Here is a selection of my poetry for JULY
That day, under trees sonorous with bees,
when yellow flowers filled the canopy,
he laughed and blurted out one word : “Lipiec!”
“The month and tree in Polish are the same
and here we have lime blossom and July.
The flowers we collected were first dried
then used to make a special remedy –
drinking lime tea was very good for me…
we had songs and poems about limes.”
Quietly we waited in the buzzing shade –
he finished, misty-eyed with memories.
Now, when I stop beneath those limes today,
through half-shut eyes while lulled by humming bees,
I conjure in the shade another shade –
the shadow of the man he used to be.
When first green bramble berries start to show
And many hedgerow flowers start to fade,
Up roadside grasses twining bindweed grows –
Widdershins – towards bright sunlight’s haze.
Soon hedges down the lane wear heart-shaped leaves –
Every where’s a smother of white flowers –
Bell-like, large, they congregate like thieves
To steal the light, ambitious to climb higher.
Unlike favoured cousin, Morning Glory
Bindweed in your garden is a pain –
A tiny bit of root repeats the story,
Enveloping your beds with weed again.
…I cannot like the scent,
Yet I would rather give up others more sweet,
With no meaning, than this bitter one
(Old Man – Edward Thomas)
Initially, like Thomas’s “Old Man,”
this pungent smell is difficult to place :
familiar – both bitter and yet sweet –
it does not chime with me like other scents.
Hovering on thick air like memories,
it stops me in my tracks and makes me think :
arriving in fresh waves, just like the past,
it leads me to a hedge across the street.
Carefully shaped : dark leaves cut trim and close,
do not disclose the very thing I seek
but, where the shears have missed a growing tip,
tiny white spikes of flowers now persist.
There, softly in late sun, scent speaks to me :
transports me down the vista of the years
to where an old man, dressed in corduroy,
flashes quick shears, watched by a lonely boy.
On the quiet road above it all,
the only sound is birdsong and slow bees;
from the lych-gate, where the swallows nest each year,
you look down on the church framed by its trees.
Here lichen covered headstones flank the path,
with Humfrey’s texts, * laid out on blocks of stone
(quotations to inspire whilst climbing up –
but missed by visitants on their way down).
As legend has it, Joseph came ashore
for tin and souls and here began his search;
but the magic of this place is in the eye:
exotic plants surround this creek-side church.
When the tide is full – creek mirrors sky,
reflecting Celtic cross, the trees and church,
cedars, walnut, cypress are all there,
exotic tree ferns, buzzing limes and birch.
Thick bamboo planting makes a fine windbreak –
although the garden’s in a sheltered spot;
huge gunnera thrive down beside the creek,
the giant leaves give shelter when its hot.
Trachycarpus grows close to the graves,
myrtle flowers, acanthus fringe the creek;
this verdant Eden’s fed by springs and rills,
its Holy Well enjoys its own mystique.
In springtime there’s a sea of blue and white
when bluebells and the ramson flowers bloom;
on summer days hydrangeas – blues and pinks
and if it rains montbretia lifts the gloom.
Beneath a spreading palm, close by the creek,
a message on a tablet to embrace
and reason why this couple chose to stay –
in simple words it tells they “Loved this Place.”
* The Rev. Humfrey Davis laid out quotations from 55 religious texts
On either side of the main path.
(St. Just in Roseland)
Deep peace of the Running Wave to you....
The creek is full.
Tidal water reflects blue sky.
Bright sun gilds tiny waves,
Warming worn stone
And young shoulders.
Deep peace of the Flowing Air to you.....
The lime trees hum with bees,
Somewhere a pigeon coos.
Waters' soft plash - lapping old hulls,
Palm leaves shimmer as the sea exhales -
Serenity breathes through this place.
Deep peace of the Quiet Earth to you........
A seagull wheels and cries;
Hands are held, ashes poured.
"Did they love you and you love them?"
Child and adult think last thoughts,
Two turves are turned.
Deep peace of the Shining Stars to you......
Above, a celtic cross;
Acanthus leaves unfurl,
For a moment all is still,
As if a breath is held.
The bell chimes as he reads :
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
Lines in bold italic script are from an ancient Celtic Benediction