A Frosty Rose

A Frosty Rose

A frosty rose,
fallen on frosted grass,
felt stiff but brittle
when I nudged it with my foot,
will melt, wither to white dust.
The sun, blaringly bright,
low in the sky, near noon,
did not deceive me,
gave no heat, no, not in November.
Remembered last night,
tried to write,
but my inspiration froze.
Lone star, hid by a cloud,
no eye can see it shine,
yet somehow it is sensed,
could not find a further line.


My poem, Old Pike, published in Un-Turn This Stone

My poem, Old Pike, has been published in Un-Turn This Stone, an anthology of short stories and poems, together with some drawings, published as a fund raiser for Cancer Research by Atla Publishing. The book is available to buy on Amazon.
Un-Turn This Stone
Aviva Treger, Cindy Smith, Anthony Hulse and others.
An anthology of stories and poems for children of all ages.
published, November, 2016
published by Atla Publishing: http://atlapublishing.com



Hagar in the Desert of Beersheba

Hagar in the Desert of Beersheba

Sarah was very old, almost as old
as her husband, Abraham.
Her hands looked thin and cold,
hard as the horns of a ram.
Then she filled her tent with laughter
when she gave birth to Isaac,
the Lord’s promise had been kept.
She said her faith had never died,
but for long now it had slept.
Yes, Isaac filled her life with laughter,
but she knew bitterness, grew cold,
when she looked on Hagar, her maid servant,
saw her as a viper, a hyena,
a danger to the fold.
As was the custom of her tribe,
when she thought she could not bear his child,
she had brought her maid servant to her husband’s tent
to be his second wife,
a plan that seemed practical not wild.
Hagar gave birth to Ishmael,
the son of Abraham,
so his seed could flourish,
not be held back by a dam.
Now that Sarah was the mother of Isaac,
she grew vile to Hagar,
told her husband he must send her to the desert,
her son must go with her,
so in what Isaac inherits,
he would have no share.
Abraham was hurt by her command,
though he understood, knew why
Sarah wanted Hagar and Ishmael
sent out into the desert,
where he knew they would die.
But the Lord made him a promise,
Ishmael would be the father of a nation,
would carry on his seed,
though his heart was wounded,
he would not be left to bleed.
Abraham gave Hagar bread and a skin of water,
tied them in a sack,
to sustain her on her journey,
and strapped it to her back.
Hagar took the hand of Ishmael,
walked out with him to the desert of Beersheba,
where she thought they would die.
She thought her eyes deceived her,
when she ran out of water,
and she saw a figure
that was at first a shimmer in the sky.
Then she saw it was an angel,
he revealed a well of water,
not far from where Ishmael lay,
his eyes blind with dust and tears,
less than an arrow shot away.
Hagar rose to her feet,
led Ishmael to the well.
They drank and quenched their thirst,
knew the future would be harsh,
but they had lived beyond the worst.
Ishmael became an archer,
leader of a tribe of nomads
in the desert of Paran.
Hagar found for him a wife,
an Egyptian woman,
who gave birth to his children,
the seed of Abraham,
so he lived to be a happy man,
though the world grew more grim,
hard as the horns of a ram.
When you feel at your lowest ebb,
remember Hagar in the desert,
when she thought she would die,
how the turn came when she saw a figure
that was at first a shimmer in the sky.
Never abandon hope,
for a well of water may be revealed to your eye.

Homage To Our Russian Washing Machine

Homage To Our Russian Washing Machine

We have mastered our Russian washing machine,
worked its controls to wash and rinse,
now we feel at home in our new apartment,
fresh as a cup of hot green quince.
Like the old Soviet time trucks and cars
that beep and zoom down the Yerevan roads,
it has a character of its own,
and we’re happy now we’ve programmed it
to do our washing loads.

Somehow it manages to continue,
it seems it will go on,
not just our Russian washing machine,
but everything that could be gone.
In that I find a comfort,
in that I find a hope,
maybe we will climb the mountain,
if someone lets down the rope.

As Long As Our Song

As Long As Our Song

You told me you had to leave your sinking ship,
that when you were rescued from your lifeboat,
you had almost died of cold.
Now I sit beside you on this park bench in the autumn light,
watch leaves turn yellow, red, silver, brown and gold.
Your captain could not navigate,
his crew were rebellious,
and a mighty foreign power would not release its iron hold.

We see a sparrow by a tree root,
its wings too small to migrate,
so winter it must endure.
Like any other person,
we do not know our fate,
our future is unsure.

