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, 20 April 2012


Time-slips are fascinating if baffling concepts, which I have utilised in this story poem. Although I haven’t stated it explicitly, I’m sure you’ll realise that instead of the monk being in the distant past (as the child narrating this poem assumes), in reality he is in the distant future, because the finding of the Cross after meeting the monk inspires the child to become a monk – the monk. In other words, the monk that the child meets is himself, as he will become in the future.


One pleasant country afternoon
Through lonely woods I strolled,
When hazy mists began to fall
In swirling cloudy folds
And blinded every beam of light,
None penetrating through,
Until at last the mists dispersed,
And rose through skies of blue.

I looked around, and then I saw
A monastery, concealed
By glades of trees and tiny flowers
That edged each greening field.
A pretty garden lay all round
The monastery, so fair
With trees in blossom, budding flowers,
Whose sweet scent filled the air.

And high above, unseen by all,
A singing nightingale,
Whose liquid trills and lilting notes
Sailed through each wooded vale.
Sing sweetly, little philomel,
Bring happiness to all –
Shy minstrel of the dusky night,
Of silent eveningfall.

And through this garden walked a monk,
A prayer book in his hand.
He heard the nightingale, and smiled
To hear the merry band
Of feathered singers in the trees,
As thrushes joined the choir,
Till warbling music filled the air
As breezes sent it higher.

And velvet bumblebees buzzed near
Each nectar-brimming flower,
While gaily-spotted ladybirds
Flew by from bloom to bower.
And as he saw each tiny life,
The monk’s heart filled with joy,
As he remembered happy days
When he was once a boy –

A quiet boy who loved God’s works
Of beauty, true and mild.
And so his life he gave to God,
To seek our Lord’s paths mild.
But now he turned, and passed from sight
Beyond the shadowed trees,
And then another mist appeared,
Upon the evening breeze.

And when it lifted from my eyes,
The monastery had gone.
And as for garden, glades, and flowers,
Of these there now was none.
For all were ghosts from other times,
Those realms of glades and moss.
But then, beneath a grassy bower,
I spied a golden Cross –

The Cross that hung around the neck
Of that mild monk I saw.
A Sign that spanned the straits of Time
To lie on grass before
A silent child in country lanes
Whose youthful fears now thawed.
Yes, blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see the Lord.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


The Loch Ness monster (Richard Pullen)

Here's an early preview of an in-progress project relating to my poetry - a forthcoming audio edition of Star Steeds and Other Dreams!!

The Loch Ness Monster meets Star Steeds! Check it out!

My sincere thanks go to Silas Hawkins for his wonderful interpretation of my poem!
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