Writer's retreat

Writer's retreat

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Last cry for summer

I don't know where the summer months have gone. As I sit outside after work preparing home-grown runner beans for dinner, I ponder on time when I should have been writing, but instead I'm weeding or picking or preparing things for winter.

None of my creative work appears to progress and there is little new to offer. There was one poem entered for the annual poetry competition. The ajudicator passed it by saying there was too much detail and I'd left a spelling mistake in the submission. It was enough to make me crawl away and hide except the previous Saturday I read three poems at "Herbfest's got talent".

As I read the distant healing poem, the room was still.

"I don't think they breathed," Chris told me afterwards, "they seemed mesmerised." Maybe they were or maybe the poem has its own power.

Below is the competition poem. I sat under the apple tree and simply wrote what I saw for the hour I had free. I spent the following days honing words and rhythmn until it flowed to my satisfaction. The first verse has been lifted away - another moon contemplation which didn't really sit with the sunny day.

What do you think?

Chosen by rooks
Is your soil strewn with cherries?
Red skins ripped by mawkish marauders
Does your wooden bench hide strawberries?
Wild morsels of crimson sweetness
Garnets and rubies of an alpine range

Do you crunch apples underfoot?
Hard shards pressed into softness
Do you notice morsels lost amidst abundance?
Should you mourn when hundreds swell above you?
Contentedly modulating green within the canopy.

More green from pea pods where pristine petals fall
Their clusters call to bees
Following unseen flight lines to coat their fuzz with pollen
Nectar-driven pilots buzzing from yellow poppy to red woundwort
They drowned in cherries too
Humming their love song to the tree until blossoms fell

Have you noticed redbreast feeding fledgling?
Nurtured still on cherry’s bough
Carefully flitting from branch to chair to roof
Bright watching for strangers
Until he darts deep into darkness
To feed his sitting hen amidst forgotten trimmers
Their former nest forsaken for a safer space

Will you watch the white-tailed bumble rest?
Her bed of bean leaf crowned with scarlet flowers
Perhaps vermillion drops of currant catch your eye
Hanging above swollen gooseberry globes
Or yellow stars of agrimony and St John
Draw your delighted gaze on this bright day.

Such starlit gold along with silver moon
Bejewelled planting
Guarded by oak and fir
Serenaded by blackbird, robin, wren
Chosen by rooks
Let rue offer you such grace as can be gained
Within my summer garden.

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