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.

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.

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