Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sussex dumplings

Today I made some traditional Sussex dumplings to go with our lunchtime soup.

They are very simple and really rather dull. Make them by mixing plain white flour and some salt to a soft dough with water. Then scrape teaspoonfuls into boiling water using two spoons, or a spoon and knife. Simmer for 45 minutes, drain and add to your soup.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The snail on the crab apple

This reminded me of Roberts frost's lines:

For I have had too much
Of apple-picking; I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sammy's mandala

Something to look at rather than to speak about.

Sammy made this 'Tribute to the Moon' in the garden today. "I was just playing" she said.

It is on the site of a fire.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chinese tea

I surveyed a small back garden on a slope facing the sea. There was a bank of grass, a patch of brambles and convolvulus. A late cabbage white flew down the road and back. There were woodlice and garden snails under the stones, even a few sandhoppers far from the shore.

A Chinese woman from Beijing brought me a cup of green tea full of cornflowers, rosebuds and assorted leaves.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Child in the Garden

When to the garden of untroubled thought
I came of late, and saw the open door,
And wished again to enter, and explore
The sweet, wild ways with stainless bloom inwrought,
And bowers of innocence with beauty fraught,
It seemed some purer voice must speak before
I dared to tread that garden loved of yore,
That Eden lost unknown and found unsought.
Then just within the gate I saw a child, -
A stranger-child, yet to my heart most dear, -
Who held her hands to me and softly smiled
With eyes that knew no shade of sin or fear;
"Come in," she said, "and play awhile with me;
I am the little child you used to be."

Henry Van Dyke [1852-1933]

The child is our granddaughter Elly, the place our garden in Sedlescombe on 26 August 2006.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Rain, rooks, viols

French grey rain dimpling olive puddles
The anemones and dandelions stay shut on the hedge banks
A rook stationed itself on the wire by the top of the telegraph pole
while the car carried the slow sound of viols along the wet lane

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Third Branch

The Third Branch, the chequered horse at the stream under the skylark overlayered landscape of dens and denes, gills and gullies woods, copses, shaws and spinneys.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fire cows

Brazen celandines pinned on the grass where fire cows ruminate on cud
dreaming of leaf-rimmed pools pierced by fallen timber.

While the cantilevered branch splashes the blue-brown water
the weblogs interweave, one modifying another

Monday, April 03, 2006

The dangerous prophet

A prophet may come in the new Dark Ages
From the sea-green forest where the leaf waves crash in the branches
From the glaucous sea, ribbed and dangerous

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Ivory sheep

Ivory sheep in the morning sun crowded the summit of the cold brown wold
A man bent over a spade, digging earth from a dry bank
dumbfounded by phenomenology dreaming of sultana pudding

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cold red dye

Cold dyes leaves with a red hand
shades of crimson, vermilion, oxblood and ruby
purple wrestles green incarnadine cold

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Imaginary taxonomies

I think I have nothing to say, so I say nothing
Lines are the names of cryptic species in imaginary taxonomies
ornus, or as the pinax more peculiarly, fraxinus bubula

Friday, March 17, 2006


Broken bricks to make a road
Broken years to make a life
Broken winter to make a spring

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rose cold

Camellias flower after frost Souvenir de Bahuaud Litou who was this remembered rose tendre, tardif, imbriquée
Thorn wands haunted by rose-breasted batchelor chaffinches
But the van still hit the dove, grey feathers in a mirror

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The alders

The alders are cloaked in thin russet veils, catkin coats against the cold
the east wind puts knives between the sun and earth
some hold out their hands, palm up, wide ides in meetings