For A W F & P H


Gorse had blazed along cliff-tops near Hopeman –


dense prickly thickets

(concealing warm-breasted birds, nests of pale eggs)

into which a cigarette was flicked




a hearth of tinder quickened,

became a giddy beacon over sandstone cliffs and caves –


on that June day the coast choking, dark plumes drifting onshore.




Autumn when their vows were made by candlelight

in the sea-hewn Sculptor’s Cave. Afterwards we climbed

the ‘Lummy,’ tide and rain closing behind –




taut with

the weight

of each guest

pressed against

that rocky cleft, and from above hands helping us to safety…


Finally they followed, heads wreathed with herbs, flowers, berries,

cheeks aflame –


bride and groom feted by a pod of leaping Dolphins

and a grinning confederacy of pirates.


Further up the cliffs we paused beside the old coastguard lookout,

drawing breath, inspecting cleared ground, piles

of charred stems


(firebreaks hewn to stop future wildfire spreading).


Here the newlyweds handed out their gifts –

homemade canapés

of soil and clay we cupped in our palms…


then whooping flung between ridged lips of land

to release those plundered


cargoes of seed

(Birch, Rowan,

Hawthorn, Hazel)


for spring germination.

Meanwhile, Dolphin presence and the sky’s steady drops


seemed to shower blessings

on this couple’s wedding


vows to serve the Earth’s regeneration.


Names of other-than-human beings are deliberately capitalised as part of my longstanding ecopoetic practice, raising their status from the margins to which Western culture has relegated them.