Firstly I think I should apologise for not writing anything for some while. In mitigation I have been taken up with ‘ordinary’ life I guess. Strange isn’t it how we have almost got back to the kind of life we had before Covid. Of course lots of things are different still. We go out very little and I still have my groceries delivered. A major outing is one to go and get our hair cut and it was a real treat to meet up with a friend and go for a walk last week. We went to look at the Sound Mirrors at Lydd on Sea. It is a delightful spot and we had one of those bright winter days with sapphire blue skies. Walking on shingle is not the easiest terrain but we plodded on past gravel pits filled with water and inhabited by a variety of birds. Neither of us was very proficient in identifying them and to be fair they were some distance away but we did spot an Egret on the shore of one of the tiny islands. Otherwise it has been a spot of gardening when the weather is fine and the cleaning bug has me firmly in its grasp on those days that it has rained. Unusual I know and most odd really. More ironic too since I have been told that it is highly likely that I have a dust allergy! It certainly explains the almost perpetual hay fever type symptoms. Does anyone else out there find the overcast cloudy weather causes them to feel somewhat downcast? Whereas a sunny day seems to inspire and bring on activity.
Why have I headed this “Looking Forward”? Well because this is the theme for our next Poetry Meeting and I have been struggling with my poem. I have written something but since I have been listening to a radio 4 feature on Modernism and more particularly people like T S Eliot I am afeared I might have to do a deal of explaining to my fellows. Not that it is really Modernist in any way – more disconnected really. I will try and post it at the end of this but I am not at all sure about it and if any Poetry Society members are reading this it might not be the one I bring along! On the subject of reading etc. I have been “wasting” time during the day by reading a novel I was given for Christmas. It is no way an improving text, more a jolly good read. I am a great believer in reading trash from time to time – a page turner has much to recommend it! This one is called “The Swift and the Harrier” by Minette Walters. Set during the Civil War and in the West Country it has a strong woman as its central character and I can highly recommend it if you like to escape into the past. I also read this morning a piece on a blog by Julian Hoffman – very interesting and I can recommend it if you are interested in the Hoo Peninsula and the marshes there. You can find it at https://julian-hoffman.com/2013/09/30/the-marsh-country/
On more prosaic things – we still haven’t had our leaking copper cylinder replaced and so every day twice a day I empty the plastic Tupperware container that collects the dripping water. Good news however because the builder is coming on Monday and Tuesday next week to change it and then, fingers crossed we shall have a fully functioning hot water cylinder in the airing cupboard. Today I posted a letter, went for a walk around the village and then pruned the apple tree of some very low hanging branches that have been irritating me for some time. Disposal of same was a little more problematic for I choose to be lazy and try and throw them over the fence into the field! The small ones went easily but the longer, heavier ones presented more of a problem! They are now there but twigs and branches are sticking up and no amount of poking and prodding will seem to shift them. It was, however, much easier to hurl dry Cosmos sticks – to add weight the roots had a ball of soil on them – a sort of plant version of throwing the hammer perhaps.
Looking forward (the past influences the present and future).
Janus faced I look from past to future
Captured in present time.
For a second it was Him.
Yet it couldn’t be.
He was long gone.
Same flat cap, plodding walk, head down,
Studying the ground beneath his feet.
So many years,
Winter and summer, rain and shine,
Ploughing and harvest,
Living for the land.
But the past is a foreign country,
Here and now, the present time,
With breaking golden dawn banishing darkness,
With early opal skies pastel milky pale.
With scarlet scratched fire glow horizon
Lighting shadowy land that lurks beyond fantastic
Filigree forests of star sparkling rime
Pond water lies solid black, iron hard,
Grass crunches as broken glass,
Bronzed leaves lie diamond rimmed
Brittle but burnished bright.
Twigs and branches ice frozen
Streaked sheet white.
A promise of better to come
Lurks silent and still.
But the promise is there.
Nature knows that which we can only glimpse.
Primroses brave the cold,
Violets peep from a verdant quilt,
Crows caw raucously rasping
While Magpies chatter
Nest building high in the Birch tree.