Rhododendron

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Blossoms cascaded,
Downhill unaided,
Falling ballistic,
Pallette artistic.

Nature emergent,
Joyous and urgent,
Overflow spilling,
Vibrant and willing.

Ocean wave crashing,
On the rocks dashing,
Richly chromatic,
Passion dramatic.

Greater Celandine or Swallowort

Greater Celandine or Swallowort
Greater Celandine or Swallowort

Swallows return to build a nest,
From far off lands to take their rest.
To feast on summer’s bounteous fare,
And show their mastery of the air.

From stream and pool, small beaks are filled,
Under the eves their nest to build.
Then line with down this fortress grey,
A home wherein their eggs to lay.

And see the Greater Celandine,
Whose yellow blooms like small suns shine.
‘Twill blossom so until the day,
Once more our swallows go away.

Spring in Full Swing

The Trees In the Wood
The Trees In the Wood

When winter’s frosty footsteps roamed our wood.
Through filigreed naked trunks we could
See how our hill arose against the sky,
Its undergrowth grey seared and dry.

But Spring’s verdure has coloured in the gaps.
What was overt, for modesty perhaps,
Has, over all, a mantle green been thrown,
To hide inside nature unknown.

A Seat in the Sun

Hawthorn Blossom-in-Waiting
Hawthorn Blossom-in-Waiting

The Blackbird flutes mid leafy tree,
To keep his anonymity.
While we below will not guess wrong
But know him by his joyous song.

On dry Oak twig, new leaflets burst.
Their flint spear sheath, the breeze disbursed
And catkin flowers their pollen cast
Adrift, in seas of air so vast.

Green Hawthorn’s boughs where sunlight gleams,
Tight wrapped as fists your blossom dreams.
Against the day when April’s shower,
Brings, in profusion, your Mayflower.

Bluebells

New Bluebells
New Bluebells

The daffodils are weary now,
Their bells no longer ring.
Yellow bonnets packed away,
Awaiting next year’s Spring.

Now under bush and under leaf,
Some nascent shoots appear.
Their folded blooms show hints of blue,
Surmounting each short dark green spear.

A little sun, a little rain,
A little time must pass as well.
Their blossoms swell and then unfold,
Displaying fresh, a bright bluebell.

The Strangest Times

Blackthorn
Blackthorn

When Blackthorn’s white and Hawthorne’s green
Together in the hedge are seen,
And Old Sol to his zenith climbs,
We live now in the strangest times.

When snowdrops from the snow have fled.
When blackbird rakes leaves for his bed.
When Spring the yearly quarter chimes,
We live now in the strangest times.

When crows call as they wing their way.
When rooks wheel ‘round as so they may.
When words align in metered rhymes,
We live now in the strangest times.

Hope

Gorse
Gorse

Sometimes we look at swirling mist.
No path, no signpost, can exist.
When aimless wandering seems our lot.
What once was sure is now forgot.

The way ahead, a hopeless task,
There are no questions left to ask.
No answers seem to bring relief,
No faith, no comfort, no belief.

But hope will not be so mislaid,
To outstretched hand, it will give aid.
When lost in life’s kaleidoscope,
Stretch out, reach out, there’s always hope

Winter Winds

Daffodils In The Woods
Daffodils In The Woods

Blow harsh winds and howl your worst,
The oaks sleep, uncaring.
Leafless twigs will wait for spring,
‘Til their leaves they’re bearing.

Down below the noise and haste,
Nature is arousing.
Daffodils in gold and green,
Are waking from their drowsing.

Send below a vagrant breeze.
Set old brown leaves prancing,
Ivy leaves a-shiver and
Daffodils to dancing.

The Mystery of the Disappearing Brownie

EmptyPlateAndCoffee
EmptyPlateAndCoffee

Oh, chocolate brownie, where have you gone?
There was one on the plate, now there’s none.
Did you crumble away like a mountain range,
Gradually succumbing to geological change?

Where you kidnapped by little green men
And whisked back in time to who knows when?
If they found you, would dinosaurs know what to do,
Could it be a pterodactyl has eaten you?

Is your disappearance part of life’s rich mosaic,
Or is the answer so much more prosaic?
Is the empty plate not a mystery but really a clue,
Is the denouement just that I’ve eaten you?

Through the Window in Winter

Daffodils
Daffodils

You stand there. The cold rain dripping down.
Your flower buds wait their right time.
Those blooms now open, each a cold wet crown,
Weep sadly in a voiceless mime.

I stand here. The rain drips down outside.
Your flowers bow and seem to cry.
The wind blows cold, yet there you must abide.
Here, inside, warm and dry am I.

I’ve been Ill …

I’ve been in bed with the doctor and the antibiotics. It’s been a tight squeeze.
I’ve not slept, not eaten. Don’t want to. No interest.
And the weird dreams! Lucky I can’t remember most of them.
The one that scared me half to death, was the one where I was in a party of slavers, making our way down through Africa from the lakes to our dhow, waiting to ship the slaves to the markets in Stone Town on Zanzibar. The slaves had been told by their chief that they would be shipped off to the Sultan of Oman’s palace, and live out their lives in luxury – so they didn’t give any trouble.
We’d also picked up a nice couple of tusks and some slabs of fresh elephant meat as part of the deal. That was the trouble.
We were moving as quietly as we could through that pitch dark African night to avoid ambushes and attacks by other slavers. Human eyes are amazing – but they must have some light!
Then it started. ‘Cough.’ ‘Cough.’
You don’t live in Africa long without learning the sound of a lion. This one sounded an old male hunting alone – probably a man-eater. Couldn’t light torches without giving our position away – and you don’t stop a charging lion in the dark with a musket ball!
All those weary miles through that still deep rich darkness ‘Cough’ now to this side now to that!
My nerves were shattered by the time we caught sight of the welcoming fire our mates had built on the beach.

Ivy

Ivy Berries
Ivy Berries

For some the first flowers of the year promise that Spring will come.
But woodland wild folk watch the world dance to a different drum.
For them, Spring flowers do naught but tell of Autumn fare unknown,
They care not how their future bread by nature’s hand is sown.

The leaves of Spring soft fed by rain find wild folk’s larder bare.
Yet hedgerow folk know Spring’s prudence is tempered yet with care.
For ivy will her berries show with bright green leaves displayed,
To ripen as the Spring moves on upon her branch arrayed.