Poetry brought us together,
a truth we find wonderful to know.
This miracle planted our tree,
now we can smile and watch it grow.

Your eyes are dark,
your skin clear and warm.
Our boat will find a lighthouse
when our path is broken by a storm.

No, the sparrow cannot follow the swallow,
the stork and the crane,
its wings are too small
to fly that far south,
so it must endure the winter,
here it must remain.

Some people don’t want us to get it right.
They’d prefer it if we got it wrong,
but as long as our song is in the light,
the sap in our tree will flow on strong.

Deer herds in winter
somehow manage to survive.
The thorn will splinter,
but the red rose will revive.

The Music of the Spheres

The Music of the Spheres

The music of the spheres
Pythagoras coined,
those words he joined,
found a harmony in the planets,
space and random stones,
he looked up at the heavens,
and listened for the tones.

The music of the spheres,
it sounds so high and fine.
It is really mathematics,
you could not further stretch the line.

Away from the lamp lit world,
look up at the stars,
listen for the music of the spheres,
but when you think of it,
it is not composed of sounds,
but of sublime silence
that is ancient, changeless,
cannot be disturbed,
but maybe if the roof of the dome was removed,
you could hear the unimaginable,
the untranscribable,
and though after you may feel drained inside,
you will know that at least you tried.

Final thought.
Pythagoras was an ancient Greek.
One wonders, in his time, if there was ever a young Greek.

You Got Them Singing, Leonard

You Got Them Singing, Leonard

( A tribute to Leonard Cohen, written to the tune of You Got Me Singing, the last song on his album, Popular Problems, released in 2014. )

You got them singing, Leonard,
from the bottom to the brim,
you got them singing
your hallelujah hymn.

What an achievement, Leonard,
in this so called secular age,
to get them singing
praise the Lord from the page.

You got them singing, Leonard,
from Krakow to Montreal,
you got them singing,
as if they all sang in one hall.

Hear people singing, Leonard,
though the world goes more wrong,
hear people singing,
high in your tower of song.

You got them singing, Leonard,
to heal the hurt in the heart,
you got them singing,
to be one not apart.

Hear people singing, Leonard,
more than ten thousand strong,
hear people singing
your hallelujah song.

Two of my poems published in Not Enough To Quit

Two of my poems published in Not Enough To Quit.

Two of my poems, Her Piano Tune and Cave Painter, have been published in Not Enough To Quit by Modern Writers, published by Atla Publishing in aid of cancer charities. It is a collection of short stories and poems by writers from all over the world, together with some drawings by different artists. The book is available from Amazon:





Her Piano Tune by Philip Dodd

published on the Atla Publishing website:


Noah and the Ark

Noah and the Ark

“And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.”
Genesis. 8. verses 4-5. King James Version of the Holy Bible.

Noah became a master carpenter
when he built the ark.
His sons beside him, he lit garnet stones for lamps,
red as pomegranate seeds,
so they could work on through the dark.
His tale is told, so old but still fresh to the young.
Children crayon it on paper,
those things they best remember,
Noah, the ark, the animals in pairs, guided up the ramps,
the rain, the flood, the raven, the dove, the olive leaf,
the mountain, the rainbow.
When they draw the event, the past is present,
time suspended, does not speed up or go slow.
You cannot own a mountain,
but you can bless it with a name.
Ararat remains.
On it they have dug for signs of the ark.
From the shelter of Yerevan,
the city built on the floor of its vale,
I have looked up to see its peak above its shoulders.
Impressive still.
Even without the tale, it looks a holy hill.
We wait for the return of the dove,
the leaf it plucked from the olive tree in its beak,
the sign of the end of the flood,
so we can walk down the slopes of Ararat,
to enter the vineyard Noah planted,
like him in wonder speak.

Lines For Leonard Cohen

Lines For Leonard Cohen

I listened to Leonard Cohen alone,
not with a party going one,
maybe afterwards,
when everyone had gone.

I always liked his tone,
voice of a real man to me,
the master of rhyme and rhythm,
he cleared his eyes to see.

His faith never certain,
but shaken, under threat,
told the bare tale of his search,
thought he would get there yet.

He sang of the bird on a wire,
Suzanne and the river,
and lifted us up
with his hallelujah.

He removed the skin,
shone light on the bone,
told us what we hold within
is figured out in stone.

Now he has left the stage,
to raise his hat no more,
he followed his angel
to what lay beyond the door.

Hear his song begin,
one that cannot cease,
let rain water fill your tin,
and drink it now in peace.