Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Night Walk

Night walk after the storm
Moonlight in puddles
Lightening flashes behind big clouds
A thrill of fear in the dark
I see nothing
Then suddenly the sky lights up
Dazzling silver
And I see my way over
The water rushing down the hill

wordle 83

Sorry, silent beauty, but you chose the wrong pawn. This one can never belong to you. It will always find it's way home. It has a pride like a fire that will bust its way through any wall. So, unless your life is worthless, change places, change faces, don't choose this pawn.

Wordle words: sorry belong fire silent beauty faces bust find unless wrong pawn life pride

Saturday, September 1, 2012

summer's end

His field is bare.
The cows have eaten it to dust
which blows in spirals on the breeze.
Now, he walks them
over the hill
to a long field of wheat stubble
which drapes itself
all the way to the village.

He stands out,
his white shirt
against the pale golds and browns
of summer.

A muted sound
of wooden tongues against bronze,
the cows' bells dong.
They move slowly
mowing the final stalks
in the beating sun.
But, at last, there is evidence of change.

The fig leaves rustle dryly
and the dew in the mornings
lies like diamonds in the brambles.
We shift gear from summer.

The cows move slowly uphill
as the sun, that gaseous ball,
lowers itself to the toothy horizon.
We wave, the cowman and I.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hot wordle 71

The empty road in front
the empty road behind
just a trail of dust
where we drove past
and heat
so hot it's heavy.
A flock of sheep,
felted and breathing as one,
around the rose-coloured trunks
of the cork oaks'
blessed shade.
We move slowly
as the sun moves slowly
to the west
and wait for the air to cool.
Only the essentials;
drinking litres of water
lifting a pencil,
tracing patterns in the dust -
this is the recipe
for survival.
A kind of dormancy.
Just thinking about work
creates a sweat,
a dread almost.
The house to build,
the fence to mend,
the brambles to cut.
But one cannot operate
in this heat,
so we wait
like the sheep
in the shade
our thoughts like a chain
linking Spring to Autumn
with a cool beer in the hand,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Some Short Bits

 A view of our activities on this precious earth

The Pig Man

I was out driving on an old dirt track, exploring, discovering new short-cuts and old ruins, when I came across the pig man.
The pig man walks his pigs through the cork oak forest. He lives with them. Eats his bread with them. Tall and gaunt, the clothes live on his body, black and brown. I pass and wave from the car. At first he doesn't react and I think I'm being snubbed, another bloody foreigner, when slowly he reaches for his worn-shiny cap and raises it from his worn-shiny head. He swings it round in an arc, an all-embracing wave. A beautiful, courtiuos movement from the dark ages, of chivalry and serfdom. I am honoured and humbled by his expansive grace,his acknowledgement of my passing. Then I am gone, the dust settles, the noise fades, and he is left with his pigs in the heat-beaten clearing.

Veggie burgers,or falafel,or hummus,etc.

The preparations begin around about November when I start to find Zé. Zé is a small, round septegenarian, who has a small round, shiny green tractor. He has no phone in his house and he lives alone, but he is surrounded by his family. So word gets round. He is found. I ask him if he can come and plough.
The months pass. I think that he has forgotton, when one day in spring, he comes over the horizon, silhouetted by the rising sun.
When the soil is ready I reach for my chosen implement, the enxada; a one-woman plough, a heavy hoe, designed in neolithic times, and adapted sometime in the iron-age, to be plunged, not pulled, through the tilth. I make a line twenty paces long. I grab the bucket full of dried chick peas, and cast them, three at a time, foot by foot along the line. The next line made covers the first, and so I continue until all the seeds are sewn.
Three months later they are drying on their stalks in the hot summer sun. I pull them from the earth. They rattle, the small pods containing one chick pea each. I lay them in a pile and begin to dance on them. Crunching and crushing the stalks, the leaves, the pods. The chick peas pop out and roll. Dancing on a floor of ball-bearings, I twist and turn and grind them out of their paper houses.
Now they are ready for the wind. I lift handfulls and drop them through my fingers and watch the chaff blow sideways as the chickpeas fall and bounce below. The wind comes in gusts and sighs. I wait for the next big sigh.
With chick peas now safely harvested I can prepare the meal.

Stretch Marks

They lie across my lower abdomen like the Ganges Delta, silver in the sunlight, soft as whispers. Very special skin. From the source upwards, like the flames of the fire for the pheonix, ready for rebirth.
I lie naked on the beach absorbing the rays, lulled by the continious thunder as waves crash onto the long stretch of sand. My mind drifts to these marks that will not tan. I remember the love that brought them there and the first-born son.
His first dark blue wonder-full look,so unconditional – and now the silence of painful separation. I pushed him out of my body once. Later I pushed him out of my life. A pain much greater, to let him go, to let him grow.
I send him love on the river of life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Road Home

In the map
in my mind
I see the road home,
above the loch
towards the Narrows
where the Atlantic rushed in
and flooded the shoreline,
then sucked back out
as though some invisible
plug had been pulled.
Currents spinning
seals swimming
silver glint of salmon.

