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Futures

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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.

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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.

Orange

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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.

Terroir

 

 

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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.

Skylarking

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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.

#lookatme

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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

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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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