In Doone Valley, it’s spring already –
liquid rush of melted ice. It’s glass in flow,
refracting palest blue – a long time coming.
Showers of golden gorse splash the moor,
clinging to downhill slalom slopes – duck
under wizened oaks. But idyll this is not.
Two horsemen – seemingly benign – crest
the bluff and gaze across. We look where
they look, where their tracer-bullet sweep
pins the bronze prize. And before we can
re-adjust our fellowship on this Exmoor slope,
they thunder on, our peace in shards,
cantering their quarry beyond the next fell
dip. Doone Valley – so it’s fall, not spring, at all.
Living within the sky – a crystal
high to steal your breath
Winter wraps a granite cloud
around us – freezing fog, like chain-
mail upon our sun-starved skin.
It bruises brave new worlds with
nay-saying nudges and tethers infant
fizz in blank inertia. Within this
blanket sky is muffled push and daily
trudge. Pressing down; an ice helmet.
Yet, between two breaths (we’re
nearly home) a chink of blue – crystal
high to sigh towards. Breathing sky
is chameleon – so now the fifty shades
are rainbow blue. Periwinkles stud
the bank – lapis winks between clods
and icy grass. Through January mist,
we’re breathing sky. Miraculous.
Image courtesy of Professor Bop (Flickr)
On the high road to festive jaunts –
tinsel, puds, secret santa cracking
the whip – we took a detour, walked
the Strand and held our breath.
no gull’s call, no ripple, no blue, no speck
in this long pause.
Mist in our mouths, eyes hazed by the pewter
glint from Mr Turner’s Topsham sky.
Darker, brighter, more busy and packed
than you’d think. Space between stars,
smaller. It’s a crush of energy out there–
sparkling gas and moonshine. Lie flat. Gaze
up, still your eyes if you can – caught by
flicker and cosmic chatter. Few black holes
to sink into and many more exchanges – static
of the spheres – than you remembered. It’s
a melée hanging over us, snapping light shows
cast through eons. Names change by latitude, by
geography, by celestial cartography. But it’s
broadcasting despite us and we notice mostly
from the corners of our terra firma eyes.
Long swirl. Sniff. Taste – so far,
so good. But how to speak its
violet-ness if never seen, not
savored? There’s another way
of tasting this, of living this, of
speaking this. Un-tested, not yet
voiced nor swallowed – so swirl,
and sniff, roll light across your
tongue. Stare deep. Articulate.
And skip the rails. It’s violet.
The tide is on the turn – muffled pastels,
susurration; slow balm to scattered minds.
Air thickens into mist – blotting coastal
crags and curving bays. Edges soften, fade;
rubbed smooth by tidal fall and rise and fall.
Then opalescence – the palest kind of glitter;
cloud-refraction, calm work of long-strung
hours. Easing corners, brights and sharpest
tang to subtler bounty – memories laid down
in vital hours. That sea glass in your pocket.
A smooth cruise from E.U. referendum chat
to this white Cornish beach – sandcastle flats
enticing eyes to turquoise. As warm, as fresh
as an English summer can be – and a cool leap
from 60s holiday weeks, sheltering from bracing
breezes with not a hint of latte, nor artisan gin.
These sands, so clean and wide that the crump
of surf is a distant drumbeat – seen, not heard –
is felt like a distant pulse from another life.
As the white ribbon unfurls, boards and surfers pop
like fresh toast – upright elation, swift, brief,
then return. It’s a long haul for surfers – but great
for Pecs and red carpet stunts. On this shore, Labs
race like hounds, chasing invisible bliss, out-running
slow days by the fire, and toddlers zig-zagging after
beach balls. There’s thunder on the horizon, but here
and now – enough fizz and clotted cream to dream on.