Talking about all the xenophobia in our destructive existence, reminds me of all that is still here, still to pray for, to be reprieved.
Where do we go in the dead of night; what lights shine in secret gardens?
Waking leaves green and soften the place where rain has fallen and candles are not lit and interloping paths are strange un-wild ways,
and the door is ever open to the darkness, the deepness of un-tamed dream-space.
Who are they now?
Who are they now, the Elders?
Where have they gone, the wise ones, who held all that was sacred?
How long is it since the pure-in-heart and ancient-in-wisdom, looked upon the path ahead and turned aside?
And will they return?
It is hard to live in the world of man, and yet
the oaks still stand
gnarled and twisted and bark-stripped and deep-grooved, and branch-shed, and leaning over the road,
and wounded and
Where are they now, the elders?
They wait in quiet lanes and by the woodland paths.
And you will know them by the silence of their beckoning.
What is wild, or life? Not only that which breathes, but stones and fallen leaves.
Is there anything more wild and free than sunlight?
And are we ever more arrested by the natural world, than when it makes us stop…
It lay there, still bloodied and gnawed. I foot-dragged shingle over it and tamped it down to feed the earth-living things
and hoped it would rot and disappear, but truth is it was too near the door, and I would tread upon its grave too often to rest easy.
I let it resurface and was surprised at the humanity in its paws, how hand-like they are holding that single pebble like a holy book, and the flowing nature of its gown, a rain-drenched shroud.
So what do I do now?
Don’t drape me with plastic, or flowers, nor tie me with ribbons and string, clothe me only warm sphagnum blankets, and birds stopping by to sing.
For pearls give me mushrooms that gleam, for diamonds string dewdrops on webs, cloak me in gossamer mists of a morning and crown me with a ruby at sunset.
What would you do?
If you were tiny, and your rapid heart, outraced the minute a thousand to one;
if you’d become a poster-boy for some strange cult, purely because of the colour of your skin;
If you woke too early and slept too late, and were harried to live the frozen months on scraps, and ice;
would you still climb the highest tree, and sing?
We are all sometimes Gull
We do what we need to do, not what others want of us, yet while we’re slamming down head-first after soggy bread on Christmas day, we don’t know just how beautiful are the wings that hold us.
Longest night steals in; trees spread their black fingers into the sky and across the waters.
Darkness does not fall, but waits for daylight shades to fade to grey and outlasts that flash of white,
while blackness oozes from the banks.
I do not wish my old life back nor the people from it
but how I miss…
the way they made me feel and how I feel the sadness of this new world.
A Wish Granted
I woke to a world of fairy-dust and glitter,
not true snow-fall, more
an end-of-Autumn shimmer,
Wet wood (close-up)
Translucence rises from logs and leaves, pearlescent, alabaster, sepia memories of the aging and the birthing, the quietude of autumn: woodland decaying into life.
If I should fall in Autumn, then let me lie where golden leaves will be my coverlet.
Let the gentle mists sing me to my rest, and early evenings welcome me to home.
Instead of swan-song let me hear the honk of returning geese and believe that I will fly
in a shimmer of golden wings rising into the morning Autumn sky.
We look to the stars for the alien life, which already lives beneath our feet, and writes to us, in hieroglyphs trying to find a way to speak,
while we look far beyond the place we live and do not yet understand.
The scarab first caught my eye, emerging crablike on the Cromer sands,
then the overflowing horn of plenty, its silver shimmering creator coiled
and dived leaving all the cryptic faces, goggled, helmeted, spaced out and
planned for me to wonder at, puzzle out to find the four-ribbed tube-breathing prototype of man.
We think of famous places, natural untainted spaces, or those magnificent castles and country piles of bricks, and gentry lives, but whose landmarks are those?
What relevance to your growth and being who you are becoming registers in that earth, or those walls?
Make your own marks on the land! Create your true points of reference, and raise the smallest statues to your beliefs.
Or plant – or maybe save – a tree, to shine golden in the evening against life’s stormy sky.
As we edge towards the darkening, lanes are lit by summer’s lingering. Fairy-sconces of toadflax torches, shine by the hacked-back hedges, while beyond the rusting gates, and long-forgotten fences, bright green fields stretch out their aching sinews, refreshed by autumn drenches, and then relax their greens into fading sage and brownish beige, as all summer colour fades away.
If I could only photograph one thing
I would sit and weep for being made to choose, between the paling of the sky at dawn, and the fading of the earth at dusk.
And in my tears I would find the answer, if I could only photograph one thing, I would choose “reflections”.
I would picture the distorted world, rounded in a raindrop, gilded in an office window, impressionist river paintings.
Low tide would gift me light, clouds and cliffs in the shimmers of the still-wet sands, and gulls upside-down.
In puddles I would find the autumn leaves, the wellington joy of children, and in the dark of the mountain tarn, I’d find the echo of miracles.
Tread not so softly
(After W.B. Yeats)
Though my dreams are scattered at your feet, run wildly on.
My hopes are as firm as the dunes where the marram grows, as the quicksilver of the evening seas;
they have all the fragility of the moon at dawn,
but fear not your treading across my heart, run free, run wildly on.
The Seeds of Memory
Soft ice cream and the pointless drive along country lanes, which you haven’t yet figured out is one of my favourite things, idle rides on roads to somewhere, or nowhere, just looking at the places in between.
The gentleness of cygnets on the river, in their end-of-summer grey, thunder clouds fallen down without rainfall, soft feathers on the water, and beyond the tree-lined bend: the skipping light.
Reed-streams below the surface, and why I wouldn’t swim where such fickle greenery lies waiting to entangle the unwary; ramshackle boats and one sleek beauty of polished wood that I held back from stroking.
Old flint walls and hidden park-land beyond its old-money rusting fences, tree-tunnels, and macho fools who jump from the stone bridge into the weir, impressing no-one.
Be still blood red heart of paper whispers, there is bee-work to be done.
Lonely seven-spot, forages in the shade of a ragwort sunburst
Hearts of burnished bronze, and silken fawn, held in the palm of lime green leaves.
Water on white campion
Flaming June is doused, and sopping, sobbing still.
Night-scents are wasted when moths cannot fly, wet-winged, grounded, hungry for the sweetness hidden in that pale blind eye.
Marsh Moment 22.6.22
Heat on the river path has me slowing to the pace of swans, languid and diving beneath the water, seeking shade; has me retreating to the few trees and the breath of leaves.
A swing has been strung on a branch, seemingly grown specifically horizontal for that purpose
and looking as though it has been there forever,
waiting for childhood to return.
I regret just walking on.
Orange Tip Settling
Impatience flutters, alights on the perfect bloom, folds wings, disappears.