the gorse branch
the stone chat
and the high blue sky
distant as the hills
the gorse branch
the stone chat
and the high blue sky
distant as the hills
2016, 8*, abandonment, autumn, branches, breakdown, brown, career, direction, element, freedom, getting ground, ground, horizontal, identity, institution, leaves, planet, rain, reaching, retirement, teaching, wind, work, yellow
where am I
cast free here
where the wind resolves
the necessary institution
I held on
long as I could
way after I’d turned
wet, brown and pasted
to the bifurcating
branch, tensile to every gust;
I was tired of any
direction at all;
to the ground with me,
stability and whimsical reach were
never my natural element,
open out to minute
into a revolving planet and
leave (ha!) myself
mulched to branch
monument to vainglory
retirement #1: a significant passage in life which doesn’t have a particular rite, religious or otherwise; I have retired since the beginning of this academic year – I had a flurry of written response when I holidayed in Granada, but since then, nothing; I have not been writing much, I have been cast adrift (the end of my career was what was left after my ability to keep going in to teach at school, eventually dissolved … fizzled) …
abandonment wormhole: beepbeep
autumn wormhole: 1964
branches wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Snow
breakdown wormhole: dry rot
brown wormhole: magnificent salad
career & teaching wormhole: just saying, is all VI: // accountable / for my own outbreath / …
identity & work wormhole: matter
leaves wormhole: Prajnaparamita // Maitreya
rain wormhole: balance
retirement wormhole: Granada holiday …
wind wormhole: 1964
yellow wormhole: … swap round
'scape, 1967, 5*, Atlantic, birdsong, birth, black, blackbird, blue, branches, brick, countryside, death, echo, elm, eyes, fields, flower, garden, green, Greenwich, grey, hate, hills, ivy, kitchen, leaf, life, love, May, Michael J Redford, morning, pastel, pigs, pink, rain, red, rhythm, school, silence, sky, snow, sound, sparrows, stillness, summer, sun, swifts, talking, the Boats of Vallisneria, trees, valley, vertical, village, walls, white, wind, windows, winter, woodland, world, yellow
There is a great expectancy in waiting for the snow to begin. Sometimes the snow comes with the wind when the trees are flailing and the Ruddock ruffles his breath beneath the trembling ivy. Then, the contours of the land become accentuated, blackened on the leeward side to eye-shocking contrast to the whiteness on each other. Each iron furrow stands in stark relief, a symbol of winter’s Herculean grip. And where the skimming flakes have hurled themselves upon the wooded hills, each twig upon every branch, each branch upon every tree, hugs close a spectral image and hazel coppices become an abstraction of diverging verticals.
Sometimes however, the snow comes upon us unheralded; its approach is silent; no movement is seen among the fields or felt upon the cheek. Somewhere below, the dormouse sleeps, and as the sparrow waits in the hedge I find myself walking with reverent steps as if, when in a house of worship, one feels the presence of the graven saints. Eventually I must pause in my tracks, feeling guilty of the very movement of my limbs when all else is still; and in the greyness of the sky there is but the faintest suggestion of pink. On a woodland bank the adventurous lesser periwinkle displays a solitary blue flower and from the old red-brick garden wall of the big house on the hill, the ivy casts down a leaf that slips rhythmically from side to side like the baton of the music teacher in the village school below. The leaf touches the ground and a snowflake touches the cheek. The eye is directed from the sky to the black background of the woods and a million flakes are seen; a million pieces of perfection yet each one different to the other. In the classroom below thirty pairs of wide eyes turn to the window and the rising undercurrent of excitement is checked by the teacher’s baton. I would indeed be guilty of a grave hypocrisy if I were to say that only young hearts flutter with excitement at this particular moment, for I too have never outgrown my love for the snow and look forward to the white, silent world to come.
