NaNoWriMo Day 27 – Leftovers

The plate is empty.
The last drops of gravy wiped away.
Roasted potatoes,
Gone now their glorious array.
Where the roast parsnips?
They were consumed, no place to hide.
Here, I’m left standing
Like a piece of gristle pushed aside.


Ivy Flowers
Ivy Flowers

NaNoWriMo Day 26 Ivy

The Ivy bears a berry, so Christmas carols say,
And later in the winter, many birds will survive.
When bitter Ivy berries are the feast of the day
And, as other food is scarce, they help them stay alive.

But it’s too soon for berries, there’s other food around.
Now, through rain, hard frozen hail and later cold snow showers,
The Ivy waits its proper turn, its berries are still bound,
But to honour its faithful promise it now puts out its flowers.




NaNoWriMo Day 25 Smoke

Smoke, blow free
Blow where the winds will take you.
Let it be.
Blow where its whisper sends you.

Up, up, rise.
You’re free! Go higher and higher.
Who dares flies.
You’re free from the heat of the fire.



NaNoWriMo Day 24 – Forever

The world keeps turning on her way,
The clouds blow by.
Sunrise, sunset, day by day,
No one knows why.

Yet, there is comfort in this fate,
For humankind.
Tomorrow will today abate.
Our fate unwind.



NaNoWriMo Day 23 – Sunset

Day follows the sun and sinks to the west.
Gone is the noontide day-bright zest.
Time does his rounds and gives his best.
And the sun moves on and leaves us to rest.




NaNoWriMo Day 22 – Trains

Every hour a train goes past,
we can see it from our house
It scurries along the embankment
Like a busy little mouse

From Carlisle off to Newcastle
It goes from right to left.
Huff and puffing up the hill
And on through Cow Run Cleft.

From Newcastle into Carlisle
It comes from left to right,
Sometimes both pass in front of us
To our great delight.

When we see them pass that way,
We feel that we have got
Three lemons in a row, at least,
And won the whole Jackpot.

Vacant Property

Empty Bird's Nest
Empty Bird’s Nest

NaNoWriMo Day 21 – Vacant Property

I passed an empty house today – no one lives there now.
I stood and gazed a while at it, with softly furrowed brow.
The labour that went into it to build and shape its form
A place to raise a family and keep them safe and warm.

But now the birds have fled the nest, as young are wont to do,
The house stands empty and forlorn ‘til the cycle starts anew.
For start anew it surely must, for Spring will bring new life
And we must meet Nature again, the glory and the strife.

Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry Tree
Wild Cherry Tree

NaNoWriMo Day 20 Wild Cherries

This is a wild cherry tree, there’s two or three along here.
We didn’t get many cherries in cherry time this year.
In spring the cherry blossom is impressive for a week
Lighting up the lane that winter left so bleak
Once the blossom falls, the cherries start to set.
And we start to imagine the harvest that we’ll get.
The choicest fruit are out of reach it always makes us frown.
But next year I’ll have my walking stick to pull the branches down.

I Fall To Pieces

Broken Pot
Broken Pot

NaNoWriMo Day 19 – I Fall To Pieces

I’ve fallen to pieces, I’m sorry to say.
It happened a while ago, on a cold day.
Jack Frost came by and he sprinkled his rime,
Together we had such a cracking good time.
He’s gone on his way – not a glance to the rear
And left me alone, lost and desolate here.
He took me out dancing and whirled me around,
I hoped he would never put me on the ground.
These memories all bring a smile to my face,
He’s a part of my heart I can never replace.
I miss him so much, but by the same token
I may be in pieces but I’m certainly not broken.

The Phone Lines In The Tree

The Phone Lines In The Tree
The Phone Lines In The Tree

NaNoWriMo Day 18 The Phone Lines In The Tree

Seasons turn with the year’s slow pace.
Twig and branch sleep.
News by wire in a hectic race,
Appointments keep.

Winter drains all the sap away
And waits for Spring.
Offers valid just for today,
Urgency bring.

Nature moves in its old, old time,
Steady and slow.
Hearts and minds to a different chime,
Faster must go.

