on autumn

late arrival
early exit
you've left your old clothes
strewn on the street
and forgotten
to shut the door
behind you
there's a terrible draught
thanks for dropping by

~

CLP 03

Normal

November has been mild, again
we're not used to the cold anymore
this is how it should be
how it always was before
I said that the leaves had more colour
dropped sooner, quicker, more completely
than last year
my friend couldn't remember
who would?
normal is just what we're used to now
not what went before
we older ones recall
picking blackberries after school
when summer stretched only to September
now we can eat blackberries from hedges
after Bonfire Night
when Christmas consumes the TV
and geese fly in from the east
in gaggles of grey clouds

~

CLP 22/11/2021

Apogee

we can't get much further away
from the summer solstice
grasses tickling your shins
sun pink face, a few freckles
but it's good to be here
with winter encroaching
with your smile
bright as buttercups
your kisses delicate
as sweet pea flowers

~

CLP 18/11/2021

on Orion

as our axis tilts
winter encroaches upon us
tightening of belts

~

n.b. Plague Island; taxing the many, openly corrupt, out in the cold.

~

CLP 04/11/2021

on time

we approach halfway
between summer and winter
night prepares her cloak

~

n.b. Autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere in 2021 falls around 23rd September.

CLP 21/09/2021

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

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