Tag Archives: home

Neither Lion nor Lamb

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March

 

what light there is

filtered through the fan

of their feathers

 

the spine, pale and articulate,

of a fox or a hare

 

punctuated equilibrium

how earth evolves

in sudden ruptures

 

the sputnik graphic

alarmingly crimson

 

someone gets there

before me – liberating

the abandoned bicycle

 

in the open field of the day

plovers calling

 

the room full

of winter

it’s never been as warm

 

neat white flowers

of the barren strawberry

 

if a thousand people

look at the moon

there are a thousand moons

 

what I tell the bees

is between me and the bees

 

everyone stockpiling

against worst-case-scenario pain:

paracetamol, ibuprofen, codeine

 

the colour of persimmons

a new charity shop jumper

 

bags packed

last minute change of plan

staying put

 

the swift narrow rowboat

Truant Muse in cursive script

 

half going one way, half another,

trying to give myself away

to inexactitude

 

stay in touch

she says, not touching

 

bringing home snowdrops

a small handful

of lingering hope

 

a woman in a mask comes

to measure my per cubic foot energy

 

wild garlic tart

as much for the soothe of making

as the savour of eating

 

Spring Equinox: I am a tilting cup

a tremulous star

 

warcabinetspeak

lockdown, self-isolation

linguistic distancing

 

never has a daffodil

looked more beautiful

 

the pilgrimage

of these days

becoming the path

 

two long-tailed tits

among the apple buds

 

my son comes home

we dance around each other

nothing is familiar

 

clapping the NHS

under a canopy of stars

 

a hedgehog emerges

from hibernation

leaves its traces

 

our prayer flags unfurl

as the chill wind blows

 

two pine logs and a plank

a new bench

for absent friends

 

in my sleep I steal back

yesterday’s lost hour

 

star of Bethlehem

hiding its pale light

among what the flood washed up

 

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The first image is a gogotte – a natural rock formation from the Paris Basin, 33 – 28 million years old (Natural History Museum).  The second, ancient and new, frogspawn in our pond.

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City of light and shade

Sofia is a city of dramatic contrasts, history and geography under pressure from all quarters.  It is sometimes confounding, sometimes beguiling.  Now I’m back here after my time away on the coast, it’s strange to see how much it feels like ‘home’.

‘A city called Wisdom should float on clouds…

…Reality is never clear.  It’s never final. You can always change it or see it in a different way.’

From ‘Solo’ by Rana Dasgupta

 

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Writing Myself Home

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I’ve been ‘home’ for a couple of weeks now and still not quite settled.  Hard to tell if this is an ongoing state of ‘homelessness’ or a reaction against the cold spring and my weatherworn fell, still nowhere near green.

One of my new Sydney friends, Katie, gave me an exquisite pair of curtains she’d made, incorporating screenprints of the patterns on Scribbly Gums.  I hung them at my sitting room window last week so now my view (of a landscape so unlike anything I’ve seen in the past three months I sometimes think it must all have been a dream – or this is…) is framed by a reminder of those wonderful trees on the other side of the world.

photoThe Scribbly Gum Moth lays its eggs in the layers between the old and new bark and, when they hatch, the larvae tunnel their way along, eating the wood as they go.  They loop back the way they came before falling to the ground to pupate.  When the old bark drops off, their tracks are revealed, with the scribbly appearance that gives both moth and tree their name.

photo copyNative to New South Wales, the Scribbly Gum is just one of over 700 species of Eucalypt.  Many of them are hard to identify but its distinctive markings make it easy to spot.  The sense that something is written there – a secret, in code, some mysterious script – is tantalizing.  So much of my journey seemed to involve making translations from the world of nature, reading what wasn’t written.  Strange now to be back at my desk and starting a process of making translations of my own translations, tunnelling between the old and the new – even my curtains asking to be deciphered!

Scribbly-Gum  

The cold spring falls from the stone.


I passed and heard


the mountain, palm and fern


spoken in one strange word.


The gum-tree stands by the spring.


I peeled its splitting bark 


and found the written track


of a life I could not read.

Judith Wright

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