Out For A Walk

Winter's Shadow
Winter’s Shadow

NaNoWriMo Day 17 Out for a Walk

Isn’t it warm today, here in the sheltered sun?
Down the hill, we’ve walked together on our daily “run”.
Now it’s back up the hill, to the coffee we’ve earned,
And a sweet treat – to put back that energy we’ve burned.

Old age has come to limit our speed and our range.
Times past we ventured far, but times pass and times will change.
Growing old is a pain, but if it’s what we must do,
I’m just so glad, My Sweet, that I’m growing old with you.

Selling Fast

Just A Few Left
Just A Few Left

NaNoWriMo Day 16 – Selling Fast

Hurry. Hurry, they’re selling out fast.
Just these few here and then that’s the last
You’re going to miss out, what will you do?
Everyone will have one – except you.

How will you ever hold your head high?
Things will get worse, and one day you’ll die!
Then you’ll be sorry, see if I’m right.
Gimme your cash now, and don’t be so tight.

You can trust me, I’m your best friend,
I know what’s good for you in the end.
Don’t ask me questions, if, what and how
Just gimme your cash, right here and now.

Halfway House

Coffee and Cake
Coffee and Cake

NaNoWriMo Day 15 – Halfway House

Like a glass half full or empty,
We’ve reached the middle here.
We need to stop and take a rest.
Check front, left, right and rear.

We’ve kept our target in our sights,
We’ve met each challenge too.
So, carry on and carry on,
Is all we have to do.

Another fifteen days to go,
Fifteen pics left to take.
If nature won’t oblige us then,
We can just fall back on cake.


The Hole In The Hedge
The Hole In The Hedge

NaNoWriMo Day 14 Questions

There’s a hole in the hedge, and it made me think.
From this side to that side it forms a straight link.
Now, who made the space for the hole to fit in,
This side or that side, short and fat, tall and thin?
And weren’t they so clever, with wisdom so wise
That they made a space that was just the right size?
Now was the space they made, left or right handed?
Did it need drilling out or to be sanded?
Did it fit tightly or need to be padded,
Complete in its box so nothing was added?
So many questions with no solid answers
Was our space made by a couple of chancers?

Long-Term Planning


NaNoWriMo Day 13 – Long-Term Planning

A couple of years ago, a tiny oak tree appeared on the lawn.
Just a twig and two leaves, standing amid all that grass – quite forlorn.
Obviously a pioneer ahead of his time, an explorer,
Committed to an adventurous life, for richer or for poorer.

He brought many magical things, beads, mirrors and patterned cloth to trade.
He seemed a pleasant enough fellow, so we built, for him, a stockade.
Then, for safety and protection against the lawn mower marauders,
We established relevant protocols and left specific orders.

For as long as we continue to maintain a good relationship,
Never allowing our attitude of co-operation to slip,
And always support, for the long term, the decisions that we have made,
A hundred or so years from now I’ll be able to park in his shade.

The Missing Tree

Beech Leaves - The Hole In The Hedge
Beech Leaves – The Hole In The Hedge

NaNoWriMo Day 12 The Missing Tree.

Many years ago a great elm tree stood here.
Tall, it grew and spread its branches wide.
But the height that gave it its grand majesty,
Let a small insect its fate decide.

The Elm Bark Beetle carries the deadly spore.
It feeds on young bark in the tree top.
It flies high and picks only the tallest trees,
There it delivers its fungus crop.

Our tree succumbed and sadly withered away.
The autumn winds blew, taking their toll.
Skeletal and fragile our tree was torn down.
Now in our hedge, there’s an empty hole.

So Many

Poppy - Lest We Forget
Poppy – Lest We Forget

NaNoWriMo Day 11 So Many

So many died, so many wept.
So many lived in maimed regret
A hundred years, gone by in a blink
A chain of loss built link by link
We bear this debt, to pray each day.
Please, can we find a better way?

Holly’s Tale

Holly Berries
Holly Berries

NaNoWriMo Day 10 – Holly’s Tale

‘Hello there, I see you’ve come this way again.
‘Out for some fresh air, it’s not too cold for you then?
‘Yes, we’re still here – been here millions of years
‘We’ll be around for a while yet so don’t waste your tears.
‘It was when the dinosaurs died we first took our chance,
‘And then again, when the glaciers began to advance,
‘Evolution wise it was all up in the air,
‘You mammals were in it too, wanting your share.
‘Our shiny leaves helped us to thrive in the cold.
‘You guys started burrowing, or so I’ve been told.
‘We both made it through – hot steamy swamp, ice and snow.
‘Hey! We grew up together, so give us a high five, Bro!’

