Pass the Time

A friendly fungus

Today I paused beneath the trees,
To muse upon philosophies.
Walking the dog gives you the time,
To ponder on the reason’s rhyme

Lost deep within my reverie,
I thought that someone spoke to me.
Midst grassy bank two lips I saw,
But had they moved? I wasn’t sure.

‘I’ve seen you pass this way of late
And watched you walk and cogitate.
If you have time I’d like to find
Just what it is that’s on your mind.’

We spoke at length, Grass Bank and I
Of mostly what, and sometimes why?
At last, I bid to him, ‘Good day!’
Then turned and went upon my way.

Ivy Flower

Ivy Flower

Little bee a-buzzing mid the Ivy blooms.
Gather sweetness now as Winter looms.
Other blossom’s nectar all is spent.
I watch and wonder just where Summer went.

I hardly noticed Summer tiptoe past.
Long sunny days all slipped away so fast.
Now Autumn’s here and Ivy bears its flower.
Silent Winter watches from his icy tower.

Butterfly

Flutter on the windowpane,
You seek the sun, but all in vain.
Did you need a place to hide,
Is that why you came inside?

Window fixed and just ajar.
Locked, it will not open far.
Careful hands ‘round you, I cup.
Gently, gently lift you up.

As I left the house I saw,
In the sun near my front door.
Dancing wings brushed by my cheek,
Then off, to nectar’s blossom seek.

Oh. No. An Acorn!

An Acorn lying on the ground

What are you doing here on the ground?
You should be up in your leafy bower.
Were you told to get out and go somewhere else,
For taking too long in the shower?

Don’t talk to me about autumn and such,
It’s too soon to discuss that yet.
Get back in your tree and don’t come down,
’til summer’s been back to pay off its debt.

Back-end

Sheep

When thistledown clouds the air,
Autumn won’t have long to wait.
Dandelions have lost their hair,
Left with a stem and a bald pate.
When at last September’s here,
You’ll know this is back-end o’ year.

Days get short and nights close in,
The sun no longer climbs so high.
Flocks of rooks make such a din.
Bracken leaves turn gold and die.
Then you’ll know September’s here,
And now this is back-end o’ year.

A Rare Sunny Day

The Lake District Hills enjoying the sunshine.
The Hills enjoying the sunshine

Hello Hills. Not seen you ’round for a gloomy while.
Had rain on rain with dark grey skies in a tumbled pile.
And clouds so low, I’m sure they dragged the bottom of their skirt.
Right across our soggy field in all the muck and dirt.

Through sodden air, we couldn’t see the far side of the beck.
Just raindrops driving, slanting down when I looked out to check.
Yet, there you are, back in your place, now the rain is done
Looking fresh and newly washed, stretched lazily in the sun.

Tea Break

Cows – Chewing the cud.

Our job is really simple,
We’re here to eat the grass
We do it just by instinct,
We never took a class.

From morn ’til night we wander,
With ne’re a chance to rest.
Munching, first from north to south,
And then from east to west.

But here on England’s pastures,
No liberties we take.
At ‘leven o’clock, precisely,
We stop for our Tea Break.

Yellow Loosestrife

Yellow Loosestrife

Yellow Loosestrife standing there,
Do your best to show you care.
Mid unkempt grasses make a space,
And stand up tall to mark your place.

Spikes of yellow presentation,
In late summer devastation.
All else is lost, but you remain,
Until the gardener comes again.

Harebells

Harebell standing mid the grasses,
Beautiful but frail you seem.
Dance as every zephyr passes,
Stillness just a longed-for dream.

Dance and twirl as lightest breezes,
Tickle you and make you laugh.
I wait until your motion freezes,
To try to take a photograph.

Yarrow, Milfoil, Woundwort

Yarrow, Milfoil, Woundwort

Yarrow or Milfoil. Known to all since ancient times.
A plant of magic power but easy to overlook.
As an oracle often used in Eastern climes.
Confucius took, from your stalks, the laws in his book

Woundwort, a healing balm when fights with sword and shield
Leave men bruised and battle-scarred from glory’s affray.
Achilles did heal his host on Troy’s battlefield
With your leaf and stalk kept crushing defeat at bay.

