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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.

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#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.

Uht-cearu*

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At three forty seven a.m. my mind
is multiplying – emails (pending),
birthdays (ravelling), workshops

(unravelling), business (just launch!) and
dogs to kennel. (I don’t have a dog.)
My remote is channel-flipping – colour

and volume to max. I’m quietly calling
Grace, my meditation mantra, to breathe
deep, flood chaos with muffling calm.

She’s hesitant, not quite materialized,
so the channels hop and jar again –
fizzing urgency, vibrating clamour. Still

Grace is loitering back-stage. She smiles;
knowing pre-dawn worm-holes lead
through barbed mazes to this. At eight

forty seven I’m mining meaning, seeding
seeds, untangling discordant strings to arc
a gentle glade. Settling into Thursday with

words, and Grace. Stars are blanked by
cloud, but crystal-sharp. They’re pulsing

yesterdays (orchestrated chaos), lighting
tomorrows, and tomorrow’s daylight grace.

…..

*the worries that gather as one lies sleepless before dawn (Old English)
Thanks to @RobGMacfarlane for a timely tweet with this wonderful word (04 Sep 7 am)

A Skein Too Soon

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A rippling V across the evening sky –
far too soon. Surely premature, this
exodus. It’s warm still, no evening mist

and light’s just long enough to linger.
Yet, in formation, flickering serious intent,
they’re arrowhead sure. Summer’s out.

Is duck-lore fallible? Can nature lie?
A resolute circumflex spells ‘no’. Yet –
look again. They’re flying west; not south

at all. So summer lives – tonight’s reprieve.

Devon Cream Tease

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We glide this slow afternoon, fingers
relaxed with each other, stories free-
flowing, easy. The sea behind us, we’re

heading inland, skirting the Otter’s sinuous
course, eyes caught often by a tawny flash –
silver bellies ripple upstream. Trawling.

We walk on, imagine otters at every turn –
stones disappoint, parting the river’s flow.
Inert. But martins swoop our sight-lines,

cruise clouds of midges in the evening’s hush.
Miles from sound-bites, tweets and Question
Time, the State on the Nation is here. Otter-

side, late May. Rooted – not ballot-box-routed.

Spring Dissonance

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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.

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