Michael Tolkien


    Stanzas 3 and 5 from Muse


You’ve turned at an angle on

a wide garden chair to greet my

playful camera as if it were a kiss,

though glasses suspended between

two curled hands over a closed book

show I must have disturbed you.



Had I asked you, as you ask me in vain,

to look ‘natural’, you could have found

no better pose, not that it is one:

it’s the parlance of single, tall flowers

that engage us with a look that says

This is me as I am here and now.



    Unbroken Circle


Strange that I should turn

to you while we bask in

midsummer morning sun,

just when our tea and coffee

drops below a third full,

and ask: ‘So… what now?’

Isn’t this all the ‘now’ we need?


We’re suspended in a walled

trough of warmth, our eyes

filled with each other, in

touch by a short reach,

so attuned we’ve never had to

dial up momentary wavelengths

that broadcast things in common.


Like your well-tended shrubs

and climbers weaving about us

our shared years root and flourish,

make us what we’re glad to be,

imagined setbacks and pitfalls

mere contrivances to show

all we have here and now.




This book can be obtained direct from the author. More outlets will be posted in due course.


Here And Now is a search for ‘inclusiveness’, the need to find coherence in all kinds of experience, and to make sense of the imponderable. In this process the deceptiveness of appearances has a recurrent rôle. The final section, an extended love poem, moves through nostalgia towards a kind of fulfilment in the immediate.




Without my wife Rosemary’s support, particularly at times of self-doubt or inertia, this collection would never have materialized.

      I would like to thank Rutland Poets. Workshopping a number of these poems with them has resulted in some radical rethinking.

    Thanks as ever to Gordon Braddy, whose patient and perceptive reading and listening have guaranteed that many poems were profitably reworked.

     Were it not for the discerning input of my editor, John Forth, many individual poems might have misfired and the collection lacked cohesion.

      I continue to feel indebted to Darin Jewell (Inspira Group Literary Agency) for his encouraging personal and professional support.

     Special thanks once again to David Siddons for his advice, suggestions and inventive processing of cover material.




David Siddons designed and processed the cover from Rosemary Tolkien’s painting of ancient sweet chestnut tree in Burghley Park.





A review of Here and Now can be found HERE