The Dreadful Duckalumps


NaNoWriMo Day 9 – The Dreadful Duckalumps.

The Crocalog has gone. He left a vacant place.
One day he just vanished, gone without a trace.
We missed his supine form, lying there repletely.
We searched for him each day, but he was gone completely.

The power vacuum created, gave us great concern.
Should we hold his parking place, pending his return?
Alas, alack and woe! It’s too late for our rover.
The Dreadful Duckalumps – have come and taken over!

Snow Berries

Snow Berries

NaNoWriMo Day 8 – Snow Berries
Snow Berries, Ghost Berries, Grouse Berries too,
Some bushes are laden, you bear but a few.
The green of your leaves, so deep and so dark,
A backdrop so somber, so grim and so stark

As mid winter nears, you offer no joy,
Pale face and dark overcoat that you employ.
Come cheer up! It’s not as drear as you think.
Sit here by the fire and I’ll bring you a drink.

First Quarter

NaNoWriMo Day 7
NaNoWriMo Day 7

NaNoWriMo Day 7 So Far So Good

I really did have such a huge lot to do
So, a poem a day for NaNo, too?
So far we have, sorta,
Done the first quarter.
Will we have thyme to rhyme all the way through?


Alocashia In The Hedge
Alocashia In The Hedge

NaNoWriMo Day 6 – Escapee

Oops. Hello. Sssh, don’t make a sound.
Are you sure there’s no one else around?
Yes, you saw me on that superstore rack,
and I tell you now – I’m not going back.

I managed to hide and stay out of sight
And waited until they put out the light.
Then, like that little old Gingerbread Man
I climbed out of my pot and ran and ran.

That’s how I come to be here in this ditch.
I love it! (Just these nettles give me an itch.)
I’ve found my wings and now I’ll fly, you’ll see.
It’s no fake ceramic plastic pot for me!


Work Of The Devil

Food For The Devil
Food For The Devil

NaNoWriMo Day 5 – Food for the Devil

Wayside fruits tempt passers-by
With the sweet juice they offer,
Ere Hallow’s Eve comes you may try
To take all that they proffer.

Once that ghostly hour has passed,
Pick no more to save your life.
That sweetest taste could be your last.
Bring you trouble, bring you strife

For the Devil rides a fiery steed
His burning form all aglow,
He’s come to satisfy his need
For fruit crumble down below.

Lichen Light



NaNoWriMo Day 4 – Lichen Light

The days grow short and leaves fall
As summer green turns brown.
Heeding winds of autumn’s call
Each lose leaf trickles down.

The low noon sun sends its rays
Aslant its zenith height.
Bringing life these autumn days
Where lichen finds the light.



NaNoWriMo Day 3 – Railings

Here we stand (mostly) as straight as a pin.
Rattle a stick along, raise a huge din.
Make your Mum shout,
‘What’s that noise all about?’
Don’t worry we’ll save you from tumbling in.

Atlantis From The Sea

The Island In The Beck
The Island In The Beck

NaNoWriMo Day 2 – Atlantis From The Sea

The beck, though small, must ever change
with summer drought and autumn rain,
first deep and fast, now wide and slow again.

As they spread the waters branch
and in their split, we first could trace
the shadow outline of a shallow place.

As ripples curled and spoke anew
our shallows grew with subtle guile,
now reveals itself as a mystery isle.

And did, in those first days, Ymir and Chronos meet
to plan the demise of civilisations seat?
Did Ma’at their plot see and give herself the chore
in stars good time, to raise Atlantis from the sea once more? 

Leaves In The River

Leaves In The Stream
Leaves In The Stream

NaNoWriMo Day 1 – Leaves In The Stream.

Spring unfurled we gazed at all
the wonder of that season.
Branch and twig held us on high
we could not guess the reason.

Nest and egg before our eyes,
from naked bird to feather
changed, as we to fullness grew
in drowsy summer weather.

