervasive, imprecise … 
of being at one with the elemental world:
air and water; or atoms … then the timeless aeons … 

But you’ve lowered your head to the slope of the sand 
and look as though you’ll doze; perhaps I’ll do the same. 
We can lie beached like waka 
and listen to the riddles of the sea;
there is no hurry to go. 

©John Looker 2020

This was Highly Commended in New Zealand’s Caselberg Trust International Poetry Prize 2020. For all the winning poems, please go to:


The actor Peter Hayden reading ‘Conversation with a sea lion’, Dunedin university bookshop, Nov 2020.

Posted by: John Looker | 24 October, 2020

Autumn possesses its own spring

Autumn possesses
its own spring 

which, when sprung, 

from their tight 

chestnuts, fungi, 

© John Looker 2020

Posted by: John Looker | 10 September, 2020

Autumn under coronavirus


We’re like medieval countryfolk
Confined to their fields and lanes.

Above us the swifts swoop and wheel
Refuelling for their long-haul flights.


© John Looker 2020

Posted by: John Looker | 31 August, 2020

Summer rain



There are certain summer mornings when the rain drifts

sideways, almost a mist, and all is doused

in a wash of silvers and greys: colours from a palette

of pebble and lichen, herring gull and trout.


Sun hats are thrown aside

in favour of anoraks. Plans

are revised. Do we miss the sun?

The primary blue, the glare?


Well, yes. But the air is fresh and sweet and raindrops cling

to wires and glistening leaves. Snails will inch

out from the hedges shining, while we just drift

idly: from breakfast … to morning coffee … to lunch.



(A poem from 2010. But I reproduce it here at the end of a remarkably wet August in England!)


Posted by: John Looker | 10 May, 2020

A haiku for Spring (2)


The bluebells are back.

Their caravan pauses here;

they know this place.


© John Looker 2020

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »