Beautiful the turquoise bay,

Beautiful the emerald mountains,

But how indifferent to our fate!

Serenely stand the emerald mountains

As if they know the answer

To man’s eternal question.


We always seek for higher meanings

But these myriads of palms, these mountains and this sea

Are just content to be.


Silent flashes

Illuminate the Western horizon

Somewhere they’re enjoying the downpour.


Now it’s our turn

As a thousand drummers

Beat on the roof of our bungalow.


Like a glowing golden pillar

 The setting sun

Hovers over the bay.


How cool the mountains look

But we step from the air-conditioned car

Into the draught from a furnace.


Homage to Virginia Woolf

A hundred-thousand blossoms

Stare at the sea, gaze at the sky

But they see nothing[2]

[1] A resort on the coast of Sarawak near the city of Kuching.

[2] This refers to a sentence in To the Lighthouse in which flowers are said to be “terrible” because they see nothing.

Winter Haiku

Frost glitters on the road;

An arc of hills ablaze with lights;

How long these icy winter nights.


Like a sudden oasis

In the grey, cold street,

The greengrocer’s stall.


A filigree of green and gold

The twigs and branches of this bare tree

Lit by the winter sun.


Pale January sunshine

Brings relief

To the shivering palms.


In a distant desert the din of war

But here the cheerful woodpecker

Drums Spring’s arrival.


In the early mist

Distant hills & clouds;

One cannot tell them apart.

(Kent Dec. 2nd  2004)


A poor summer

But this radiant October dawn

Promising warmth.


As if a child again

I beheld with wonder

A rainbow in the Eastern sky.

In the early light of dawn

My sleep -full of

Confused dreams.


  A Tribute to John Cage


“-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -“

- - - - - - - - -;

(- - - -) - - -.

- - - - -:-

- - -


(The American composer, writer and artist John Cage (1912-1992) left many people speechless in both admiration and perplexity, hence this silent poetic tribute. The poem will be more effective if performed to an audience.)



Three Suffolk Poems [August 2018]


 Where earth, sea and sky conjoin

and hedged about with banks of shingle

shaped by a  relentless sea-a town.

 Fish, music and a famous poet,

and for me, here, now,

it’s words that come more readily.

 Along its one main street:

multi-coloured, many- shaped

dwellings [no two the same]

cling closely together

as if for protection against the

storms of winter.

 Lord’s Day morning

and at the Parish Church

of St. Peter and St. Paul

they’re ringing the changes

[but only a touch]


Later we take the road to Snape,

hopefully  to arrive

in time for lunch.

The North Sea

 In calm-


leaden grey,

old gold and the

pale translucent green

of certain kinds of jade.

 In storm-

its immeasurable

force pounds, smooths

and heaves into

ridges the living

rock it shatters into

countless fragments.

 In the dark months

it conveys that wind

from the Urals that

withers the land

and brings  numb misery

to every  living thing.


 Man versus nature,

 and here nature

[so far] has won.

 And that is not

entirely displeasing

because we need

reminders of our place in the

scheme of things.

 Not sudden painful reminders

[earthquake, storm, flood]

but rather to see

the slow retreat

of humanity

in this fragment-

all that is left

as witness

to centuries of,

no doubt

necessary, toil.


Copyright Michael J Regan

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