Through it all, we saw below
a murmuring water flowed.
Reached to catch the whispered word
of images it showed.

Now autumn’s winds blow strongly
and bring the waited chance.
Winds, blow caution. Let us join
the seductive water’s dance!


Fox Moth Caterpillar
Fox Moth Caterpillar

On our way up the hill, homewards – buoyed by the thought of a nice cup of coffee, we came upon this guy. He was pottering around on the road in a rather aimless manner. We pointed out that playing in the road did not comply with the local health and safety regulations, let alone the Green Cross Code. He was totally nonplused and eventually, we left him to his own devices.
He’s wearing his Sunday Best, he looked quite different when he was younger – he’s hoping to find a nice warm patch of autumn sunshine to relax in before he makes his way back into the brambles along the roadside and curls up amongst the leaves until March. Very sensibly, he has no desire to partake of the joys of winter – there is absolutely nothing on the television – so he solves the problem by sleeping through it.
Well, you know, he has all that pupating to do in spring next year and it always takes it out of you, so his solution is to get as much hibernation as possible under his belt in the hope that it will see him through.
So, if he is now asleep, snug under his bramble leaves (I wouldn’t want to upset him) I will just mention that the latest butterfly and moth survey noted that he is, how can I put this, well, just between you and me, he’s rather common.

He Couldn’t Wait

The Crocalog, he waits no more
The Crocalog, he waits no more

The previous conversation with The Crocalog can be found here  We’ve had a lot of rain recently and, well, read on for the latest news flash.

The Crocalog, he waits no more.
He stepped on through fate’s open door.
No train or dance came soon enough.
The Norns came by and called his bluff.

An idle life lived to the end,
his perfect choice, he hoped to spend.
But this was not to come to pass.
His golden dreams all turned to brass.

He gave much thought to futures bright
the kind he’d claim as his birthright.
Heroic struggle filled each dream,
while he lay, waiting, in the stream.

It came upon him in a flood.
A blossom bursting from the bud.
The simple truth, a basic fact.
NOW! is the only time to ACT!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ### _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Where now will Dipper, Wagtail perch
He’s gone and left them in the lurch
His journey’s end no one can tell
For auld lang syne we wish him well.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail
Grey Wagtail

I thought you might like to see this picture, even though it is a bit blurred. As autumn gets up to speed and the sun shifts his attention to the southern hemisphere, we have less and less light to work with. This means that we can’t expect to have the image in focus and at high magnification.
Those of you who are avid followers will recognise the beck and the relaxed form of The Crocalog. Earlier in the year, we had a Dipper in this very spot and the large white patch is evidence of his protracted occupation of this prime fishing site.
The current incumbent, shown here, is a Grey Wagtail. We have seen him before, but his usual perch is the rusty gate on the other side of the bridge. He was obviously impressed by the Dipper’s entrepreneurial nous – as soon as the Dipper moved on – he hopped over to this side and assumed ownership of the fishing rights.
Grey Wagtails are not seen that often – there aren’t that many of them around. In fact, they are on the RSPB’s Red List of birds that need special consideration, so we are quite pleased to see him. We had worried that the Dipper had chased him off.


Nuclear Waste Train
Nuclear Waste Train

When you’re down by the beck you might think that you were at the bottom of a deep gully. This is emphasised by the railway embankment running along the far bank. This embankment carries the railway line that traverses the country from Carlisle on the west coast – up over the Pennines, following the track of Hadrian’s wall – to Newcastle on the east coast. On each side, the line connects with the main north/south networks which carry the majority of the rail traffic. Our line is a quiet backwater that, mostly, carries only local traffic. The trains and I are on friendly terms – and I recognise them from the noises they make as much as by sight.
There is the screech and clatter of the ageing bus-on-train-wheels that ferries commuters back and forth. The slow and laboured grumble of the occasional long freight train on its way up the hill and the corresponding self-satisfied rattle of the same ensemble freewheeling its way west – downhill.
The most distinctive sound belongs to the Nuclear Waste. It has two engines (or units) one at the front and one at the rear (rear unit just out of pic). It travels fast – and the weight of the safety containment vessels shakes the ground in a throaty sub-audio growl as it rumbles past.
It comes and is gone in the blink of an eye so I felt lucky to get this photo.