Of course, snow brings with it its hardships as do the frosts, the winds and the rains. They bring discomfort and sometimes death to the aged, the sick and to the wildlife about us. But then so do the searing hot summers that parch the earth and lay heavy upon the fevered brow. Always there is something inimical to or destructive of life, yet at the same time and in many cases because of it, life is somehow strengthened. I remember how uneasy I once felt when harrowing a field of oats for the very first time. The teeth of the harrow clawed at the tender green shoots, breaking and bruising them, threatening to tear them bodily from the soil. Had I misunderstood my employer’s instructions? Was this really what he wanted me to do? And yet two months later, despite its apparent destruction, there stood before me a field of rippling, luscious green. If we were to hate all things that displayed an ugly side, there would be nothing left in the world to love.
This morning the window panes were covered with acanthus and the sun was a flat yellow disc that could be viewed without hurt to the eye. The mist seemed to smooth the scene into a two dimensional pasteboard picture which gave the impression that I could reach out and touch the pastel blue hills across the valley. I donned an additional thick-knitted woollen jersey, pulled on my gumboots and gloves and stepped from the warm steamy kitchen into the sparkling garden. The brilliance and frostiness of the air sent the blood racing to my cheeks and my ears began to tingle. In the piggery at the bottom of the garden, a mother sow with her nine three week old piglets were taking the air. The little ‘piggles’ as they were sometimes called in this area, were racing around with their snouts down, like little pink snow ploughs forging furrows in the frost encrusted snow. As I approached, their heads jerked up and, like tiny pink statues, they eyed me for a brief second before turning on their heels and hurtling across the piggery barking (or were they laughing) at the morning sun. The impression of nudity that young piglets must give must be seen to be believed, and the sight of these nude little bodies coursing through the snow set me shivering. I once heard of a sow who, in preference to the warm, dry sty supplied by her human master, built her nest in the corner of a field, and nothing on earth would induce her to return to the comfort of the ‘maternity’ ward. Early the following, bitterly cold, morning, she was found burrowed deeply within her nest with an army of piglets lined up at the milk bar with the most ridiculous expressions of contentment upon their faces. Not ten feet distant, a robin alighted on the solid water of the cattle trough and proclaimed the good news to the world.
However, it was too cold to stand watching the antics of these endearing little creatures (I dare not think of the hours wasted in this way during the warmer days) so I entered the lane that led to the fields. The dull klunk klunk of axe striking wood came to my ears and I saw through a gap in the snow-bound hedge the rhythmic rise and fall of my neighbour’s arm as he stooped over a pile of logs. The sound bounced across the fields to the woods and back again with such clarity, that I half expected the echo to continue as he laid his axe aside. He saw me, nodded at me and said, “Morning”. I nodded at him. “Morning”.
The countryman has an almost psycho-analytic method of extracting information from the unwary traveller. By a few pointed remarks or statements he finds out all he wants to know without having asked a single question. Having lived in the countryside for half my life, I have developed to a lesser degree the same technique. I did verbal battle with him for five minutes but my defences began to crumble when he said, “Better watch that plank over the stream, bound to be slippery with all that frost on it.”
“I expect it is,” I said, “Still, the tread of these boots is almost new.”
Now he knew where I was going, for the plank in question bridged the stream that ran along the north side of the woods.
“Surprising how much longer it takes to get across country when there’s frost and snow about.” He peered at me from the corners of his eyes. “Best get a move on or else you’ll be late.”
I gave in.
“That’s true, but then I’m only out for a stroll.”
Questioning my sanity, he returned to his chopping and I to my walk.
It has often been said by the townsman (although having spent most of my childhood in the grimy streets of Greenwich I no longer regard myself as a townsman) that the countryside is ‘all very well’ in summer, but ‘muddy, dismal and uninteresting’ in winter. Muddy it may well be, but it is clean mud, untainted by diesel oil, slime and soot. As for being dismal, are they so blind they cannot see the beauty in a curtain of falling rain brushing the distant hills, or hear the music of a million drops of water among the shining leaves or smell the fragrance of freshly dampened earth? Can they not see the beauty that I see now, of glistening white lacework of the frosted elms against a crystal clear sky, and undulating fields of virgin snow, pure and smooth, a countenance of innocence that has yet to bear the mark of man’s impropriety?
