Hilltop weather, you need to enjoy it all when you walk in the UK. We have a special affinity here with the forecast, and often visit the wet places of our country, mainly because they are also the most beautiful. You appreciate it more after a good downpour, and enjoy a beer and food to talk about how it was not as bad as the last time, maybe. Revisiting older work today, trying out an even more pared back version than the original, I think it still counts a part of my Thirty.
Tendrils of low cloudy fingers
caress the arching back of the hills.
The mist reaches out, stretching,
reaching for a lovers touch.
Under a tree rain water scatters
through the leaves, distilling sun light,
and softens the view to hide
the truth of the way back home.
Morning Beach Life.
Holiday life, fascinating to watch, great fun to be in. Sometimes though it’s nice to be able to drive away from the frenetic side of it. We visited Calella near Barcelona in 2012 on a trip down the coast and I was struck by the complete difference between the morning easy way of life, relaxed and quiet, with the afternoon attack by multiple tourists looking for noise, food and something to drink. All the while seeing who is about, watching, wanting something to happen. An interesting interlude and good to dip in and out of but not a way for me to live a life.
Beer bars and TV’s and do you want chips with that,
all set against deep Mediterranean sea and sand.
Flip-flops and high heels short skirts and night life
all day and all night, walking to be seen. Sitting to watch.
the pickers and choosers and the wanting or needing
all waiting for the right one to happen along.
The hotel is cheap and the sleep is noisy and we leave
in the morning driving into Spain, away from the people
all living for a two-week dream in the sun on the beach.
We leave the silent morning streets to the Spaniards
with coffee in the shade of the tree-lined streets,
leave them in peace to wait for the start of another day.
A look back to Autumn, or forward perhaps as the trees in the garden start to gain their summer coats again. Everything is growing and the long days brighten the weeks work. A fragment to be worked on later I think, but I like the image.
Autumn has turned you into your destroyer,
Fire creeps into your leaves, rising colour
that creates a pool in a circle around you
on the grass. A last look at me shout
before winter takes its final hold.
The Lodge, School in London.
Ever get taken by a song you hear, something that drags you back to a place a time, brings a person back to life that you haven’t thought of for years? With my playlist on shuffle and years of music rattling along as I work I heard a track that took me back to South London and Sunday afternoon listening to the Top 40 on Radio 1.
They can still see him singing on the corner,
singing songs that never fade away,
fade into the kids that come along.
Angels on the Balcony – Blondie.
People and songs, the things that stay with us
long after the moment we meet,
after the last chord has faded and the names
are only remembered in photographs.
Faces blend into the time they occupy
along with the song we heard
that brings us back to when it was
imprinted on something happening.
Pieces of it all we have taken with us
that jump in the track we all have,
deja then, a picture so clear we can smell
the scent of them and see the shadows of the day.
Don’t trust the trees, isolated, spiteful, not the huggable life savers we are led to believe. Reaching roots, twisted branches, all grasping for something from the earth or air, from passing people. Then again, maybe I’m wrong, who knows what the trees think.
Trees are just squandering the time they have
by watching everything.
They count years like we count minutes,
each ring a sign of slow movements
as they rail against the wind
or the changing seasons.
Whispering secrets between themselves,
they save leaf fall for when the grass is greenest,
jealous of the camaraderie.
The trees lift the cornerstones of a nearby house
surprised at the brittle nature of our lives.
They only care when the wood burns in the forest,
there is no life and death, only the earth and the sky
and the narrow strip between.
We sit angled between the two, the trees reach
across to touch both.
Notes from New Year, I always feel the pause, when we tip over from one year to the next. Is time just passing or can we somehow control our perception of it?
Stars and Planets
I want to stay here,
between years, between footsteps
where nothing changes.
At the tipping point
between sunrise and sunset
when you and I touch.
Where the world gives us
a moment of time, stretched
out and held so close.
France Sails Away.
A line, stranded on the page of a notebook, used sometime, but never fitting. Day 14 and this is where the writing slows, the initial burst has faded to searching for the next piece. The prompts bring nothing and time gets short. Waiting for the words to appear so this can carry on, I will go for a walk and try to find something.
It Was Just a Trick of the Light.
Soon there is nothing but the sea,
enough of a swell to rock the boat,
to swing the small crowd of schoolchildren
from side to side in a John Wayne swagger.
A window seat as France sails away from us,
though we both watch passing passengers
and drink coffee in the morning sun.
Pale skin, long fingers holding the book
you’re not reading. That smile in the shadow
of your face, the look in your eyes, was it just a trick
of the light reflecting from the water around this morning?