Autumn comes

Yesterday was hot. The yellow was golden, we kept in the shade and strolled home listening to the crackle of dried leaves.
The sunflower field looks desolate now, and the trees in front of the house along the stream look pale and thin.

The corn is in too, but the boar still come out to rummage.

Then today, the clouds came, the light was dull, and the yellow seemed more pronounced and drab. Like the box elder

the parched meadows

and the ‘garden’ reduced to yellow dust. The plants have died back or withered, the vine is wilted, the leaves curled and brown, and all we see on the roses are thorns.

At the end of this afternoon it rained. The start of the equinoctial change. High winds, unseasonably cool temperatures and rain are on the menu for the next fortnight. The mellow fruitfulness isn’t going to happen this year, I fear.

Morning walk

It’s too hot to be out for most of the day, so I take the dogs out earlyish. Walking too early can be problematic because there are still lots of wild animals about, so we wait until 8.30 when the night folk will be hidden away.

I stick to the lane when I’m alone, where the risk of distractions is less. Even at midday there are rabbits and deer about at the edge of the fields…

though Redmond often has to wait patiently while Bix investigates every grasshopper, lizard and mouse he sees in the ditch.

The woods at the side of the lane are full of interesting ‘things’.

and the edge of the corn field at the bottom of the hill is a favourite hang-out for wild boar.

Back home.

The meadows still look pretty, but the earth is bone dry and so fissured it’s hard to walk across.

Even the north side of the house is mainly dry stalks, but the chicory flowers still manage to make a picture.

Heat waves

May

June

Heat waves

It ripens so quickly now, the grain,
beneath these new suns,
and the green dries to gold.

Too quickly the suns roll across the sky,
and the nights too short to take stock,
the moon too far to cast cool shadows.

Nests fill and empty
though nightingales still sing,
but there is dust in the air, chaff,

summer not yet begun
and already lassitude drains the juice
from stalk and stem.

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.

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

A moment of summer

That moment of utter calm,
golden as buttercup mornings
and pollen-dropping dusk,

when summer settles,
a hand, a face in the blue,

and each tiny insect sound
in the brittle-stalked hay, new-mown,
the tireless chiff chaff of the chiff chaff,
sudden flash of swallows,

is a stroke of genius,
a chord that balances light, life and peace
in the slow opening and closing
of a butterfly’s wings.

I sit in shadows

I got this sonnet style poem from the Oracle this morning.

unmown beneath willows

I sit in shadows cast by half-seen dreams
That drip their honeyed light on thirsty ground.
Though storms play, twisting skeins of feathered cloud
And threading them with rain, I close my eyes,
See only summer ocean, swallow-tossed,
with waves of darting blue and lightning forked.

There are roses still that climb the house about,
And songs still sung from tree to sighing tree
In the ancient shining tongues that only
Birds know, sweet and sad, rose-red and raw
With premonitions of the whispered cold,
The bare bones shifting of a year grown old.

It will come the end, hill-stalking black and stark,
Yet in the deepening sky soars spring, the lark.

The summers I remember

For the dverse prompt. Hoping this new editor is going to behave itself. And will it keep the formatting? I should make a book… Fifth try. Sixth.

 

I remember when we could enjoy the heat

and savoured cool beneath the trees,

the running stream.

I remember when the blackbird sang

all summer long a summer song,

and we lazed, pink-skinned

beneath the hedge where berries hung,

 

~but that was before~

 

the rains came rare and late

or early and too hard too much,

and now the trees hang dying heads,

and rattle dry-leafed branches

where no bird sings, throats too parched,

no strength to waste in beauty,

and we wonder what the spring will bring.