June Walker

June Walker Poems

A row of sergeant-majors
stands to attention beside the girders
of the glass-house. Wearing wine red busbies
above lime green uniform stalks:

Yarrow, creamy,
liquorice scent-filled air,
sycamore saplings sprouting,

At the edge of close-cropped lawn,
purple vetch, daisies, thistles
and buttercups grow-
a singular patch of wilderness.

Bred in a stubborn land,
this hedge of hawthorn grabs frozen soil,
with clenched claw roots.
Its trunks- thick, twisted, gnarled hide-

This shell has pockmarks and barnacle bumps
on its rough elephant hide back,
protecting the abalone that once lived
there. The roof inside is smooth,

A piece of the pier sits on the horizon,
like a lost hope, or a lost ship,
a perching place for birds,
a marker for fishermen's boats at sea.

Under fir tree
puffball crocuses
burst into
star shapes,

At the top of the road,
tall black trees wear crow's nests
like untidy Maori headdresses.
A passing breeze transforms stiff trees

Head and shoulders above rat's umbrellas
beside the canal. Taller than dock plants,
flourishes hemlock, poisoner,
sister to laburnum and foxglove.

Drooping head of pansy bud,
white as first snowdrop,
shy as a girl
on her first day at school.

A flash of red and black
lands on ridged bark,
finds an open vein of golden sap.
Gathering wasps, hornets, bees, and blowflies,

A song thrush rubs her chest into dry dust.
Her beak opens - fledgling begging;
her tongue, a sharp thorn.
A white film covers her closed eyes.

Mid March.
Spring has not yet arrived.
Daffodils are a promise,
but at least show spindly stalks

In the grotto, ghostly stalactites
and stalagmites, like termite mounds,
line the narrow pathway,
opening onto an underground cavern


I bought a small ivy plant
and dug it into unpromising soil
above the concrete retaining wall.
It grew like fever-


Sycamore seeds put pin prick roots
Into soft earth to suck up minerals,
Like rows of butterflies
Sucking salt from the sand,

A lemon yellow dart
lands. A spot of sunlight
on a dark green thorny runway.
Soaks in a moment of calm

Violets shelter amongst the roots,
dry leaves for a blanket,
a dash of purple and green amongst the brown.
Quiet and unassuming,

There are few butterflies
in the city- a couple of cabbage whites,
a tortoiseshell, and, if you are lucky,
a peacock butterfly with eyes that seem

All through the ocean deeps he wails;
a-crying on the foam.
He weeps and wails, and weeps and moans,
‘Come home, my love, come home.'

June Walker Biography

My poems are usually based on observation of flora and fauna in my environment. Most have previously been published in poetry magazines in Canada, USA, NZ, Australia and UK. My painting site is at https//: june-walker.pixels.com

The Best Poem Of June Walker


A row of sergeant-majors
stands to attention beside the girders
of the glass-house. Wearing wine red busbies
above lime green uniform stalks:
a thin red line on parade.

After spring's magnificent bloom:
shrivelled petals,3 up,3 down-
like a row of blood-torn crimson irises,
or an army limping home.

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