May journal 9 (part 2)

Spring left suddenly, in a surge of fescue, and the meadow rose up to meet the sun, damselfly and dragonfly-winged. Heat baked the clay bowl of the earth, crickets sang in the cracks, and windows, tight against the dull wind, were flung wide. Even the blackbird fell silent in afternoon lethargy, and new leaves, barely unfurled, wilted.

In the woods across the stream, a deer barked in irritation, and a young broquart raced across the field, chased by the older male. Woodpeckers, pied, red-flashed, hammered in the heat, a squirrel looped the loop through the alders.

Quiet peace throbbed with noise, and I closed my eyes, relieved that both still function, yet in the bright, warm dark, trotted regrets for the ephemeral spring.

indigo lace
above the running water
turned to lapis lazuli
by a stray sunbeam.


May journal 6

Nothing happened here today,
the sun, the clouds, a brisk spring breeze
that rippled through the rising stalks.

Nothing changed except the vines
that tendrilled higher opened leaf
and crept across the lizards’ walls.

So many birds are singing now,
the rich of oriole, the lush
of blackbird, thrush and nightingale,

I tend the ear for gentler songs,
the warbler, chiff chaff, chaffinch songs,
the whisper of the poplar leaves.

Nothing happened here except
the growing and the nesting, now
at dusk the bats take to the air,

and deeper dusk will bring the owls.
I hope for many more such days
of birdsong, growing, golden peace.

May journal 2

The morning was sandy brown, and the breeze muttered beneath the clouds before they broke, tattered, and the sun scattered golden butter into flower cups. Below, among the willows, four ducks landed to graze, and the coypu family played in the long grass by the stream. A whip snake startled among the vine rows, startling.
The day meandered, weeding and pruning back a rose reverted to wild. So much to release from beneath the weight of goose grass, bay and bramble, delicate things struggling for breath and a sight of the sun. Among the dead stalks of winter jasmine, I disturbed a robin’s nest, blackbirds ran beneath the bushes.
Evening, the blue sky streaked with purple and pink, and as the birds prepare to roost, the bank across the way poured out a rabbit colony. Evenings, nothing moves on this lane, only rabbits.

In the balance
between light and dark
between seeing and hearing
the air throbs and rustles
shadows grow
from dead leaves.

May journal 1

Morning dawns misty grey again, the sky cool pearl. The meadow is speckled with the pink of orchids, buttercup yellow, and soon with the light will come the specks of blue-sky flax. The air is still but echoing with song, a throb from so many different throats, blackbirds, thrushes, chiff chaffs, nightingales, wood pigeons, golden orioles, and the hacking cough of lost pheasants.
Once again, the fox has taken the food container to play with, out of sight among the long grasses, and I am running out of boxes. I wonder if the pigs have been back, rootling in the ditch. There is nothing more to say, waiting for the sun to light the world of green and gold, the same wonder that never palls.

Minutes pass
in tree breath and subtly
everything changes.

Haibun for gardening

Tussling with thistles taller than me, sprouting like something I saw in a black and white Doctor Who and remembered with terror for decades, in the sun too hot for spring and crickets vying with blackbirds for airspace, I feel the year running away from me already.

the Dagda stopped the sun once

for nine months

one way of hiding your guilt

and if the child turned out bad

you could always blame his mother

Poem for Bealtaine


The first rose blooms beneath the rain,


Spangling the green with ephemeral diamonds.

First rose blooms,

Flame red calling

The fires that herald summer.

Promise of abundance,

Flame, flower, and fertile earth,

She opens her arms to embrace the world,

Springing from earth’s cradle,

Bringing to birth,

The beauty of life.