Poet's Favourites

Poet Diane Kemp invites you to share the emotions of her poetry, from pain to triumph, from heartbreak to joy, from fear to promise....

Poet's Favourites                       Click here to print the poems in this category
Silk Purse Poems by Diane Kemb, a collection of poetry for you to enjoy!
The Mountain
Job's Derelict
Dawn's Poem
Takaka Falls
September Morning
The Reckoning


Highlights of a warm and amber evening

Gleam yellow bright.

You left me thoughts that warm

My coldest days.

Your leaving is the longest thing I’ve wept


Now I’ve wept it dead

There’s only left

The soft remembrances.

You found me

Living happiness and planning dreams.

Hand on my arm

You bid me stay awhile.

Your smile was strong

And for a time we played a light flirtation

Before I turned about my dreams.

As I embarked

Your smile and touch remained

For when I stepped away you pressed your love

Into my hand and bid me

Hold it gently all the way to Samarkand

And home again

To you.

My days were joyful

As I bounced along

And laughed.

Each thought, each view was coloured

With your presence.

The Thames reflected back your smile.

The streets of London

Sang the wildest harmony to counterpoint

The sweetness of my agony

Expecting word from you.

And then word came

Of course,

Of course it came;

Your writing strong and vital as your touch.

There is a spot on Cheyne Walk

That I call paradise;

That’s where I read the first

Of all your love

That’s where the street is stained

With one great shining tear

Of happiness.

My letters back were light

With joy of growing expectation.

And tho’ your mail was sure

I’d entertain disaster fantasies

Part fear

Part thrill.

You followed me to Regensburg and Zell Am See

Bukhara, Tashkent, Samarkand

Galway, Chelsea, Liverpool

And finally the road turned back

Turned back again,

Turned back to you.

The five day trip was all on edge

One long preoccupation.

Too much.

Too much to see you standing there.

They made us wait so long to disembark.


Your arms your eyes your


Swept aside all fantasies and dreams.

And thus a smiling idyll

As we climbed our alpine meadow

Intent upon perfection’s height - love's consummation.

We camped

Beside a freshening glacial stream

And played on our delight


With each mountain flower the fullness

Of our long awaited spring.

The sun was ours and ours

The moon;

The moon we watched until the rise of dawn

Urged us to happy sleep.

Our busy days were lit with love;

The nights

Were ours to build and dream and celebrate.

I cheered the mountain and the glacier

And the freshening stream

And tho’

At times with worry in your eyes

I’d find you gazing at the glacier

I’d laugh,

“All nature is our friend,”

I’d sing.


Months were spent with every morning fresher

Than the alpine dew

And every evening warm

And happy on our mountainside.

One night our dreams were troubled

And the air seemed cold.

I woke at dawn with stabbing pains of fear.

The early sun

Half hidden by a bank of clouds

Marked where the glacier had broken


And while we’d slept

Had swept you from my side.


I haven’t seen you since.

And tho’ I’ve searched

I always knew the glacier

Had truly taken you



Along each painful step

That took me down the mountain

The stream no longer freshened to the thirst

But chilled

And set my body quivering.

Between each stride

I felt for life

Some sign

Within the ghost, the cold remains of spirit

That had soaked the sun for months;

The spirit was a wisp of hopelessness.

Finally I reached the bottom

The very bottom.

I  sat.

I let the fog of months roll past


Living only of my pain.

The seasons turned unnoticed in the shadowed quiet

Of my empty valley.

The passing seasons

now have grown to years.

The fog is rare.

The sun is usually warming.

Now often in the quiet of an evening

I  look

And see a glint of sunset

Casting highlights

On our mountainside.

                                                                                                                  Sept. 75



      That I’ve broken open

                    the chrysalis of life,

       I sit on your fingertip

         My wings still damp,

       Sunning in the wonder of eternity.

       Smile on me,

My mind and my spirit are free !

Nov. 94


Can this be death’s encasement ?


Doesn’t worry at the edges of today

But sits

Heedless of time.

Tension unbends

Stretching free of yesterday

In a quiet cloister

Muffled from the world around

As on a winter’s evening

Of softly falling snow.

Can this be death’s encasement

With senses quietly slipping

Into an endless night ?

Or will there be a first bird’s song


This hour of still;

Calling the world to wakefulness

Before some trumpeting Dawn ?

March 75


Back from hell

He stands

His catatonic watch.

His cavernous eyes

Reverberate a blankness

Consuming insanities

That echo soundless

Unheeded rings of torture

in his vacant skull.

April '75



    above the river

Upstream over Mallorytown

                               a line of geese

    flies penciled in the sky

              Against the thin stretched April clouds.

     Suspended in the shifting wind

The struggling line

                      takes voice

            And calls the sound of northern muskeg,

       rivers thick with reeds

Cool summer’s banquet on the flats

      of Hudson’s Bay

‘Til overhead

      the many throated echo of Precambrian wilds

In powered raucous flight

      pounds rhythms of sedition

On the drumhead

     of my Saxon constancy.

April 78


Takaka River proudly throws

                             her foaming water


                                           over the precipice

                             for the admiring sun

Then lets it drop


         onto a rocky outcrop

           to bounce again


                             into the sunlight

Exploding white blossoming clouds

   of spray

and smoky mist.

The cliff face sweats

Straining to hold the avalanche

                            and tiny rivulets race along

            unable to keep up

June 74


Autumn’s truest days

Are wet and warm

With mist along the morning lowlands

lush with fruit

Among the dying weeds.

A noontime sun can burn the mist

But now

The morning talks of winter

And I must drink

The muted colours on the hills

Before I put away the summer

For another year.





We’ve met before.

There at a thousand doors

You let me in with helplessness.

Tell me

Did you get my message

Or did my words stand in the way ?

Did you see me

Or was I hidden in a role ?

Did you discover hope

Or only confirmation that the world

Ignored you ?

Sept. 74