Seeds

Hogweed Seed Head

The summer brings the fullness to all of your ambition.
Your seeds are ripe, a time for rest, your work complete.
You strove with all at your command, you asked for no condition.
Tomorrow’s seeds you leave behind for time’s defeat.

We mortals too, will give our all and ask but naught of Fate.
But grow within our chosen earth which, with our deeds,
We enrich the compost that our experience will create.
So, when our time is done, we too will leave sewn seeds.

Speedwell, Speedwilt

Speedwell or Speedwilt

Bright blue Speedwell, what can I believe,
What do such vibrant petals hope to achieve?
Shall I sew them in my coat’s hem?
May I journey safe with them?

Bright blue Speedwilt, what can I believe,
What? Do such vibrant petals hope to deceive?
Do men’s promises fade so fast?
Are there none whom you outlast?

Folk’s Gloves

Foxglove

Fox Gloves, Folk’s Gloves, fairy fingers dress.
Woodland Folk, they have their ways that we can only guess.
Best not to talk too loud around their fairy rings.
Look away, don’t mention them and speak of other things.

Ash tree, Oak tree, Rowan – Devil’s bane.
Ash tree roots go down to hell. Oak tree, heal my pain.
Branch of the Rowan, keep our threshold clear.
Bad luck and grief and woe may not enter here.

In Our Bubble

Tea and Cake

The local bubble assembled.
Aware of the risks they could take.
None hesitated, none trembled.
Ventured all for the Tea and the Cake.

The meeting was called to order.
To check attendees were awake.
Dragged back from dreamland’s border,
Meditating on Tea and on Cake.

The motion proposed was profound,
And dealt with the issues at stake,
With arguments perfectly sound,
“It’s time now for Tea and for Cake.”

Solstice

Hawkbit

Brave little sun, do longer days
Fill your heart with joy?
To gather up the sunshine’s rays
Your blooms, you do deploy.

The world, its path and its incline,
Summer days stretch out.
You care not how planets align
Or how they swirl about.

You only care that warmth and light
Give all that you need.
A gentle rain, the bees in flight.
To grow, to flower, to seed.

Wild Rose

Wild Rose in the hedge
Wild Rose in the Hedge

Amongst the wild entrammelled hedge,
To show your blooms the sun you pledge.
So petal-soft and fragrance mild,
None would believe a wasteland child

Yet under all soft grace and style,
Unseen amongst green leafy guile.
Those whose fingers tempt The Norns,
Will find a stem of sharpest thorns.

 

Fitting

Bumble Bee In Foxglove
Bumble Bee In Foxglove

Well, Darling?
Either the purple or the white?
I do so want to get this right.
And find the one that’s really me,
The one that suits me to a tee!

So, Darling.
Tell me which you think is best
Until I’m sure I just can’t rest.
The purple now, I’m sure is wrong,
The jacket sleeves are far too long.

Please, Darling.
That leaves me now with just the white.
But, does it really fit me quite?
Come now ignorance is not bliss.
Does my bum look big in this?

Riddle-me-ree

Riddle-me-ree

My first is in stalk and also in stem.
My second is me, not you, him or them.
My third is in toil but never in work.
My fourth is in thrive but never in shirk.
My fifth is in eels but just not in fish.
My sixth is in rhubarb, a succulent dish.
My seventh’s in wanting but never in need.
My eighth and my ninth are common in deed.
My tenth is in dirt and also in dust.
Follow this rhyme, then guess it you must.
Just look at the picture, the leaves are the clue,
I’ve made it as simple as I can for you.

Rhododendron

rhododendrons-2020-05-22-3648x2736-1

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.
They’ve nodded their heads off for Spring.
Their bonnets will be packed away,
‘Cause yellow’s not the latest thing.

Now under bush and under leaf,
Some nascent shoots start to appear.
Their folded blooms show hints of blue,
Surmounting each short sea 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.

Snowdrops

This Years First Snowdrops
This Years First Snowdrops

Snowdrops peek through at Winter’s end,
With Nature’s seasons gently blend.
At year’s beginning know your place,
To march to Time’s insistent pace.

While I, like Janus, see both ways.
So, ponder how to fill my days.
By pathways misty hand I’m led,
Between the snowdrops in my head.

Yet Time waits not for plant or man,
And each must bloom the best he can.
Choose, then, a path with pressured haste,
For time is Time’s, not ours to waste.