In the days of winter when the hedgerows are empty and the ditches and river banks laid bare, one can discover more easily the badger’s sett or the otter’s holt. One is able to make a mental note of where the blackbird is likely to build his nest; perhaps the disused nest of a song thrush now exposed by the skeletal hedge will eventually house the spotted white eggs of the blue tit in the warm days of May to come. Close scrutiny of tree and bush will reveal a host of living green buds wrapped tightly in their protective coats; life is expanding beneath the frozen ground, straining to burst forth, and even as the blackbird sings, the lambs are falling. The countryside in winter is not dead; there is life, vibrant and pulsing as the blood in one’s veins. It is all around, above one’s head and below one’s feet. It is not winter that dispels life, but life that dispels winter. The immigrant swift brings with it the warm southern winds and life throughout the land erupts, forcing the icy blasts, the snows and the frosts into the North Atlantic. And after all, without winter, there would be no spring.
read the collected work as it is published: here
black & talking wormhole: returning home handsome
blackbird & echo & fields wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – A Sign of the Times
blue & rain & sky wormhole: the too big moon
branches & wind wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – … as the new town marches in
death & white wormhole: the 19th century
eyes & morning & sun wormhole: traffic lights and broad avenue
garden wormhole: what life went on
green & grey & life & red & silence & walls & windows wormhole: did I get old?
hills wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – A Precious Moment
kitchen & school wormhole: hello, luvvey, do you want a cup of tea?
love & sound wormhole: new-found love – poewieview #36
pink wormhole: languidly close the portal
snow wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Contents
sparrows wormhole: tired
stillness wormhole: the sounds of 1969 // [would have] seemed that way – poewieview #13
trees wormhole: was there a moon / on the alleyway wall / confused in front of / the city skyline?
valley wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – moment
winter wormhole: The Boats of Vallesneria by Michael J. Redford – Autumn Thoughts
world wormhole: let it all go
yellow wormhole: magnificent salad
1967, 2016, 8*, abundance, ageing, autumn, birthday, blackberries, branches, brown, change, childhood, climbing, clouds, cows, earth, elm, field, gate, ghosts, gold, grey, hedge, ivy, lark, leaves, legs, life, listening, memory, mist, path, red, rook, rose-hips, running, seagull, shadow, signpost, silence, singing, sky, skyline, society, trees, wind, yellow
there are great mountains of cumulus
towered above, shadows course over
grey-yellow stubble, gulls hackle rooks
in leaning elms while red and black-
berries hang in the hedgerow … run,
run downhill, stretch my legs in boundless
stride, stream through the air from boy
to man, flood the plain with open memory;
or maybe: scale a furtive upward glance,
through boughs of avenue, a third
dimension, to survey, to just survey all
the song of all to sing ‘laaaaaark’; but
I’ll just rest here, now, sit beside the gate
sit under the signpost, and listen … foliage
turned dark and almost brown, the earth
awaits the golden plough while dancing
rose-hips watch skeins of Friesians
work meticulous across the skyline and
… everything will change, piped rippled
through bygone years – there will be ghosts
in the ditches, there will be paths adrift
of leaf, the ivy will reach up from the post
which points only to the wind now leaving
autumn mists to drift like webs into the
corners of paddocks; and there is a strange
silence in the sky … as the new town marches in
read the collected work as it is published: here
this is an appliquiary to: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – A Sign of the Times
autumn & branches & brown & change & childhood & clouds & field & grey & hedge & leaves & life & mist & path & red & seagull & silence & sky & skyline & trees & wind & yellow wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – A Sign of the Times
ghosts wormhole: just saying, is all IV: // lost
gold wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – autumn
listening wormhole: through the pane – poewieview #34
shadow wormhole: the purple mist between
society wormhole: poessay III: jijimuge
1967, 3*, air, autumn, blackberries, blackbird, branches, brown, change, chestnut tree, childhood, climbing, clouds, cottage, countryside, cows, echo, elm, Essex, field, grass, green, grey, hawthorne, hedge, hill, ivy, lark, leaves, life, memory, Michael J Redford, mist, oak, path, red, RF Hilder, rook, running, seagull, signpost, silence, singing, sitting, sky, skyline, snake, summer, sycamore, the Boats of Vallisneria, time, tits, trees, vista, walking, wind, woodland, work, yellow
A Sign of the Times
Things are changing around us all the time and when one lives with and through these changes it can be very difficult to tell when they occur. Changes are more evident and in many cases more startling when one returns to a scene of bygone years, and this has never been made more clear to me than now as I sit beside a signpost in an Essex lane. It is a contrast so shocking that it has left me quite numb, and it is difficult to understand how not only the facial character, but also the spiritual character of the countryside can be altered beyond recognition.
