Can this confection piped against the skyline, snagging clouds like  prayers,

wed man to God?"  



More Poems by Christopher Delaney...

For Vanessa


Red Admiral, Vanessa Atalanta –

flight time, March to November


After our guests quietly left,

I couldn't stay inside

but sought harmony of birds,

neutrality of trees.


When daffodils trumpeted,

I cut them short,

harvested tulips

while tight in bud

before bees hummed

their elegy.


In June, when buddleias

bloomed by the trellis,

a butterfly uncoiled

fragile seconds among nectar.

It scaled a fence, dwindled

on the mown-grass wind.


Late autumn, I succumbed

to shifting cloud patterns,

strode back indoors and opened

her nursery windows.


Orginal version commended in Ver Poets Ten Liners Competition 2012  


Trail Angels


Long after midnight, light from the gîte

shines through patio doors, over

the garden table and illuminates

two cycles propped against a wall.

We sit, sipping pastis, two men in our fifties,

surrounded by rows of gone-to-bed

windows in the cobbled courtyard.


Earlier, I wouldn't link hands along

the boulevard; you mocked my shyness.

Now, you speak of gear change

and the advantage of couplings

while our bikes snuggle up for the night.

Maybe time to kick back, ring bells,

freewheel into the twenty-first century.


Photo of Duomo di Milano taken by Christopher Delaney


Red Admiral drawing by Christopher Delaney

If I wanted to


I could step over to the piano, lift the lid and play one

half of a duet, even though the reading lamp above

the music-rest isn't working, and my wrist aches

from unaccustomed pruning of the roses.


Anyway, there are instructions that must

be found on how to programme

this washing machine

for a single



Commended in Ver Poets Ten Liners

Competition 2017