Monday, 30 June 2014

Cotton Cloud


I pegged a pale wash to the line 
before work. I worried 
about a stain on my white shirt 
it's a shirt, only, a length of cotton stitched 
cotton that was grown from seed
picked and handled to the loom 
woven, bought, cut, made, sold, handed on. 
I should not take any presence for granted. 
Then I remember that to care for a thing 
might not mean to worry over it. 
The sun will shine. Blotches fade, or not. 
I will still like my shirt. It blows rounded
on the line, not unlike 
a pegged cloud.


Loganberry Jam: delicious!
Must remember to wear an apron for the next batch though :-) 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

The View From Buddha's Tub


Inch high pomegranates perky in their individual pots: lettuce, revived, has a shine like slivered mineral, like banded malachite displayed backlit in a local museum. Labels have dropped from repurposed tins, they are rust dotted silver, nurturing life. A sequinned star that fell from a fairy grandchild's wand waves in the tops of tomato forestation. Under the intoxicating white flowered lime with many curious orange and peppery eyes squats a nasturtium. Laughing Buddha, missing his left hand, still is jolly in his resting tub: all the green, the colour splots, they are magic, treasure, cheer.



Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The River Speaks


Widdershins we walked, on the Longest Day, late, as the sun descended to a bed of pink cloud. Around the lanes we walked, the lanes that lay low in the mountains of hedge. Dog's whitish fur was bouncing back light: our trotting glow worm. Through the tree shadows cow cries came, and dinosaur snorts that startled Dog. 
Since then the feverish time is spent, hot, melted without a pot.
Boy finishes his exams: is making frenetic plans for moving on: The Novel is ready to start rounds of editing: this is all change. We do not know what will happen.
Our little world turns.
But in the hedges bloom meadowsweets and wild rose. The path to the river is light and shade together. The river water muddied and I cannot see my feet. The cooling feel on these sore feet is calming and then the way the light is playing on the surface, and the smallest glimpse of rock: it seems to be inviting me in. 
The river has something to convey. 
Blind feet slide, several times slip, no harm comes. Only laughing. And the river says Trust The Process
And there is the fallen tree that all last summer was our very Dragon in the river, moved now and wedged by storms, with a branch lying at the perfect height for a mid-river seat. Dog swims, so happy she forgets to chase ducks. I am happy, sat on the oak branch, watching the water sparkle. I ask Dog if this could be any better. Two blue-black metallic damsonflies appear. I ask the river if this could any more epic: one damsonfly alights on my hand, a heart shaped rose petal floats by.
I trust the process, I tell the river, I trust. I remember how.




Saturday, 21 June 2014

Octopus Garden Soup


Gronmere emerges from the relative dark of her writing room. Chapter Ten is done. She knows the missing element for Chapter One. Little Granddaughter lies on the sun blanket.
'Gronmere,' she says, 'I'm sooo hot. I need to make some soup to calm down.'
Gronmere understands. She fetches the bowls and the ladles. Into multiple pools of finest hosepipe water are dropped exquisite ingredients such as daisies, buttercup, grass heads and fleabane; in stirs one beaming octopus, some seashells, magical flavourings of coloured chalk.
Behind this activity Blackbird hop-hops. He has more cheek than even a magpie, making him a main suspect in the Great Cherry Heist. But since he also, without even needing to be asked, has taken up the job of diligent slug patrol, he is forgivable.
Gronmere smiles, surveys her empire. After a stern word, the butternut has begun to swell its fruit. Courgettes grow podgy like cherub legs. Rocket is running to seed. Basil fills its pots. She can't stop munching lovage or mange tout nor keep from breathing in lime blossom.
Little Granddaughter grinds up purple in a scallop mortar. Her thumb is the pestle.
Gronmere stirs her octopus, thinking of words and nature.




Monday, 9 June 2014

Beans And Birthdays


Friday: Lawhitton:
All day the wind blows. Even in the lea of the house the broad beans are laid flat; sheltered stems twisted and snapped. Some are salvageable, the rest: compost or dinner. At night we see the moon too is cleft, and one half lingers in a pale sky.
Saturday: Ilchester:
Hailstones were forecast. They must have melted in the unforeseen heat. Everyone sits in the shade of the tent, where pompoms sway and birthday balloons drift like lazy animals. The children herd them up. On the table is a summer rainbow of fruit, a princess castle made of cake. Steaming hot children pile down the new slide, snacks in hand and laughing. Bubbles stream, some big enough to trap grown men.
Baby Girl, one whole year old, claps her hands.
'Remember at the wedding,' we say, 'she was a bump!'
Little Grandson speaks to the girls, he says 'Well: my friend: my friend is nine.'
He leaves them to absorb this momentous social advantage: he has a cardboard box to climb in.
Sunday: Exmouth:
Sun was forecast, not rain, but a fine mix of children play out anyway and the sun turns up, a bit late, that's all. Doors to the summerhouse are wide open. June is stuffed with birthdays and so are we, lying on sofas in drafts of warm savoury air, listening to the ebb and flow, the yes and no, the boss and haggle. 
Homewards, we are still chuckling. 'We should get a swing ball kit,' we say, 'how hilarious.'
The moon in a pink sky, fattened to just past half, shining.
Monday: Lawhitton:
Boy wakes up. It's low key because of exams. He opens a few cards. Happy Eighteenth, they say. 







Thursday, 5 June 2014

Cows, Clouds, Chairs And Cheese


Wednesday afternoon:
Cloud is foam on a dark sky: blows like spray. Wind in the broad oaks is wild music. Everything shakes. Even the dense perfume of the lyme trees is blown out across the field where the cows, overwhelmed, have lain down. In the garden, under the Perspex arches, heat gathers, pressures like a pulse.

Thursday morning:
Clouds are tall ships, moored, out on a Mediterranean blue. Wind furls. One small girl lies on a rug, counting aeroplanes, telling a dog not to chew stones, telling pirate tales to a plastic crocodile.


Thursday afternoon:
The renovator smiles. Her hair is dusted red from rubbed off rust. The first coat of paint was rushed, because of the quick darkening of sky. The rain did not transpire. The chair frames are drying in the back of her car. Weather can change. The brush is resting in white spirit. She forgets about the brush. She sits at the picnic table with her granddaughter: they make stories for aeroplanes.

Where's that one going?
To France, to buy some cheese.
And bread?
Yes, and tomatoes.
And he forgot the cheese?
He'll have to go back.



Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Magic Three


A calendar year begins in winter, stark and spiced. Spring pokes through, budded, pretty. The bloom is biggest in summer. Even the late to leaf ash trees are feathered in green, now, in the year's second change of season. The hedgegrass has gone wild: gobbled up the village name; licks at the speed limit signs. Wild strawberries and feral loganberries take warmer and deeper hues. Flowers spray colour everywhere and the roses droop with scent.
'I love it!'
Little Granddaughter greets her third year: swirls in a princess dress, swings a plastic tool kit. Her mother calls her 'Princess Fix-It.' Gronmere has painted her a tree mural: she loves that too. In the garden her first sunflower opens its warm yellow face and is loved.