Tag Archives: Nature

Light?

Not quite day but

not yet night

light uncertainly

parses grey

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Resolution

The old year resolves into

endless rain

washing it away and

draining quickly through our

chalk to hopefully

fill our aquifers our reservoirs our

ballast and keep us

buoyant on choppy seas as a

New Year again tests our

resolve.

Silent Day

That there were no birds on this

Christmas Day was strange enough—

no roving bands of coal-tits

committing rapine on my plants; no

robins with their proud strut; no

blackbirds with their

profound sense of ownership; no

starlings mobbing up then

splitting to squatter noisily;

no rooks or crows; no

libidinous pigeons pouting on

rooftops; merely a few

far-away gulls

skriving the swift wind—but

what was strangest was the

immense silence.

Near Midnight

Near midnight I heard geese honking

though there were no ponds nearby.

 

Migration was in the air but

would they set off at night?

 

I scanned the sky for some

occlusion of the Moon and stars but

 

saw nothing, though their cry

called me to find and follow them.

Bare Bone

However careful we are, some

bare bone adheres to our soles

after even a short walk,

unhousled by history,

truffled by burrowers,

powdered by time,

blown by breezes into the

bushes we brush by,

trodden into our carpets and

perhaps, depending on how

fastidious we are,

ending up in our

vacuum cleaners.

These Islands

These islands are scored and

scarred with geometric shapes, the

meaning of which we merely

guess at, full of fantasies.

 

These islands have buried somewhere

more bodies than now live, their

lives as impenetrable as the

mist over their fields.

 

These islands are full of people who

jostle the ghosts, don’t see them

hanging in hedges like cobwebs,

swept from their houses like spiders.

 

These islands are full of strange angles,

unnatural mounds, stones pitched from

horizontal to vertical behind which

someone, at some time, hid.

“Night and Silence”

The distant shudder of a helicopter

drifts away and I find myself amidst the

most perfect silence:

it is barely midnight and yet

every house is dark and blank and

even the motorway is void of vehicles.

 

Am I alone then in

relishing this absence of noise, this

empty pail waiting to be filled with

thoughts and doubts and

dark desires under the

stars and clouds?

An Easterly

The wind gets to you the way

other weathers won’t,

smiting your face with

unexpected blusters, the blows

turning your cheeks red,

chasing you round corners

as though each gust was

after you personally and

each grain of grit

aimed perfectly at the

centre of your eye.

Fog/Frost

fog_frost

The garden at night folds into the

fog rolling in whilst beneath it the

frost works its wonders

refiguring the bench-cover into a

carapace for some

movie monster and

freezing each dewdrop into

enough jewels to encrust

Orion’s ice-taut belt.

From Lowlife to Highgate

The brown hill of boredom

stretches into the unknown evening,

and the rain beats the paths

towards its slippery, dull calvary.

 

Up on the blasted Heath

the rich keep fit for Armageddon,

while darkness falls over London

and wetness on the world.

 

Again in April I append:

“A year is gone and gain is none.

Alight with hope I’m often found,

but Jack O’Lantern’s skills abound.

 

The night’s a hearth,

the Moon its fire, and we,

poor feral creatures,

merely kindling”.

 

It’s an English sensibility,

summoned by rain,

taking me up the hill to

look out over London.

 

Its ancient imprecations lie before me,

from Harrow and Wealdstone

via Gospel Oak to Gravesend, which

Dictionary of English Place Names makes me see

what castles and cathedrals cannot hide:

the ghost is a Lord until we lay it.

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