on time

gathering swallows
criss-cross hedgerows, heading south
winter's first shadow


CLP 03/09/2022

on borders

ejected by North Sea
ragged rubber dingy beached
no sign of the crew


n.b. Who braved the waves on this through Storm Dudley, Storm Eunice, or Storm Franklin? Did they make dry land?

CLP 27/02/2022

Following the Tractor

When the combine has cut through the wheat,

The bailer tidied all loose ends

And The Downs have felt the drag of plough and harrow,

Swallows and martins scour the chalk field in hundreds

A restless gathering, swooping, sweeping low

From roadside wires and hedge tops

Assembling their collective will to flee

Our gloomy, damp, autumnal land


One flits by, teasing my unleashed hound

Another, passes that close to me

I hear its fine wings feathering the air


This strange summer’s end comes nigh

Marked by the breath of hirondelles brushing our crumbled turf

Their fleeting farewell kisses of Northern earth leave no mark

When they take temporary leave for Southern skies


CLP  30th August, 2020

On Leaving

Despite rain and gales

It’s imperative to leave

Martins battle on


n.b. I was very surprised to see a handful of house martins struggling against the fierce Westerlies this evening. The past two weeks of weather have not been conducive to life on the wing locally; let alone commencing a transcontinental migration.

When one sees a pair of herons swooping about in the wind like herring gulls, one fears for the chances of less robust birds like the hirondelles. Having said that there can be few herons experienced in completing controlled landings in gusts of 30 knots or more.

n.n.b. This is NOT a metaphor for Brexit…but a nod of respect to those little creatures fighting the weather to get to Africa as the days shorten.


CLP 29/09/2019


Long gone from these shores

Memory grasps at your ghost

Gorgeous wanderer

CLP  01/01/2019