Saturday, 25 February 2017

Spring and Rebirth


Curled up in a corner of myself
Far above the tideline of the sea
Beyond the reach of human grasp and need
My kernel’s whole, sealed off and floating free.

I am renewed, each day the first of Spring
Life’s storms drawn back, I’ve reached the further shore
Inviolate and still, my centre held
I’m on dry land, and don’t want any more.

Spring along the Wye - a Haiku 

Mating mallards splash 
Water vole scurries through reeds 
Is new promise here?


Bluebell is the early smell of summer, wild and soft, warmed out by sunlight that dapples the cathedral floor of a Chiltern beechwood, or let loose across open hillsides in Rannerdale.

Full summer comes savoury with the aroma of marjoram and thyme. I stir it up as I walk in chalkland meadows and relish the flavour of Mediterranean food.

The nose of cold as I walk out early to the cycle sheds on my way to morning lectures is quintessential autumn; or pungent silage, the smell that sometimes hangs over fields in the valley all day.

Winter is the invitation of Christmas spices mulled with orange and wine. Brave the cold outside to inhale winter honeysuckle – and look out for winter-active bumble bees which are also drawn to the fragrance.

And what of the scent of spring? In the depth of winter it arrived for me, boxed and sent from the Scillies. The cut narcissi flowers carried a touching message for life: Don’t expect them to last very long.

The moments to live are now. Don’t wait for spring!

Spring on Q

Spring on Q like hope is eternal
There must be something maternal
Knowing the right time for optimism
That the bulbs and seeds will prism
Into a rainbow of colours so good
That they will multiply as they should.

Tiny seeds that grow into mighty trees
Renewable energy that humans sieze
To heat their homes as logs or chips
Renewable electricity is on everyone's lips
Series or parallel it goes on and on
Like the seasons that keep rolling on

The life line on my hand is long
I wish it could my life prolong
An ambition is to see 2095
By then I will be over 125
Never say die, it is the Dash
Twixt when you were born and then become Ash
Hope springs on Q

St David's Day

Every year, on St David’s Day,        
I give my mother daffodils
from the greengrocer, tightly furled.
We tell each other,
“Hwyl fawr a Dydd Dewi Sant.’

And hope that along the verges,
The wild daffodils will have struggled
Through the frozen ground    
And pushed their heads through their green sleeves 
to greet us.  

This year, for the first time, mum’s   
not here, but back in the ice   
and snow of Canada. No chance  
daffodils will show their faces  
there, for St David.  

Spring Woodland Painting

Lay a wash of clear, bright sky, 
Add a touch of hugging warmth.
Filigree trees splashed with fresh young green.
Busy beaks, with nests to build,
Acrobatic darts of a Brimstone or two.
Wood anemones and lesser celandines
As an explosion of light, reviving stars,
Mirroring a night sky on ochre ground

The woodland has been holding its breath
Releasing now in slow, contented sighs
To delight our eye and gladden our heart
With awakening cheer; promise and hope,
Embracing new beginnings.
Let us draw on its strength and persistence -
To do the same.


From the highest atmosphere
a flash of sunlight on a plane:
photons crash my rods and cones.
Giddy, I close my eyes to see
a light that dances mindfully.
Here’s a thrush’s eggshell found
on leaves and blossom on the ground.
And all about the vibrant air
swallows darting everywhere.


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