The Cottage

The Cottage

A frisky pheasant skitters across the lawn
joined by an inquisitive deer.

In the shrubbery clumps of blue and yellow petals
chopped logs stand in stacks.

An abandoned tree-house falling to the ground
the remains of a broken swing creaks.

Along the lane to the duck egg lady
eggs and honesty box outside her gate.

On to Park Farm selling raw milk from bored
black and white cows, pick up homemade sausages.

Drive back along the lane under a canopy of leaves
up and down over the bumps of the unmade road.

1-P1010446   P1010930   1-P1020687-001   P1010929  pastel sketch of cottage


The Ash Tree

from an ancient wood trapped the garden of the tiny terraced house in south London was the reason I bought the house. I imagined it whispering words of comfort and even singing to me if things got tough. As the seasons passed I watched from my bedroom window, sprightly sparrows, blackbirds and occasionally a bright red woodpecker tapping for insects. The new green growth appeared in spring, giving way to leafy summer shade, the shredding of autumn leaves, the snow covered it’s bare branches in winter.
The dry earth around it’s roots became a secret den for the children, it’s weathered trunk created footholds inviting feet to climb, sturdy ropes supported a swing and a wooden tree house perched amongst its foliage. Only once did I cautiously climb up it’s twisted trunk to rescue a terrified cockatiel in a torrential storm.

My Garden

Clouds of blue wisteria
float above my head,
and aquilegia pink and mauve
frame where the birds are fed.

Pansies love to tumble
from my unruly pots,
and spring bulbs left to sleep awhile,
obscure forget-me-nots.

The cherry blossoms sprouting
before the bluebells fade away
and roses gather all their strength
to make a good display.

The passion flower is teasing
the ivy round the tree,
lily of the valley
share their scent with me.

I could sit here in my garden
all my waking hours,
simply entranced
by the profusion
of flowers.

The Oleander

We found it in Albi,
no gentle sketch
but boldly painted
bright and blowzy
heady with scent,
out for a good time.

In London.
loving the culture
pink petals
flirted with passers by
revelled in attention
posed for pictures.

Uprooted to Brighton
in a white fleece shroud
it faltered
leaves fell
naked boughs mourned
sensing life had passed.

Two years later
in a new pot
on a south facing wall
tiny green shoots emerge,
pink blossoms
show their party faces.

The Passing Season

Hidden from view he hums
deep resonant sounds of age and wisdom.
My neighbour’s steady beat on wooden stakes
marks time to his labour and his tune.

I peer into my wintered pond for life,
heavily pregnant newts glide in waiting.
Bluebells challenge crocuses for their space
buds of blossom spring from spiky branches.

Ash tree seeds scatter in the wind,
making space for waving fronds of green.
Birds compete for feathers for their nests.
The capricious sun hides its features.

A silence falls on secret thoughts,
as winter’s drama melts away at last.