Some five years ago, I holidayed with friends who lived in south east Essex. One morning I crossed the meadow at the rear of the cottage and entered Ten Acres which sloped gently to the woods below. The full heat of the summer had abated to the mildness of early autumn and great mountains of cumulous, creamy topped, towered above me, their shadows coursing silently over the yellow-grey stubble. Two glistening sea gulls above the oaks did verbal battle with a colony of rooks quarrelling in the elms and, far above, it seemed a thousand larks were singing. Blackberries, some bright red others over-ripe and heavy with juice, shaded themselves in the hedgerow, and beside a weathered bale of straw, forgotten perhaps or left too wet for carting, a grass snake basked in the sun.
Gazing down the green slope, there came within me a sudden desire to run, to stretch my legs in great leaping strides, to see the hedgerows flash by in a blur and to feel the mild air stream about me. I wanted to race the wind that went tumbling down the hill to the woods below. Twenty years earlier the desire would have been satiated without further thought, but time passes and the unconscious brakes of inhibition condemn these simple pleasures to the memory’s store. For one brief second I was a young boy again about to satisfy a desire, but then all too soon, I was a man again, and grown men are not expected to behave in such a manner. To see a child walking along the road in an orderly fashion one moment and then break into a mad gallop the next is an occurrence accepted without question, but many an eyebrow would be raised if I were to do such a thing now. Such are the many simple pleasures we must perforce leave aside as we grow up. There are of course many other pleasures which take their place, but even so the illogical, spontaneous desires of childhood every so often burst within the heart and flood the mind with memories.
I had reached the wood and was a boy once more. Gazing above, I felt a sudden desire to reach up and haul myself into the green branches. One can climb a tree a hundred times and go up and come down a hundred different ways. I think perhaps it is the additional dimension which gives tree climbing that extra fascination, for if one explores an area of ground, one has but two dimensions to contend with, but up here in a green swaying arbour, one has a third. In the fullness of summer, high up in the sycamores and the chestnuts, there are green caverns to explore, and the diverging paths that disappear into the foliage above lure one on to the very top where, in green shrouded secrecy, one can survey the surrounding terrain.
To me, and no doubt to a large number of other adults, these things still hold a fascination and most of us are able to fulfil these old desires in one way or another. It may be by toying with model railways or messing about in boats; it may be by dressing for the local amateur dramatics or taking part in a sport. On the other hand, it may be by casting a furtive glance over the shoulder and climbing a tree.
After walking for an hour or so, I came upon a signpost beside an open gate and, finally bowing to the truth that I am no longer a boy, I sat beside the gate to rest my weary legs. The foliage of the countryside had turned a very dark green, almost brown in fact, heralding an early autumn. The grass between the drills of faded stubble would not grow much higher now. It had been an early year altogether and quite a large number of farmers had managed a second cut of hay. Now the harvest was done and the good earth awaited the plough and the frost. Hawthorn berries were an abundant red across the headland and a distant skein of Friesians grazed their way slowly across the skyline above. A tit leapt across my view and into a thicket close by and made the shiny red rose-hips dance. All around was the gentle yet positive movement of life. It was something to be not only seen, but felt. Little did I realise then how all this was to be changed.
