This blog's poems are from my published poetry book Star Steeds and Other Dreams: The Collected Poems (CFZ Press: Bideford, 2009) and are © Dr Karl P.N. Shuker, 2009. Except for author-credited review purposes, it is strictly forbidden to reproduce any of these poems elsewhere, either in part or in entirety, by any means, without my written permission.

How to purchase Star Steeds and Other Dreams

If you wish to buy this book, which is 230 pages long and is ISBN 978-1-905723-40-9, it is readily available online from its publisher, CFZ Press of Bideford, Devon, UK at and also from such major literary websites as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones, W H Smith, and sellers on AbeBooks to name but a few. You can also purchase a signed copy directly from me, the author - please email me at for full details.

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Friday, 13 October 2017



I have always been fascinated by the flamboyant beauty of a peacock's train, each feather proffering a veritable eye gazing down upon an adoring, venerating audience – an audience that equally would worship and has indeed worshipped in awe the aloof but ever-seductive entity of mystery and midnight that peruses the world through the golden eyes of a cat.
So when I encountered online this spectacular photo-manipulated composite of the pavonine and the feline reproduced here, what else could I do but compose a paean of praise in poetry to its esoteric extravagance?


The peacock cat purrs softly amid the fire of the firmament,
Its burnished plumes glowing and gleaming in blazing beauty
As its glorious train sweeps downward to trace across the face of the world.

Each eye, every ocellus, gazing forth from the splendour of its emerald feathers,
Peers with timeless stillness and silence upon the lands beneath,
All-knowing, all-seeing, all-dreaming, all-being.

The lands receive its hues, its light, its shades, and its shadows –
Multicoloured, varicoloured, parti-coloured, many-coloured.
A kaleidoscope of ever-shifting, ever-shaping patterns embellishing our world.

Life surges, satiated, inebriated, by polychromatic potions and elixirs
Cascading in torrents of tinctures from the prismatic palette of its exquisite soul,
As its train lies settled awhile, an ever-watchful extension of its feline being.

And then the peacock cat moves on, withdrawing its divine train of turquoise and topaz,
Of sapphire and sardonyx, carmine and cochineal, agate and amber,
Ultramarine, aquamarine, cobalt and emerald, drawn out and away from our world.

And what is left? No colour, no light, no subtle hues or vivid vibrancy.
Look around at all that is gone, all that is lifeless, listless, and lost,
Our grandiose achievements strewn in Ozymandian folly, unseen and unseeing.

The vast void of eternity encompasses us in its sable spider-webs of dreadful darkness,
Nothing but nothing remains, where, formerly, yet all too briefly, there was colour, and life.
The peacock cat is gone, and now, and forever, so too has what had once been our world.

Saturday, 9 September 2017


A few moments ago, I felt like writing a poem about a sea slug, as you do, so I did, and here it is - you can thank me later.


I saw a sea slug, a sea slug I saw,
Known as a nudibranch on the sea floor,
Stolen nematocysts bristling and armed,
All those who touch them will truly be harmed.

So, sea slug, slither in safety, serene,
Dazzle with colours of orange and green,
Yellow and turquoise and violet and red,
Rainbowed molluscan upon the sea bed.

Monday, 26 September 2016


When I saw the above image online, it immediately suggested to me the concept of an otherworld dream-catcher, a silent preternatural being standing unseen beside us as we sleep, ready to capture the dreams that we shall dream that night. So that is what I wrote.


The dream-catcher stands unseen, still, beside our beds,
Powdered skin as pale as bleached bone upon a beach,
A tippet of swan feathers around his shoulders,
A dense ruff of white owl plumes encircling his neck.

His long fingers snatch at the dreams that flutter by,
Like ghostly moths in the miasma of midnight.
Then he blows them softly inside our sleeping minds,
Keeping watch over them, and us, through the dark hours.

And when dawn comes, when the bright sun wakes in splendour,
He is gone, leaving no dream nor any trace here,
Gone away to ensnare new dreams for new sleepers,
Until our dream lives are over, our dream lives done.

Sunday, 25 September 2016


On a number of occasions down through the years, I have been inspired to write poems and verses after seeing beautiful, bewitching works of art online. And today was another such occasion, in which I penned the following poem after encountering the spectacular illustration presented above.


I dreamed one night that I had seen
An elephant, but it was green.
It stood amid a leafy glade
With light and shadow overlaid.

A patch of sunshine on its brow
That glowed like gold, I know not how.
Its opalescent tusks glowed too,
A pale, pellucid, pearly hue.

It gazed at me with stately calm,
A scene suffused with leafy balm,
A green cathedral, still and bright,
A place of wonder, dreams, and light.

Serene and silent, arched and tall,
So too its guardian of all.
Majestic in the mellow mist,
Where dreams can linger, hope exist.

Its trunk rose up in slow salute,
Its sunlight-sprinkled message mute,
Yet eloquent inside my mind
Before I left its realm behind

And woke once more within my room,
No green or gold amid its gloom.
Just fading memories remain,
Until one day I'm home again.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Here is another short poem that I wrote after encountering a remarkable example of artwork online, in this instance the fascinating illustration presented here.


Behold the fractured god in fragmented florescence,
His turquoise-tortured visage tormented by its trace.
His eyes by shade are shielded, lost in lidded languor,
His mad mind dreams our fancy, our fear, our form, our face.

Friday, 19 August 2016


As soon as I saw this wonderful illustration when browsing online several weeks ago, I knew that one day it would inspire me to write a poem – and today it has done, so here it is.


Verdant but still is the path through the forest,
A study in sadness, in silence, in shade.
Its trail stretching on, its limit unending,
A realm with no gladness, no gleam in its glade.

Dead as a dinosaur, all my dreams done with,
Enveloped in verdigris, mould, and decay.
The past lies behind, its door closed and cloistered,
And as for the future? Who knows - who can say?

And so I plod on, alone and regardless,
'Midst trees, leaves, and bushes, viridian friends.
Their foliage beckons, soon to embrace me,
To take me back home when my journeying ends.

Saturday, 2 April 2016


Mom and I at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2007 ((c) Dr Karl Shuker)

Yesterday I penned the following lines, marking the third anniversary of the passing of my dear little Mom, Mary Shuker.
God bless you, Mom, I've missed you so much during these three long, sad years, and I always will do, every moment of every day, through all the days of my life.


Three years ago today, Mom, was the first time in my life that I reached for your hand but no longer found it there for me, ready to hold mine with its loving, comforting, caring touch, as it had always been in the past.

It was the first time in my life that I looked for your smile but no longer saw it there for me, ready to dispel any shadows of doubt with its loving, comforting, kindly reassurance, as it had always been in the past.

It was the first time in my life that I listened for your voice but no longer heard it there for me, ready to lift my spirit with its loving, comforting, cheery encouragement, as it had always been in the past.

It was the first time in my life that I sought you but no longer found you there for me, ready to stand beside me, to walk beside me, to share my life beside me, as you had always been in the past.

Three years ago today, Mom, was the first time in my life when the future no longer mattered to me, when the present no longer interested me, when only my memories remained dear to me, enabling me to return to you and relive our countless happy days, weeks, months, and years together, as there will always be in the past.

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