The blind cracks –
Rising from the plum tree,
Indignant rooks

flow free


The way flows free in all directions.
It's the source of all things,
Even the smallest.

It doesn't lay claim 
To great wonders.
It is humble, without wants.

All seek it,
But it doesn't 
Seek to master.

It doesn't strive,
And so it accomplishes 
Wonderful things.



If you understand others you are smart,
If you understand yourself you are wise.
Self-mastery and compassion are gracious powers.
The truly wealthy know they have enough.
The successful are those that try again.



The way has no name.
It never changes.
It seems insignificant,
But nothing can contain it.

When we follow the way,
There is no need for law
Because it is written in our hearts.
We know when to cease naming
Because names can’t encompass all things.

All things end in the way,
Just as all rivers flow to the sea.

bad omens


Weapons are bad omens.
We all should detest them.
It is wise to avoid them.

When we rejoice in victory,
We delight in slaughter.
When we resort to violence,
We will never bring peace to the world.

the beach at east mersea

Groyne posts, silhouetted before the solstice sun
Erosion-felled trees, sun-baked, strewn
A bucketed scavenger after scallops? clams? cockles?
Acrylic arcs of cloud
Memorial benches, plaques glistening
A kestrel hovering, completely still
The occasional cry of a wading bird

boat names: west mersea

I’ve always been rather fascinated by the names people give inanimate things that they care about. Mostly boats, but also homes. I think it’s something to do with my love of short-form writing generally – the idea of imbuing a minimum of words with the maximum… what’s a good word for it? I’m going to borrow from eastern thinking for a moment (surprise!): chi. Or energy? Or feeling? Not sure. But I think you understand.

Think about all the thought and love that goes into boat names: they must be over-charged with the stuff. At the very least they seem worthy of collecting. I’ve been meaning to start for ages, with a view to doing something with them. But I’ve never figured out what. So for now, collecting the names will have to do, or I’ll never start.

So here are some boat names I saw at West Mersea in Essex today:

  • Quiet Air
  • Mersea Guy
  • Seahawk II
  • Fanny’s Prospect
  • Double Trouble
  • Admiral Benbow
  • Ghostbuster
  • Blenheim Rose
  • Two Voices
  • Keehar
  • Omar
  • Centenary
  • Gib’ Sea 262
  • Lahloo
  • Alchera
  • Cloud Nine
  • Mischief
  • Alouette
  • Blue Fox
  • Rosie
  • Lisa Lynne
  • Alderney
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Exposition
  • Brenda Leigh
  • Liberty 23
  • Ignis
  • Chelsea Flower
  • Mersea Native
  • Jolly Don
  • Riis I
  • Jenny Dee