Selection of poems

The Grandmaster’s Simultaneous Exhibition

(Syllabic count variant: 5; 4 in the quote; 6 in final thematic line)


He stops at my board

The small grey man with

Darting, hungry eyes

And watches my move.

He leans on one hand,

Ponders his reply,

Then his other hand–

A fell bird of prey–

Swoops down to capture

The piece I have moved.


When he comes around

To my board again

I ask him to pass;

Let other players

Fall before I do

I think in my pride;

But his souless eyes

Look up from the board,

Their gaze fixed somewhere

Deep inside my head.


With finality

He utters these words: ‘There is no point

To further thought,

Your game is lost’

And shows me the win

Before moving on.


I leave the table

Humbled and disgraced

That I did not exist.



(Form: syllable count 24682) The old desert Bushman

He dreams

Of stories untold

In the time of this place

As others gather in the dark

To hunt


A young poet declaiming his works

This child

Who thinks he knows

The birthplace of his muse

Speaks powerfully to the gods

Who laugh


Druid’s waning powers

Come here

Worn out old man

Your time among us folk

Has bled away into the dark –