layers of ages
consequence of sun and weather
earth bleeding layers of oil
consequence of us
photo courtesy of Jim Waldron
Soon I’ll be home – for sixteen days. Now, waiting, waiting…
Exmoor keeps rising in my brain, like the boggy peat puddles that fill and spill down meadowed hills with sheep’s-bum valleys of oak and beech, and weeps into the River Barle.
There I straddled the sycamore branch, its outstretched arm reaching half way across the river, where I lay with face against rough bark and gazed upon water – liquid pewter running – reflecting the heavy sky, guarding river’s mystery and depth.
Whether bird or wind or hand of god parted the weighted clouds, I don’t know. But fingers of sun broke through, touched the river, dissolving pewter and turned it into rolling glass. Beneath – a trout hovered – facing upstream, fishing, tail swishing, side to side, waiting, waiting, shimmering in place as it hunted its dinner with patience. All the time the fish was there, but I unaware, until the sun revealed him.
Too soon, the sun slipped behind mist and lost the light; gone like a child’s fingers into a sleeve, leaving me on that tree in the dark afternoon, gazing at liquid pewter again, unable to see into depths where the trout still hunted his dinner. Only now, I knew he was there.
Soon. Soon, for sixteen glorious days, I will go home and breathe, breathe, breathe again.
Curled dogwood blossoms fade
from pink to mottled peach.
Light, that shone from within,
like the glow on your skin
when you lay swaddled at my breast,
sits heavy on leathery petals.
In shy retreat they greet the hardening sun,
browning at edges, older, wiser and ready
to begin feast of wind, bee and pollen.
Germination into seed, freed into earth.
Thrusting through seasoned mulch,
three dicotyledon sprouts, their flesh
fresh and green, like your children
reaching for sun and space,
thirsty for growth and claiming depth,
determined to make