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The impulse of summer waning
sends an annual, yet always forgotten shift,
the hedgerows and fields conspire
to rewrite the scent enough
so the mind wanders to open fires
and comfort food
even though the sun still beats
scant weeks away we’ll swaddle
1.

I started in the shadow of one of God’s many houses,
fat plums on common ground offered themselves,
taut, bruise-purple skin still pristine
for maybe two, three more weeks

Walking on, a burst fig signaled
something
fresh green torn
scandalously showing fleshy insides
that should be kept private
for lovers, gourmands, gluttons

All the while, intermittently,
the straight line train drones by,
keeping Presbyterian hold
on passing passengers
who through unopened windows
cannot smell, hear or taste the divine

All the while the crickets sang of being

2.

All the while the crickets scored my steps
until ahead, nettle and dog rose conversations
conspired to thwart this man’s,
any man’s,
attempts to walk straight and true

A detour took me from the soft lost chaos of grasses
to tight lawns, hard front doors,
dark-ish satanic mills making wheat biscuits
and the ever sad chorus of a million tyres

Nearing home, a young rabbit’s boldness held
until too close, melted away

in the managed parkland
dragonfly truths called, m’ ducks
dragonfly truths called
Leaf litter sheep ****
verdant verges
flowers that smell foreign but aren’t
wet earth telling truth
moves to concrete and tarmac
who lie often
and heat is turned to memory
steps from animal tracks to animals tracked
have tumble drier breeze
mocking those prior flowers
**** smoked appreciatively
to thank the peace
as if laws don’t exist
and the lick of car exhaust
to recall poison
and then home
Green cathedral bells
are felt more than heard
though some tolls chime audible
to stomach depths
heart breadths
last breaths
A slow skull, but steady
as four pull by in unison,
the river readies me for another day
with current confidences
quietly spoken

In comparison, the busy chat
of small brown birds seems rude,
but cheek and charm
forgive a lot
if not all

It’s to the bees I’ll look
for industry this Sunday,
though if their lead will be followed
is yet to be decided
Hawthorn breaks a smile in the hedgerow,
whispers a truth
that, easily forgotten, delights again
and the indoor pain is lifted a little

The green is almost angry
demanding attention like a fat toddler
or peacocking buffoon
that somehow still wins hearts

I cried yesterday
despite spring’s giving relief as backdrop
anticipating a warmth
that still evades my fingertips
I forget myself sometimes
in nettles and dead wood
as feet step on, envious of small things
that skip through barbed brambles
like ladder rungs to new space

I’ll content myself with lungs of open air
and try to care less about slings and arrows
and my Brobdingnagian clump

to be allowed here is enough
This ground was thirsty
by god thirsty
been cracking and cursing for months
with only the vaguest hunch of a possible deluge

so these rains were drunk in abandonment
and the angry soil has yielded
soft underfoot, a sole cwtch
to be savoured, felt

the stream, so feeble last week
has remembered its fatness,
wetness, strength
recalling a bearing
thoughts are borne once again
with vigour to the constant sea
Skimming and scanning
the grammar of the riverbank’s
brown leaf, new shoot syntax
a bold type wren,
like the old bouncing ball of singalongs,
led my eye to read the waterline
and yet I still couldn’t discern
if smiles or tears were written
while the branch tips still scribed
Bone tired, petal and stem
still crave the light.

The fug has muted us
putting aches where shines were
but the yearning for the thorn and burr
of every normal day persists

My skin is ready to be kissed
with burn and nettled rash again
to give me pause for actual thought
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