Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Lines from Sedlescombe

To the east a leafing oak glows pale yellow in the April sunshine,
Caught in relief against a dark grey cloud
With two windflung crows sailing above the tree.
A week of frost has gone: a whirl of sleety rain keeps me indoors.
Can I write backwards?  Rewilding the present?
I went to Columbine Path to photograph the fragility of Prunus subhirtella autumnalis, the 'autumn' flowering cherry, jugatsu-zakura, that has suckered out of a nearby garden.  Unphased by frost and lovely with its long trails of branches blossomed with a dainty snow of flowers.
On Tuesday the first wood anemones marked the ground with stray white buttons
Great tits zipping in the trees defied one another and a buzzard complained high above Hurst House.
Honeysuckle leaves mined to total whiteness, ash trees spotted like snakes with liverwort and lichen.
Bluebells making green lawns of leaves under the hornbeams in Killingan Wood.
Afterwards I fell over while washing mud off my boots.
A slow totter backwards, a glide into a flower bed to lie on mud among hierba toperah,
the plant of the molehills.  I am Don Quixote, tilting wildly at these molehills.
A grandson phoned, another called in and talked about saffron.
Washing the mud off my hands in warm water I remembered how my father taught me to do this when I was ten.  Plenty of lather, rinsing palm with palm guided by the thumb: today my hyponychia hurt, though numbed by cold and black new moons of dirt.
Squalls today, wet great grandchildren playing Scrabble: "Is there such a word as 'wooded'?

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