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Silent rain washes the near view –
even swans have put their heads
to bed. White questions marks on

the tea-brown Exe. November’s fall,
sodden beneath baring branches
is quietly lifeless; seeping futures into

sparkling grass. Yesterday, amber,
bronze and burnished woodlands
rattled their canopies, showering

leaves. Sycamore, oak, birch and
willow – scents of the year darkening
underfoot. Closer to home, a flash of

Cyclamen, and overhead, blue chinks.
Our fingers touch. Another ladybird
crawls up the pane; and the rain stops.



Fulsome, this final summer
moon, setting at sunrise.

Silver platter – cool as sliced
cucumber in a picnic Pimms.

Nostalgia wells with September
mists, sculling down the Exe –

Keatsian, mellow, with a pinch
of frost on promise. Turning

circles is cosmic; and daily.




I’m calling them home.
Orange flowers – crocosmia,
forced roses, wild poppies.

They signal all will be well,
arcing origami shadows
on my white wall. Tangerine

runes – permission slips to make
it great. Like pressing promises.

Next day’s glory – a bouquet
wafting every room orchid.
White lilies, berries, green foliage.

Every petal ivory, magnolia,
cream damask. Orange?
In absentia.

I’ll take that.





All day it’s lingered, luminous;
a ghosting thermal to circle.

Dry earth, sun lifting back-lit
leaves, Pinot shaking on

the vine. This surprise, richer
than Christmas, still giving

as I lean in, savouring
Sauvignon at mid summer.

Mellow bricks, crisp thatch,
reflections flash no-filter blue

and swifts – fletching above
these sunny rows. Lavendar

rustles, dreaming of Provence
while stretching roots into

red Devon loam.

I’m home.



Leaping seasons, I’m scrabbling for cool
cottons in this cavernous drawer. Shedding
cashmere, boots and woolly hats. Lighter.

Last month, eyes were dazzled by glacier
glints – the eastern beast smothered lawns,
crushed new-bloom daffodils. Freezing us

in hush. It’s a kind of ecstasy – climbing the
skylark’s spurting notes through deepest blue.
Flickering bliss. If April is the cruellest month –

I’m in. Cut grass. Hot skin. Rub sunscreen into
winter limbs. Searching for swallows to prove it,
we’re high on sudden summer. Skylarking now.



Scarlet poodles on fresh white cotton – red
bias-binding trimmed that summer dress
you stitched for me. I wore it – thrilled

with love, alive with #lookatme! Oh and
if I’d owned a smartphone in 1967, I would
have surely snapped a selfie.

Quick as a crimson wink.

Time-Travelling with Lady Dorothy


It’s the kind of salon she would enter, wafting eau-
de-nil silk and Chanel Number Five. Aeons ago.
Pre-digital, pre-ziplock bags and derma-fillers; way

before Made in Chelsea and over-wired minds that
never quite settle, nor gain mastery. Pale carpets,
shallow tread on oak stairs, and the autumn sun shafting

cocktail hour. A White Lady perhaps? She’d pause at
the threshold of course. For effect. Transformed from
country walk wellies and fresh-air cheeks – hiatus Jazz

piano as she reaches for her cigarette holder (far before
it was a mortal sin). Crystal laughter in the evening air,
the children’s thump overhead. Nanny scolding. Aeons

ago – pre-Apple and creeping Instagram anxiety. Before
the crash, the dishevelled coiffure and spilt sundowners.
Now the air in the salon is stale, but visitors magic up a

history to take-away. Blonde wood, low sofas and a red
maple; turning. Through wide casements, dusk is falling.

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