the light in a beech wood, in early summer, one of my favourite things
decanted through leaves… eerie, enchanting, a lucid nuance of green
a day of showers, the gloom of grey clouds, then the brief abrupt hurtle of rain
nowt but patter drops neath the canopy, summoning this moist rummage of smells
a wind that shivers through leaves, the sharp sun… mottled, flicker, butterfly shadows
as with heaney:
‘The riverbed, dried-up, half-full of leaves.
Us, listening to a river in the trees.’
far far in friston forest, on a weekday afternoon, nobody at all
but the tweet and foible of bird song… near, far, high, low… layered, grooved, vertigo of a constantly shifting perspective
a temperate Rain Forest, this blessed land
oh and climbed an ash on the way back (that ash, lol x)
foot braced against one of its tentacles, could feel the subtle strength, the vibrations as the long bough gently writhed in the wind
i’ve been dreaming of ash trees and long barrows the last few weeks (long burgh nearby, above alfriston)
much as it was in the neolithic? huge swathes of trees, the occasional glimpse of a view
stone age, yes, yet always fashioning with wood
much work… the scouring of hides, tending of crops, chopping of trees, chiding of beasts!?… yet also space to dream
there would be summer festivals, gathering of the clans, time to swap, to gossip, flirt, dance, feast
shell fish, nettles, sea weed, deer
ha, mead and magic mushrooms… the pulse of a song summoned from the drum, heartbeat of the land
sitting around the fire, hound at your feet, telling your story, a piece for the whole
across the the circle, caught in the fire glow, the eyes of the one you love
much has changed, and, yet, somehow, nothing at all
prose typically waywardly lush, but a way of putting off household chores!
…. aw thinking of phil, must be a year x
harry styles is filming on nh beach this morning
truth be told he’s all over east sussex like a nasty rash… shutting down squares in brighton a few days ago… then turning on the christmas lights in eastbourne next week (yeah i know its a tad early, but it is HARRY)
anyway i had to tip toe past security guards and ouch eek across painful pebbles for my beach swim this morning
so, next time your down the multiplex if in the background of some hollywood blockbuster you notice a friendly walrus in a lurid pink cozzie, then, as jLenn(?) once sang ‘i am the Walrus’
a friendly security guard and i were surveying the the entire fuss pot palaver, the enormous convoy of trucks, the hubbub, the catering, the Razzamatazz, the covid testing, the kit kaboodle!… when she conspiratorially exclaimed ‘he’s not Neil Diamond doncha know’
good point, Harry ‘cramping my’ Styles, you may well be a singing and acting legend, a heart throb… but, well, your not Neil Diamond
flaps: Breaking news – Harry Styles cast in new Neil Diamond biopic…
sweeet caroline! noooo! …. tho, actually, Cracklin’ Rosie, why not! i’d watch it! x
typing that, i suddenly realise that i have an aversion to lower case ‘r’ in proper nouns, its just ugly! does everyone feel that way? most other letters i’m happy to disregard case with reckless abandon
‘Rose’ is beautiful, ‘rose’ bit bleagghh! … ‘Richard’ tho, i’m sure we can agree, could never be anything other than beautiful!
Camouflage! Now, Norbury Park, Box Hill wards
Mel: The flowers match your helmet! I might have to write a poem about that?!!!
the horror! given your penchant for dubious rhyming couplets it’ll probs be ‘bluebells dum de dum batman smells’ etc xx
aw the timepiece (occasionally the slimepiece) was the greatest of the nightclubs in exeter… blue monday probs the song i remember best, tho no doubt there was a reasonable dollop of the smiths
it had 2 floors, the ground floor bar had the most eccentric things dangling from the ceiling, whilst the dancefloor had tons of mirrors… i love mirrors in nightclubs (and they love me!)
inevitably a bit goth tinged, but everything was back then
oh and its still going! tho probs slightly different now, my nieces and nephew are ofttimes there… the ‘ghost of uncle dick’ haunts the place
usually the ‘last song’, everyone go home, at the timepiece in 85
Mary: Oh no, I’d forgotten that Louis Jordan song! Snap, amongst all the things I’ve thrown out or lost, I’ve still got my Timepiece membership card. Had my 21st birthday party there and was too full after eating at Coolings in Gandy Street (also still there) to drink, so remember it well!
Catherine Wood and Sarah J Smith have you still got yours?
(posts her membership card)
your 21st sounds like a hoot! i was in sydney, oz for mine… i didn’t recall that we even had membership cards till i stumbled across mine earlier!
i’ve got boxes and files of old stuff… but all decades jumbled up, seldom wade through any of it, never quite know whats there?… usually a guffaw… and sometimes fabulously but weirdly emotional… depth charge of the distant past!
Julie: Mine is long gone. Swapped three nights a week clubbing weighed down with black eyeliner for bed by 10 with a cuppa these days! But hearing Blue Monday and Love Cats always takes me back. xx
julie, had forgotten what a perfect pop song that is! xx
Iain: What a great last song Richard. Beats ‘Hi ho silver lining’ 😃. I still have a Louis Jordan LP, one of my reduced, precious collection. Love the photo.
he was deservedly and somewhat unexpectedly popular in indie circles in the 80’s
tho i was left with a frisson of antiquity to ponder (my brain unerringly mathematical) that more time has elapsed since the mid 80’s than between louis and then. eek! x
There are few things more glorious than the feeling of being in an oak wood on the cusp of it coming into leaf.
these trees have belonged in my meditations most mornings recently
Oak, old dodderer, lop-limbed, engrained in gnarl, but now the moment of unfurling of fresh leaf flourish
almost ripped asunder by this wyrd meld… ancient, yet erupting in buoyant exuberance… soul alchemy
aw i’ve missed the oak groves of surrrey (ha, people mbe not so much), round here what trees there are, tend to be beeches, at home on the chalk uplands
frugal fagus, a delight in their own right, yet not much grows beneath the dark shaded canopy of a cathedral of beeches
oaks tend to be more generous, sprawling haphazard euphorias of life!
ashtead common is dotted with old old oaks, most of them are ooh 400 years, for the first few centuries they were pollarded (top branches lopped off) so grew portly stout, then immense
since then, with peaceful neglect, huge limbs have grown up… occasionally these collapse from their own preposterous weight, but the oak, harrumphs, just gets on with it, genteel, beautiful dereliction
others, half burnt, in a fire, throw jagged nightmare scare shapes
a mix of woodland and also more open bracken savanna, guess the ruminants keep the young trees in check? pleasantly mixed and diverse
I suprised a Red Deer in a woodland copse, up close, a substantial beast, it startled, rose from its haunches, then, bounding over branches, gallumphed away… proper medieval! tantaloo! soho!
tho not sure in truth which of us was the more suprised?
a strong, benign, warm gold, masculine energy… the deep grooved bark of quercus, bewhiskered oaks, trees which rumble with thunder (oaks are the species most likely struck by lightning)
aw the colours of the new leaves, vibrant lime, yet tinged with oak apple brown, tannin, there to be seen, a unique harmonious blend of hues
ha, enough of my half ruminated on woodland idyll!
[traditional] our lady of the wood, the goddess, she glides, forever out of reach, assembled, in the soul, from this collage of fleeting sensation… a feeling, soft feathered touch, a glimpse of hair, green mantle glides past, wood anemones flower beneath her feet. blessings
was reading about the uffington white horse earlier (ancient, profound, astonishing!) and reminded of the buddhafield yatra, 3 years ago, a sunset st georges eve ritual on the dragons mound
apols, not sure who to credit for pics (nigel pos?)