1 January 2017
A twig carries both a crown of spider thread, each filament sparse encased in ice, and a bead of water growing in a crook, the edge of which is freezing whether I am there to watch or not.  Some molecules are both gripped within the icy lattice and are swimming free, in transition between worlds.
Transition continues as the sun warms the world.  The music of the spheres is heard as melting droplets hit earth and water bringing shards of snow like ice.
2 January 2017
Low cloud merges with thin mist and enshrouds us in some measure of privacy.  The daily path we walk can be seen in places, crushed leaves, worn grass, indented earth.  We may leave only footprints but they will forever mark this cherished land.
3 January 2017
Clear air, cold under thin clouds.  Brown and dormant, life is pausing in tree buds, awaiting spring sap.  Red and green are burgeoning in the rhubarb bed; leaves curled and folded into an acid green cerebellum.  Slowly, imperceptibly soft fresh green pushes between part rotted leaves.  The sun is breaking through.
4 January 2017
Fog.  Freezing.  Fewer spider threads than expected and what there are look tired.  Was last night special in the arachnid calendar; contemplation of last year’s war stories, of flies caught and lost?  Some few strands cross the path, left perhaps by intoxicated insects wandering home in glory?
5 January 2017
Sun tips over the horizon painting grey haze blue.  Look West, behold the burning bush that holds the sun within every dewdrop.  Watch trees spread out their twigs to bask in the golden glow.  On the opposing hill even winter grass acknowledges warmth as it slips from shadow.
6 January 2017
Standing waters frozen.  Stream sluggish; or as a schoolboy of my youth it would have been called, lazy.  At bends it slows as if preparing to cease all movement and relinquish liquidity.  At falls over rock or lost trees it speeds and stretches, oiling creaking joints awake.
7 January 2017
Hard cold.  River’s surface less than sluggish, frozen in quiet stretches round bends and before falls.  Twigs trapped like arctic ships, their long journey to the sea suspended.  Ice crystal accretion over hours has left lines and levels, miniature mountains and crevasses.
8 January 2017
Wet night leaves damp, pale colours drained out.  Live leaves a darker green, the gentler shades lost in the darkness’s washing.  Dead brown leaves rinsed closer to black.  Insufficient rain to raise the river that runs dark as if carrying some muddy murky secret hidden in its shallows.
9 January 2017
Night rain and fog combine to a thick mist that congeals on trees and branches and on fine new laid spider thread and descends on passers-by.  And are these flurries of real rain that hits harder from falling further?  A different drumming, an intermittent pitter patter on the leaf litter, instead of an almost silent slipping into the ground.
10 January 2017
Night rain, life water.  Green heads poke up from black earth, hand-planted, tended.  Long ago this gene flotilla found a niche in the early shift.  Risking winter freezing and spring flooding to rise above the blue ceramic parapet in these shortest days.  To appear before the space was crowded, to catch a chance of life.
11 January 2017
Thin mist diffuses focus.  As distance rises edges weaken until the lines between field and fence between hedge and horizon have dwindled to what might be nothing.  Slow accumulation of moisture on branches constructs drops on twigs as if they were made of lacquered layers.
12 January 2017
Stillness, as if last night the world sat dormant.  Quietness, waters slip over rocks as inaudibly as possible, as if there was something that must remain unnoticed and unspoken.  Trees stand still and silent as guilty schoolboys remembering a night of inexperienced inebriation.
13 January 2017
Bright light.  Light frost.  Frost on wind broken branches scattered on the ground.  Nothing big, no limbs or tops, small stuff, dead wood mostly.  And some that still might have sheltered a bird’s nest, who might have fledged a brood, who might have flown.  Stories that will forever be untold.
14 January 2017
Solid liquid transitions.  Water slips out of ice changing the reflection.  Frost pockets hold hard to night time’s chill.  Sun drenched spots glow gold and morning’s mud is soft and slippery.  A single footstep embraces both.
15 January 2017
Light night rain.  Surface impact only.  Leaves soften.  Grass flexes.  Earth becomes mud.  Not the easy-going pliable mud of a long wet winter.  Leaves not broken down to fragments and the occasional skeleton.   Close underneath the litter and the thin slurry the world reverts to dry and hard.
