Thursday, 18 January 2018

Waes Hael




After the clutter of Christmas is cleared away 
And shops are shorn of lurid displays,
Now, outside, there’s a stirring in the trees
As merry music leads
Us along familiar ways
Into the old orchard, ablaze
With flickering torchlight
And a brazier of fire, burning bright.

Pots and pans are clanged
And shotguns banged:
Decluttering the trees of lingering malignants;
Replacing them with little lighted lanterns
And pieces of dunked and drunken toast
For Robin, the good-fellow, to make the most
As we raise our voices in joyful boasts:
‘Ere’s to thee - Old Apple Tree!

With wreaths of evergreen leaves
A Wassail King and Queen are crowned

And the Loving Cup is passed around
Overflowing with hot mulled cider
Bringing warmth and cheer inside as
We, outdoors, in the darkness of night
And the frosty grip of winter’s might,
Stand together to treasure and appease
The cold and naked apples trees
And wish good health to them:
In root and fruit, in branch and stem.

And so enjoining one another
To make merry in Midwinter
And celebrating the bond between bark and skin
We hope, once more, the trees will bring -
In autumn after summer after spring -
(As much as we give to them in our Wassailing)
So then, again, at Apple-Time we may all share
The wealth of the orchard: many an apple & many a pear!

Waes Hael!! Drinc Hael!!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Midwinter's Morning

Night's shadows still hug the holloway
As a chorus robins and wrens
Greet the dawning grey light.
A clattering of jackdaws
A shattering of pigeons' wings
A sneeze and yawn from a battered tent
In the copse of tangled trees.
Molehill milestones mark the muddy track
As I climb the hill, until sea is seen,
Standing on a cairn of stones
At Midwinter's summit.

Monday, 30 October 2017

A little egret
Alifts from the riverside
Like an ancestral apparition
Bound by its being to the ever-flow of water
But released by the freedom of the moment
To rise and ride the wind -
Haunting the liminal land on wide, white wings.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Orchard-drunk

Shadowy shade savoured
Walking through the old orchard
As fermenting fallen fruit
Infuses the warm, humid air
With sweet cidery smells

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

The Colpexies of Colmers Hill


 
With its iconical conical shape and crown of nine perching pines
Colmers Hill has long been known, since golden, olden times,
As a favoured place for festivities of the faerie folk:
The Little People, The Good Neighbours, The Shining Ones, The Others…

All dressed in red and green, with feathers in their caps,
But rarely seen as they make merry on hallowed hilltops
At special, spiritual times of year, such as Beltain and Midsummer’s Eve,
When God-fearing folk believe it’s wiser and safer to stay inside,
With salt sprinkled on the doorway, for fear of being pixy-led:
Involuntarily taken on a dangerous dance; a dalliance with doom!

And of all the varied array of faerie folk the most secretive and shy,
Hardly ever caught by human eye, are the Colpexies -
Digging and picking in the sandstone sides of Dorset’s hidden holloways.
And perhaps you've seen their strange symbols and stone-carved runes,
Or perchance you’ve found one of their dislocated digits -
Colpexies' Fingers - which those of rational, reductive minds call Belemnites.

Great good luck for those who find their fingers – wealth and health and lustrous long life;
But the Colpexies are tricksy, treacherous folk, not to be taken lightly or joked about,
And to interfere with their habitations is to invite trouble into your own home.
So be warned and beware: lest you find yourself bewitched and betwixt...
...this world and the Others' world!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Taking myself for a walk

I never see another walker
When I go for a walk
Except a walker with a dog -
A dog taking a walker for a walk
But I don’t need a dog
When I go for a walk
I can walk all by myself
Without a four-legged friend
Who lives in my house 
To take me out for a walk
But I, like a dog, need to walk
Every day, because if I stay
In my house without going out
I feel sad and start acting badly
So I do daily take myself for a walk
Perhaps I am a dog?
A dog and a walker rolled into one
Or perhaps I just don’t need one,
A dog, to go for a walk
But like a dog on a walk
When I go for a walk I don’t walk
I bound along, like a happy song,
Until suddenly I stop
In my tracks
In the middle of the path
For no reason, other than to listen
Or to stare at something
That catches my eye or reaches my ear
Or better still I sniff the air
And wonder what it is
Until I’ve forgotten why it is
That I’m still standing there
And so once more I walk on, on my walk
My inner dog taking his walker out for a walk
And I when I go for a walk
I never meet another walker
Except a walker with a dog…