Now five years have passed and I am once more beside the signpost, but this year the summer has been short. Already the trees are bare and possess that clipped appearance of a Hilder autumnal study. The tall grasses in the leafless hedgerows bend stiffly beneath the chilly winds which have been noticeable this past month. Gone is the suppleness in their sway, gone is the living green from their stems. Soon a wintry gale will snap and blow them into the ditches to join the ghosts of previous years. The lanes are filled with dead leaves, but no longer do they echo with the laughter of children as they wade knee deep through them, for nobody comes this way now. The gate hangs askew on its rusty hinges and needs to be lifted and torn from the coarse grasses which grasp the bottom rail. Such action however, is not necessary, for although the signpost once read ‘Public Footpath’, no one walks this way now. The letters are illegible and covered with green lichen, and around its rotting base a small ivy begins to reach for the sky. The footpath which ran diagonally across the field is no longer to be seen, not that this matters either, for the tiny lane bears no traveller save that of the drifting mists of autumn.
(R.F. Hilder (1905 – 1993), an English marine and landscape artist and book illustrator).
I gazed at the signpost and thought of the sweat that went into the making of it. Strong backs bent to dig the hole, strong arms lifted the stout wooden post. A craftsman’s eye morticed in the sign that is as square today as it ever was. The painted letters have peeled and left but a ghost on the woodwork. It doesn’t matter anyway, for no one passes this way now. But it used to lead somewhere. For someone the sign pointed to journey’s end; once cows scratched their necks upon it and children used it as a target for throwing pebbles. But now it merely points to the wind. There is a strange silence in the sky. No rooks, gulls or larks can I hear; no animals rustling in the hedgerows. Never have I witnessed such an empty land, a land so void of life and feeling. Although the wind is cold upon my neck, I cannot hear it in the trees and the dead leaves, sodden from the wandering mists, make no sound as they fling themselves at my boots. The ditches have filled with rotted vegetation and the water has spread. Marsh grasses and wild flock have appeared for a brief spell of life. And brief it will be, for six months from now, the new town will be born.
Once I worked among green hills
And as I worked I sang, oh yes
I sang mid the trees, in echoing woods
And o’er the dewy fields.
I sang with the rising lark, whose voice
Cascaded from above,
I sang always a joyous song
Of those things that I love.
My orchestra came from the wind,
From trickling brooks and rustling leaves,
From earth below and all about,
E’en heaven’s lofty eaves.
But now my green hills lay beneath
A glaring concrete face
And where once sang the blackbird’s heart,
Ten thousand people pace.
So now accompaniment have I none,
Nor reason for to sing.
My heart they buried ‘neath the stone
When marched the new town in.
read the collected work as it is published: here
air & branches & seagull wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – gull circling out at sea
autumn & hedge & leaves & trees & wind wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Simon Upon The Downs
blackbird & childhood wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – from arm to nature, doing nothing
brown & grey & path & red & silence & yellow wormhole: hello, luvvey, do you want a cup of tea?
change wormhole: reaching branch
clouds & sitting wormhole: and smile / like a bud
echo wormhole: fresh destiny
field wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – I suddenly / remembered
green & sky wormhole: through the pane – poewieview #34
life & mist & time wormhole: AT-tennnnnnnn – waitfrit waitfrit – SHUN!
oak wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – the soft canticle of the gourds:
skyline wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – autumn
walking wormhole: trying to focus / on walking
work wormhole: travel
when I first walked the
slippery grass of the Downs
I remained at a distance
not wishing to intrude
during those mornings
when each leaf is etched
against the motionless air
of such blue that his eyes
ached to the far edge of
the meadow, the furthest
he had ever been by himself –
new lands of stubble and
bale; a cloud of finches
rose from the ground at the
touch of his material gaze:
beauty enriched by solitude;
along the headland he saw
a tiny mouse disappear as he
looked for it, then he rolled
on his back, looked through
the branches of a beech tree
to the depth above, tracing
the boughs with his fingers,
touch of urgency and echo –
gull circling out at sea
* that switch of pronouns in stanza two is definitely (sic)
read the collected work as it is published: here
this is an appliquiary to: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Simon Upon The Downs
air & beauty & blue & branches & eyes & morning & seagull & sky & walking wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J Redford – Simon Upon The Downs
'scape, 1967, air, autumn, beauty, beech, blue, branches, breeze, brown, butterfly, child, clouds, countryside, cows, echo, eyes, field, finches, friends, green, hedge, hill, horizon, lark, leaf, leaves, life, meadow, Michael J Redford, morning, mouse, October, orange, parents, red, sea, seagull, sky, solitude, South Downs, space, sun, the Boats of Vallisneria, thought, trees, village, walking, white, wind, windows, yellow
While staying with some friends at their South Downs home one autumn, I espied their six year old son Simon making off across the meadow at the foot of the hill. Having been asked to keep an eye on their offspring while they went into town, I took up my walking stick and opened the back door. As I stepped into the sun, I recalled those beautiful hours many years ago when I first walked the slippery grass of the Downs alone and first became aware of their warmth and their beauty. For this reason I remained at a discreet distance and kept well out of sight, not wishing to intrude upon the boy’s apparent solitude. I relived those distant moments with this young child, wondering if his thoughts were parallel with mine.
