Friday, 5 May 2017

A quiet hammock-nap

Having had a busy morning, I opted for a nap in the hammock after lunch. Tucked between a lilac and a large mahonia bush, and overlooked by climbing roses not yet in flower, but grasping thin air for more support, I lie there, sheltered from the cruel North-Easterly and it's wicked attempts to nullify Phoebe's yellow heat, my eyes are drawn to the tattered rags of the low cloud scudding across the cyan space, and am mesmerised. A small bird alights in the naked ash tree above my head, silhouetted, and mouth full of feed, impatient for me to remove myself, so it can feed its young. Far too impatient, and trying not to expose the nest site it decides to attempt a route from another direction, flits, and is hidden.
A small procession of swallows appears from the south, wheeling and churning, picking flies out of the sky as ever they do, before disappearing as rapidly as they came.
My gaze returns once more to the clouds, where my eye is captured by a movement - a buzzard, soaring, with a slow gyration, quartering the local grasslands for a lame or injured rabbit. Such eyes they have! he is so far up that his markings are indistinguishable, though I know him as a regular visitor. As he passes out of view, I spot his mate, following a similar route, and being somewhat bigger, her markings are a little more obvious. How many more people have spotted them, I wonder? Few in number, I'm sure.
A commotion!  A lone sparrowhawk fleetingly scythes the air across the garden, mobbed by several smaller birds, attempting to distract the express predator from the naive fledglings whose only thoughts are food, regardless of safety first.

Everything settles down again. The clouds unerringly drift and scud South-Westward on the breath of the cold wind.
I close my eyes, and think how lucky am I, to have seen so much in the space of so few minutes.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

A cold North-Easter in Spring

Drawing back the curtains
I am dismayed to see
the grey blanket
of sullen cloud
that has assembled
to be ushered in
under cover of darkness
ahead of the ponderous
North-East breeze,
barely moving, but
sucking all the joy out of the
head-hung wisteria
making her hold her perfume
for yet another day.
Donning my togs
my energy I squander,
wander to the wood-shed
returning with logs and kindling
and rain-spots on my glasses
and once more
re-light the Rayburn.

Friday, 3 March 2017

A poem I wrote in 2014


His ears were filled with ambient noise
not his, but incidental
to the sounds of daily hand-to-mouth, of constant give and take
it seemed to him quite ceaseless, undiminished, incremental
and he longed for total silence, just to give his mind a break.
From the moment that his morning eyes
took in the world around him
his head would start to fill with sound, incongruous to his thought
like the rattle of a Gatling at commencement of a battle
and he couldn't shut the noise out, no matter how he fought.
He swore beneath his silent breath
not wishing an addition
to the chatter, natter, patter, clatter echoing in his brain
it weren't as if the sound was kind, a steady repetition
such as falling water, sighing wind, or even driven rain.
Oh no - these were man-made, every one
demanding that he listen
requiring that he be a part of other peoples lives
when what he really wanted was the chance to do some thinking
and not have his thoughts dismembered by others' noisy knives.
Thus it was, he found himself
in a glen between two rising walls
a glaciated, hanging valley high in Scotlands hills
where noise was Nature's own dominion, nothing more than whirring pinion,
shushing grasses, bubbling burn and quietly running rills.
He came across a Thinking Stone
and there he sat in reverie silent
taking in all manner that presented to his eyes
and hearing not another sound that man had made or uttered
he delighted in the silence
and deemed himself quite wise.

© Rob King 2014