Gogyohka for summer morning


sun ripples

through flesh and bone

chasing memories of cold and damp

and the darkness

of a night of no moon


cool grass glistens


and a chiff chaff

chiff-chaffs quietly

in the sleepy morning hedge



where the boundaries are green and leafy

and the stream runs lower as heat rises

we stand on the edge

of vertiginous summer

Hay raking

Haymaking was put off for three weeks which is what I wanted, to let all the wildflowers finish and set seed first. The hay is now all raked into an interesting geometrical pattern like a Neolithic temple site, waiting for the baler to come.

This is the west meadow looking south

west looking south

East meadow looking west. The red and white tape is to cordon off an area where saplings are planted.

east meadow looking west

The south section looking up towards the house.

south section

The part I like best, the bottoms where the willows are, a section about 20 metres by 200 metres that isn’t mown and is just left to its own devices.

unmown beneath willows

Heat rises

evening june

Heat rises from baked earth,

sighs in whisper of thistledown and butterfly wings,

bathes in gold the green beneath

more and more relentless blue,

seeps in the sweet, ripe smell of bird-pecked figs.

Leaves flutter,

flickering the shadowed sunlight where

a blackbird sings softly, a trio of notes,

listening in vain

for stream babble

to finish the line.

Summer evening


Twilight, and the owls call,

from the hedge a hare darts,

takes to the lane, white scut jaunty.

Beneath the trees,

bat-fluttering night has fallen,

Venus, Jupiter and Mars

aligned in the blue, the outliers,

while behind, in the turquoise glow,

the stars wait,

and I wait,

for the curtain to rise, the curtain to fall,

spangled and old as time.

Will the night still cast its glitter on these fields

when the hare has gone and the owls are silent,

and the concrete sea has tamed this rebellious corner,

when nothing stirs in the grass so bare,

flowerless and insect-free,

and neatly trimmed as polished nails?

Were I a star,

I would turn my face away

and weep.