It was a mid October morning, one of those rare mornings when each distant leaf and twig is etched with startling clarity against the pure motionless air. A faint haze of cloud occupied the northern sky, yet immediately above, the heavens were of such a blue that, even as he gazed, young Simon’s eyes ached at the brilliance of it.
The hedgerows were beginning to thin a little so that he could just make out the faded stubble beyond. Haw berries were in profusion and were difficult to distinguish from the leaves, many of which had turned a deep russet brown. He climbed to the brow of the hill, crossed to the stile in the far corner of the meadow and paused. This was the furthest he had ever been by himself. He knew this meadow fairly well for he could see it from his bedroom window. This is where the big brown cows file slowly by in the drowsy summer afternoons and where, if you are lucky, you can see the rabbits scurrying about in the hollow down by the thicket.
He turned and peered over the stile into a new land, a land of sharp prickly stubble and straw bales stacked in towers across the field like an army marching down upon the red roofed village below. A cloud of finches rose from the ground, as if the boy’s sweeping gaze was of material substance, touching the birds and startling them from their gleaning. The land sloped gently away to the village and there levelled out to the broad patchwork weald cradled within the gentle curve of the downs upon which he stood.
Never had the young boy seen such a view, its beauty being enriched by his apparent solitude. Here, high upon the downs, he was a giant surveying his kingdom and strode the browning fields to the horizon counting them as he went. He came to love the scene dearly as the years went by, often returning later in life to relax in the spaciousness of it; to release his mind, his very soul, to soar high above, around and within and become part of this spacious beauty.
He clambered over the stile and made his way along the headland. He liked walking upon stubble because it crackled and popped beneath his feet and trapped air burst forth from the hollow stems. The day seemed a little warmer now and somewhere high above, a lark sprinkled the field with song. Then a rustling in the hedgerow close by brought Simon’s gaze to rest upon the tiniest mouse he had ever seen. It was the little creature’s white waistcoat that gave him away, for his yellow-orange jacket blended so with the coloured leaves about him, yet, even as he looked, the twinkling eyes and quivering nose disappeared. He dropped to his knees and squinted between the leaves. One leaf in particular caught his eye. It was noticeable by the fact that one side of the central rib was of a deep chocolate brown colour while the other side remained green, and on the underside of the brown half each tiny artery and vein was etched clearly in red. Plucking the leaf, the boy rolled over onto his back and looked up through the overhang of the hedge and on up through the branches of a great beech tree to the sky beyond.
At the zenith the azure had deepened and was of great and wonderful contrast to the coloured leaves about him. He was conscious of the great depth above him yet lifted his arms to touch it, his fingers tracing the graceful boughs above. And there, framed within his outstretched arms, within that riot of dazzling colour, he became aware of life, all life, from the very earth upon which he lay to the cosmic depths his fingertips caressed. He became aware of its vitality, its beauty and its warmth. And the young boy gazed in awe and wondered.
He loved the countryside and the old cottage where he lived with his kindly parents and he looked forward to the walks and picnics they took together. But here was a new experience. For the first time in his young life, Simon was away from home and alone. The great hill and reared itself between him and the little cottage cutting off all visual contact with things familiar. Suddenly, it was as if the countryside belonged to him, it became as intimate and close as his own loving parents. As he gazed above with half closed eyes, the blue sky poured down its warmth upon him; the mild breeze lifted his fair hair and tickled his forehead and the Red Admiral butterfly danced for him and him alone. This was indeed his land. He rolled over and hugged the earth close to him, clutching handfuls of dried leaves. Tomorrow he would discover a new land beyond the shoulder of the downs and perhaps one day he would even reach that distant ring of trees. But not now, for there was a touch of urgency in the falling leaves and the echo of a gull circling far out above the sea, filtered through the wind to tell him it was time he was on his way. So, with a twig of deep red leaves for his mother’s vase clasped tightly in his small fist, the boy arose and turned once more to the hill.