On the other hand
the old stone walls
darned with moss
and lichen
and lacy ferns.
Following the contours,
solid, ancient.

Memories of the past ricochet
in the alcoves of my mind
where the maps remain
even when the image
and fades to just a smell
of bog myrtle
and the sound of an oyster catcher
on the shoreline.

Monday, July 30, 2012

That This is Life

Oh yes,
Way past wayward.
I tried, after a frenzied adolesence,
to settle down.
Down I went
like a ball
falling into the net.
I settled
Into the silt.
My body a channel
for children.
Some sublime moments
kept me hooked.
Some strange fantasy
that this is life.
Until attacks
of depression
made me see
as nessessary.
Still wayward
but the rough corners
smoothed now
by daily meditation
and a robust sense
of gratitude
that this is life.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

wordle 61 into the deep

This is a bit rough, but it's just what came up from the selection of words which are:
draft, chest, spare, refrain, temper, string, racket, latch, blend, strike, crack, spare, trace

Crash went the spare oar,
and sank without trace.
Waves so high
the chest in the galley
slid from wall to wall.
I was seriously scared
but refrained from showing it.
Joked about a bit of a draft
and told her to tie
some knots
in a long piece of string.
I said we could measure
the speed of the wind
and the strength of the current,
but the racket outside
told another story.
Unlatching the door,
the tempest's temper
poured in.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Retreat

Wordle 60
Crawl, shadows, bluffs, stain, corona, trembled, nail, vessels, willow, stones, brush, mud.


I crawled out of the tent
to watch
the sun's first rays
stain the bluffs
red and gold.
This rural bliss.

A cool breeze
made the willow tremble.
A whisper of change.
Fronds brushing
the surface of the stream.
I drew a blanket
over my shoulders,
sat hunched on a stone.
I picked the mud
from under my nails
as dawn's majesty dulled.

Cloud shadows,
like doubts,
began to build
vessels of fear,
with which to carry me back
to the city.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rural Adolescence

Wordle 59
Here's what came out of these words
crumple chisel draw edge pierce beat bruise crouch burst glow split crash

Rural Adolescence

Where the track split
You could choose
The long
Or the short cut.

Walking to the village
In the after glow
Of sunset
I chose the long.

To linger in the beech trees
Where goblins crouch
In the bracken;
Bitter bruised fronds.

Sweet honeysuckle, moss, lichen.
Their smells pierce
The senses,
Draw me on.

Along the edge of Loch Cuan.
An oyster catcher splits the silence
I walk
My heart expands

I reach the village in darkness
And burst in the pub
So thirsty
I drink a pint down.

The return journey much later
Is chiselled in my mind.
The short cut.
At least a hundred times

Winding, staggering, running scared
Of owls and trees and crashing bears
Crumpled, bed-blessed. Home.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sleeping Dragon By The Sea

Here's what came up for me for the Sunday Wordle 58

Sleeping Dragon By The Sea

The sea had that burnished look,
the look of a storm coming,
although it was hot.

We ran, hobbling and tiptoeing,
over the burning sand,
towards the rocky outcrop
that curved around,
like a sleeping dragon,
guarding the bay.

In the shadow of the rocky beast
we lay our towels down
on the slow de-scaling,
a flinty scree,
and ran recklessly
into the sea.

The rock we always swam to
was half submerged,
it's barnacles exposed,
rough and austere.
I felt the pull and tug
of the current,
as though the dragon was
sweeping her tail
through the swirling deep.

The rest is a blur
of brittle bone
against brittle barnacles.
A horrible suction
and a nearly dreadful end,
until I lay, drenched
and shredded
in the shadow of the rock,
cocooned in a towel
and in my saviour's arms.

Blur brittle austere cocoon burnished flinty
drenched chalk scrape barnacles rough tongue

Monday, April 16, 2012

an older wordle, 50?

I wish I could taste
and smell
the air on the point
of no return.
The sunshine on the narrows,
a trick of light
reflected on the rocks
creating shapes
and strings of thoughts
that paw their way
into my packed heart.

(trick,pack, point, whisper, smell, shape, shine, string, paw, taste. wish, pet.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A whirl with the sunday wordles

The sunday wordle encourages one to have a go.  Here's what I made from last week's selection, which was: mate, destiny, staggering, addiction, sorrows, buried, dusk, story, broken, marrow, songs, blood.

 The songs go deep
Into the marrow
Their rhythms
pulse like blood
The story, the history
Of sorrow.s
The Gaelic words
Are buried now
But occasionally
One rises up
Like an oyster catcher
At dusk
And I hear myself singing