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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Wednesday, 24 February 2010


The Robin in this poem was not a bird, but instead an elderly Scottish terrier owned by one of my grandmother’s neighbours. Despite his advancing years, he always raced boisterously to greet me whenever I passed by his house, wagging his long tail wildly, and would then peer earnestly into my face with his dark expressive eyes. Sadly, Robin passed away many years ago, but for me he will always live on in this poem that I wrote as a celebration of his being.


A black-furred face peers out of doors,
Soon followed by four inky paws,
Which plod beneath his robust form
As two dark eyes, so soft and warm,

Gaze up into my smiling face,
And in them lies, perhaps, a trace
Of many long and happy years,
Recaptured still like newborn tears

By cloudy eyes windswept by Time.
Yet Time claims not those years sublime,
Remaining here within these eyes,
Which laugh in silence at the skies,

Then turn again to watch my face,
Like darkened pools of velvet Space.
And eye meets eye for seconds few,
And ageless wisdom passes through

For instants ‘ere it fades and dies
On entering my human eyes.
But for a moment I have seen
A glimpse of worlds that lie between

My human life and canine worlds
Beneath those shaggy eyebrows curled.
For in that second Age met Youth,
And Life was Hope, and Wisdom, Truth.

Monday, 15 February 2010


I was delighted to discover a few days ago that Star Steeds and Other Dreams has been reviewed in the Western Morning News, one of Britain's biggest regional daily newspapers. The reviewer was highly-acclaimed Exmoor naturalist-author Trevor Beer, and here is his review, which appeared in the WMN on 8 February:

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


'The Voice of the Winds' (René Magritte)

Two very different poems of mine owe their origin to an extraordinary, surreal painting by RenĂ© Magritte. Entitled ‘The Voice of the Winds’, it depicts three huge, alienesque spheres floating ominously above a meadow. Whereas one of my poems, ‘The Music of the Spheres’ (also included in my Star Steeds book), was directly influenced by that compelling image, the other poem, presented below, focuses instead upon the painting’s very evocative title.


Dark the forest lay, silent and sombre,
In Morning’s first saffron-lit rays,
As the trees swayed, each shrouded in shadows
Of glimmering ochres and greys.

But the sun rose up higher through Heaven,
And splashes of sunlight appeared
Through the leaflets of trees overlapping,
As Morning through rosy skies peered.

And amidst shady groves I stood, dappled
With silhouettes cast from above,
While the dewdrops hung round me like crystals,
As soft as the tears from a dove,

Each inverting and changing its image,
Distorting the forest and trees.
And the Voice of the Winds called me forwards,
Borne swiftly on Morning’s light breeze.

And I followed, to see through the clearing,
The forest pool, glassy and bright;
Its calm surface in clear violescence
Reflecting the dawn’s filtered light.

Swirling ripples raced madly in circles,
Increasing, till, skimming from view,
More appeared from the central gyration,
Each polychromatic in hue.

And I yearned for the pool to caress me,
As I on the bankside stood long.
And the Voice of the Winds called me onwards
In lyrical segments of song.

So I entered, and felt the pool’s wonder
Embrace me in eager repose.
And I gazed through its glistening beauty,
As o’er me its silhouette rose.

Here I stood ‘midst its clear undulations,
And Weight left my beckoning soul.
Now the world lay below me in silence –
A solitary, orbiting bowl.

And I stood in this limitless limbo,
Where all was a daydream sublime,
And the Voice of the Winds called me upwards,
To Doorways of Heaven, and Time.
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