How sad thought I, is the cry of a gull, or was it merely the mood I was in that made it appear so, for echoes of the past, no matter how happy, are always tinted with sadness. Following the young explorer I thought up these few lines:
Hark to the seagull’s urgent cry
Which faster leaps than body flies,
Leaps from the soul, bounds o’er the tree –
Crowned beasts alone above the sea.
Then down upon the ewe-cropped sward,
Through rabbit’s hollow, shaded run,
Along the white and winding track
And up once more into the sun.
And on the salty wind that sighs,
The fading cry looks o’er the sea
To see its birthplace glistening white
And wheeling, circling, ever free.
read the collected work as it is published: here
air & blue & eyes & green & sky wormhole: weight of high sash windows – poewieview #33
autumn wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] by Mark L. Redford – autumn
beauty wormhole: Doctor Strange II – … things are the same again
branches & leaves wormhole: Is There / Life on Mars? – poewieview #32
breeze & clouds & horizon & trees wormhole: carpet worn / to the backing – poewieview #30
brown & space wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] by Mark L. Redford – moment
child wormhole: The Boats of Vallesneria by Michael J. Redford – Autumn Thoughts
echo & field & thought wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] by Mark L. Redford – from arm to nature, doing nothing
hedge & morning wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – Olly
life wormhole: even / a second
orange wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] by Mark L. Redford – the soft canticle of the gourds:
red & walking wormhole: my seat // now
sea wormhole: Le Pont des Arts, 1907
seagull wormhole: the missing chord // the now-silent seagull
sun wormhole: trellis / and wisteria – poewieview #29
white wormhole: ‘hope for things to come’
wind wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – A Precious Moment
windows wormhole: magnetic field
yellow wormhole: Doctor Strange III – the needs of billions
Life on Mars?
on new branches
sideways and pointing
through the old
branches the sun
polishing the tin sky
seamlessly grey and the birds
sky as high as the world – Life on Mars?
Read the collected movements in David Bowie: Movements in Suite Major
birds wormhole: the ancient tree
Bowie wormhole: Life on Mars? – poewieview #31
branches wormhole: reaching branch
grey & life wormhole: carpet worn / to the backing – poewieview #30
leaves wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] by Mark L. Redford – moment
sky wormhole: The Boats of Vallisneria by Michael J. Redford – On Doing Nothing
sunset wormhole: “walking …”
2016, allowing, architecture, branches, change, clouds, coffee shop, compassion, feet, identity, landscape, mind, others, passing, people, reaching, Shrewsbury, sky, walking, watching, windows, writing
that conceive the mind
architecture of deep-belly clouds
the occasions of feet pass
in the window
of the same coffee shops to which I return
lace and ripple bulb and disperse over
branches wormhole: furl-reach
change wormhole: B le tch l ey P ark
clouds & identity & windows wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – the soft canticle of the gourds:
coffee shop wormhole: the coffee shop opportunity
compassion wormhole: constant hummm
feet wormhole: Hurst Green
mind wormhole: ‘on second thought …’ – poewieview #27
others wormhole: and that’s where I are
passing & people wormhole: 1964
sky wormhole: tired
walking wormhole: tripping up to / London town
writing wormhole: Lapping Reflections [Deep Within Waters] – introdepthion
slate-blue grey sky
behind new-green branch
blue & grey wormhole: nothing to say
branches wormhole: the ancient tree
green & horizon wormhole: Michael Redford: triptych
life wormhole: diligence
sky & wind wormhole: words tumble like / boulders – poewieview #25
I'm Dominic Wells, an ex-Time Out Editor. I used to write about films. Now I write them.
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