incredulous and uncertain
she berates herself
oh far too willingly
too eagerly condemns herself
for faults that reside not
in her but which form
outside her control
she is capable of so much
talented beyond words
and might never know
how blessed we all are
to share this life with her
but i will strive to ensure
that she learns this vital truth
of how wonderful she is
my beautiful nighean ruadh

Laya at Westminster Abbey

Yuki-Onna by Laya V. Smith

I am very happy to share with you all the latest publication of one of my wife’s short stories, Yuki-Onna, based on a rather chilling Japanese legend. If you’d like to take a look, it is available for free on page 11 of the most recent Sirens Call eZine at

Happy reading, and as always thank you for sharing your own wonderful writings.


my all

my love, my everything, my laya

you are the beauty i strive to see
hidden in the world around me

you are the sustaining truth
that resides in my needful soul

the enigma of strange shadows
along the shore hinting at time

the trees that rise unbidden
reaching for the elusive highland sun

the steps echoing over stone
long after the wanderer has passed

the perfection of lucid tones
that flow beyond the stoic brig

the fading light, nothing ominous
rather promising a new day to come

you are my all

my lovely laya on the bridge towards eilean donan castle in the highlands

my writer

it is only because of you
my love, that i begin at last
to understand what it truly
means to be a writer

beyond the obvious creativity
the shrouded activity of mind
crafting eternal substance
to clothe ephemeral ideas

beyond the cleverly constructed
characters careening through
indecision and madness and fear
ever endearing themselves to me

beyond the precious peers
who inspire and guide you
and the late night hours spent
tapping away in the dark

beyond all of this and more
is your all too tender heart
sorely abused, breaking again
beneath the callous burden

of the utilitarian indifference
oh so effortlessly wielded by
petty fools who may never know
the unencumbered grace

of your soul

Laya, my beloved writer, at Westminster.

precious little

precious little follows upon
in what remains of my life
and that so precisely intoned
as well to warrant skepticism
at the very least,
he dismissively stated

but she knowingly
most lovingly

you are so much more than this
so much more than you grant
yourself the willingness to be
having attained that which others
could only dream of,
and she touched his arm

he grunted doubtfully
and dipped his head
at his wrinkled hand

ungenerous time is not kind
and regardless of my achievements
in spite of my longings
it binds me to shadowed ends
i would have nothing of,
and he hid his hand in his lap

with a tear in her eye
she reached out
and pulled his hand to her lips

do not hide yourself from me
nor efface yourself so meanly
for this is what matters,
she said kissing his hand,
and even ruthless time
could never destroy this truth

you are mine and all
and be you so for now
and forever more

She does not know

There is at times a darkness in the sky
in the lines and the shadows of the clouds
that bleed into the braes that range us in
and color the very horizon in fears.
I see her watching and weaving this darkness
into patterned purpose shrouding her thoughts
and I so wish to turn her gaze far away
from the clinging stinging soul of doubt.
For it is clear to me that she doesn’t know.
She looks at herself so unappealingly
unapologetically rejecting her very being
her skin her bones her hands and bands
all of which i love and know so well to love.
Quite suddenly her smile will vanish fitfully
fingering tresses without even noticing
how gloriously her loveliness rises above
the maliferous banality of the world of man.
But she?  She truly does not know.
Yet I would have her know, have her know
so much better how skillfully her heart
sings hymns of love and longing and joy
that make my very heart to tremble.
I would have her see herself as I do
this beauteous woman most fair and airfully
attending the verdure ripe with wine and song
caressing the leaves of each needful tree.
Though still she does not know.
My love gently breathes lilies into bloom
and teaches the water fairies to dance in tune
while the world around her harkens and hails
this pail and prettiest of maidens true.
And though she may not know all of this yet
but I will most gladly quite madly spend my life
teaching her how fine and wonderful and worthy
she is to be loved as love was truly meant to be.

2015.05.25 Cumbria 044

the taste of laughter

i wish i knew more than this,
more than the listless dribblings
that fall from my memorizing tongue

ceaselessly turning pages
composed by knowledgeable others
whose certainties transpose my doubts

i would have seen more,
gleaned more from the engagings
of life’s merry makings and sheddings

i would have played gleefully
without a care for the cold haunting,
the distracting dissatisfactions of others

and i would stop wallowing
tearfully swallowing the pills of regret,
which is why the now is for me and for us

you see, at this moment i
tremble at the sight of you smiling
again, my dear love, and i am exultant

years may have swept away
my receding needs and pleases
leaving empty regard for times unheld

but i so very am—i am still
beyond the graying yesteryears
and despite them all, i know the taste of laughter

2017.02.25 SLC.Fam 001

nighean ruadh

it came as no surprise to me then

and yet i delighted in the sight

of you standing beneath the great tree

still gathering sparkles of sunlight

jealously shielded by the canopy above


the sun could not bear to part from you


delighted at your gentle touch

along the bark of this ancient weaver

entwining emeralds in the air about you

bobbing lightly through the shadows

wanting only to be close to you


the finest jewels suffer at your sight


how can i express the joy i felt

seeing you there, your lovely hair

gleefully glancing here waving there

nothing could i even now compare

to the serenity in your face


peace itself bows reverently before you


that moment belonged to you, m’eudail

mind you the music across the park

the pipes had begun to play and all would say

that the melody so fair was like the song

that flows from your sweet lips


music adores thee as well, my love


i will always mind that tree in Hyde Park

and how you glowed even in the shadows

for the truth of your very being is such

that no darkness could ever shroud the beauty

of my beloved nighean ruadh*


2015.05.10 London.Hyde Park 034

* “Nighean ruadh” translates as “red-haired lass”.

a life wholly fulfilled

oh weighty the years
that have borne my body
to once sullen earth
so weighty the moments
of desperate mourning
and insatiate madness
yet how sweetly now
time my heart engages
paging miraculous tales
and how lovingly now
my rising soul entangles
among vines of utmost joy
and all because of you
inspired, so deeply desired
wistfully wondrously you
singing songs of laughter
chanting hymns of love
pressing patterns peaceful
because of you, my love
the sun pirouettes above
the moon languorously lists
and i, emancipated at last
embrace the finest fullness
of a life wholly fulfilled

2015.05.26 Wychwood 023