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

.

arrhymic 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

On Grey / On Gray

Start with grey and then

add more grey. In the right light

grey’s quite beautiful

~

CLP 08/03/2021

On Colour

Crimson buds open

despite a cruel wind that steals

pigment from our skins

~

CLP 05/03/2021

L3 (Day 55): In The Post

I receive an invitation to attend a Covid Vaccination Centre within the next week or so. The nearest centre offered by the NHS website I am directed to is 36.7 miles away. Meanwhile, 500 metres up the hill here is a Covid Vaccination Centre.

It was brassic today, the weekend was clearly a Fools’ Spring. We bathe in cold light caressed by winter’s freezing fingers.

~

CLP 02/03/2021

On Time

Evening light returns

fills the gaps between trees

branches unfurl leaves

~

n.b. There was still light in the sky after 17:30h on Monday evening. Everyday we move forward a little more.

~

CLP 01/03/2021

L3 (Day 54): In The Cold

The shift from yesterday’s promising warmth of sunshine to this fog threatening existence was brutal. No wind as such, but bitter cold, bitter.

The numbering of days in this lockdown is moving on so fast. Best not to look back to what has been left behind, or left undone, but to look ahead, to plot a course. Heaven’s light our guide.

~

CLP 01/03/2021

L3 (Day 49): In Shorts

Seventeen degrees

Out to the broad. Quick cup of tea

Sunshine on me knees.

~

n.b. The warmth held until around 5 p.m. despite a strong breeze. See the striations in the late afternoon sky. A lot of wind for weather forecasters to talk about today: they talk a lot about the wind.

~

CLP 24/02/2021

L3 (Day 47.5): Norwich

I was shocked and somewhat disappointed to learn that my neighbour, in the apartment below, has only had his heating on for a total of two days this whole and quite cold winter! How selfish can you get? No wonder it’s been chilly up here. I was relying on the tight-fisted so-and-so to keep me warm and save me some money.

~

CLP 22/02/2021

L3 (Day 36) On Ice

The lake is frozen.

If you’re looking for easy

metaphors, use this

~

n.b. Nice of nature to get on board with the program at last. Now everyone around here knows what we homo sapiens are experiencing.

~

CLP 11/02/2021

L3 (Day 35): On Heat

When its this cold the sky burns

shades the late afternoon pink

sends clear warning to shepherds

~

CLP 10/02/2021