On Rain

sky darkens, air cools

harvest dust swirls in downdraught

leaves dance to the beat

~

CLP 01/08/2021

On Thunder

within seconds of

flickering shadows on walls

shaken foundations

~

CLP 28/07/2021

On Time

grass mown and tedded

wuffled to speed its curing

awaiting baler

CLP 18/07/2021

In Mist

sea fret floats inland

draws colour from earth and sky

green wheat fields shiver

~

CLP 14/07/2021

On Rain

thick dark soup of sky

ladles out downpour dollops

brook a bubbling broth

~

CLP 28/06/2021

The Magic Picture Tree

What do you see in the shape of this old oak tree

Shaped by lightening, prevailing winds, minerals and time?

I saw an opera singer, big as a house

Someone else a buried cross

What can you shape from this old oak tree?

~

CLP 25/05/2021

Late June

early evening rain falling heavy on hot soil, tarmac, stone

evaporates fast, forms humid stock, soured by sweat

bubbles up in steaming cumuli that boil over

drive down dust, pollen and temperature

so that tonight we might sleep

unless it doesn’t and the thick soup simply simmers

as we pull covers off, ache for breathe, pull covers on

attempt to seduce sleep with scent

dowse it with floods of dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin

and still we’ll perspire with pulses pounding

hotter, damp, worse than before

praying for a storm to break

a storm that will wake us where we fell

after sleep caught us off guard

as we lay alert to the flight of a curious mosquito

~

CLP 24/06/2021

Time #1

when it’s been really hot

like today, close to the mid-point of June

eventually the blue begins to thin

as if mixed with a few drops of white spirit

.

the air moves a little faster

adding cool to shade

under the solitary oak

crowning the rise

.

arrhythmic sounds of a distant road backwash

strangely vigorous mid-afternoon songs of blackbirds

who call as if expecting rain

but it won’t, not yet

.

there is no accumulation of clouds

over the Blackdown Hills

just the wind seasoned by a dash of brine

chilled through months of swirling winter tides

.

provoked, other birds respond, goldfinches

keening for respite from potential drought

trying to sweet -talk moisture from the sky

to fill the hard-set hoof prints and tyre-track hollows

.

to soften the soil and freshen pasture

to fill the brook now wearing a skin

that barely covers its old bones

its smoothed stones lie dry, matted green

.

heading west into the breeze

every feather extended to the full

a buzzard floats along the hedge

then shifts its path toward the wood

.

I sit against the towering trunk

spine aligned to its hard rutted bark

listen to the plaintive songs

wonder at how fast my sixty years have gone

Dream #6

so silent this blue turns black

nothing moves on Earth

a meteor streak

a faint schwoosh far off

sprinkled stardust

dissolves into tapestry of night

~

CLP 31/05/2021

On Playing (xi)

Why is it that teams

comprise eleven players?

Perfect for cricket.

~

n.b. I had a look on-line and the answers are pretty dumb given the fact that it was a rural game codified in 1744 and the story that Edward VIII had only eleven courtiers is a complete red herring. Cricket teams of eleven were in place long before that short-reigning monarch abdicated in 1936, never to return to live in England.

We know that football followed cricket’s lead when it came to team size, as it was promoted as the winter game for cricket players.

Famous examples of football clubs formed by cricketers include Aston Villa FC (formed in 1874) and AC Milan (1899).

The question of why eleven players were decided on for cricket remains unanswered.

~

CLP 25/01/2021