16 January 2017
Rain has reached the river.  Not last night’s but from one night past.  Raised it, not by much.  Time takes a while to seep rain through our earth.  No mountains filtering water for a thousand years; just gentle slopes draining the remnants of recent mizzle, drizzle and shower.
17 January 2017
A group of bramble leaves preen themselves as the sun arrives to sparkle their frost cloaks.  Each outward light reflection matched by an inward heat refraction and in an hour they will be limp and damp, bereft, bare and naked.
18 January 2017
Ground has texture, hard earth, solid gravel, rigid sand, crisp leaves and grass that must be crushed at every footfall.  Water lumped up against edges where breeze has driven it as it froze.  No sparkle, none of the prettiness we want in winter.  Just cold.
19 January 2017
Half a waning moon hangs in a pre-dawn sky cloaked with the soft sheen of mother of pearl. Hanging beneath it one bright wanderer, Jupiter. Grit in the oyster of the big bang? Lower and to one side a lesser light, as if the Milky Way had turned her head to set her earring swinging.
20 January 2017
Washed out half-moon presides over an off-white vista; greyed with time a colour better on the palette than in the world.  Sun refuses to rise into the cold as a grey hump spreads and with all the elegance of a teenager a crane lifts itself from stream to sky.
21 January 2017
Ice builds on ice.  Every fig of flotsam captured for a moment becomes a net to change the pace of flow and accrete a spreading frozen plate.  The smallest waterfall slowly assembles wonders as spray is sculpted into life.
22 January 2017
Gaia in the Underground
One sweep of eyes is full sufficient
To both assess and to dismiss.
The clothes, the shoes, dog loosely on a string,
The slowly turning cigarette.
The bottle failing to be hidden
In an old fast food paper bag.
One sweep of eyes is full diverted
To both avoid and to disdain.
The hands, the nails, above all the eyes,
The flaky nature of the skin.
The veins distended, an early age,
Mine eye with careful pride evades.
What else you do, do not catch her eye,
For caught you never can escape
And will be hard held to look beneath
The dirt, beyond bag and bottle,
To peel back the tapestry that hides
Your soul captured in her mirror.
Her feet are rooted in the dark earth,
The same deep soil from which we spawned.
The cold concrete of the underground
Can’t hide the hold that links us two.
Inexorably we are entwined
Breathing air and drinking water.
23 January 2017
Bright light belies the cold.  No new frost following days that have taken water out.  A fleet of birds, mutually led, rises from a ploughed field in a single, silent lift and spreads swirling into the air.  Not starlings, hence no murmuring.
24 January 2017
Wolves are closer than we think.  A strange dog appeared, sending my xenophobic pair racing across the bright cold ground.  Ankle nipping by one to distract and hamstring.  Brute force by the other to knock over the uncomprehending beast who probably only came to play.
25 January 2017
Dull, dry and cold, the sky washed with an almost English grey.  And then a bird, a little bigger than a wren, poking its beak into a bank, thrusting aside the blanket of leaves to reveal unfrozen ground.  The hunt for breakfast begins in earnest.
26 January 2017
Realities of the third kind.  Iced stream clasps a broken branch so its reality is stillness.  Under the ice water, air and detritus move in an encased translucent reality.  If I break the ice I will create a new reality whilst destroying two.
27 January 2017
Spray freezes as ice melts.  Residual shards at the falls glisten with moisture as the sun rises.  In shaded rivulets, water tumbles capturing air to be held beneath thinning sheets; fed bubbles grow as the stream strips away.
28 January 2017
A gentle orchestra arising amongst the trees, unfrozen into song; accompanied by a tumbling timpani of water, flowing, melting.  Birds, unfettered in the thaw, twitter of life and living, and that deep within the bass of their DNA they know the cycles turn and tomorrow will be different.
29 January 2017
Smiling sun warms my face for a fleeting moment as royalty’s guilty courtiers scurry in with quilted clouds to re-cloak her.  A palpable drop in temperature as the east wind wanders past stroking my ears and whispers sternly that it is too early for the sun to come out and play today.
30 January 2017
Drizzle more from trees than sky.  Dew glints on the grass capturing the sun that slips through a fine fog, barely visible, that registers on the skin and takes the eyes by surprise.  The damp atmosphere tangible in the boundary between flesh and air, exacerbated by beard and eyebrows which in their turn glisten.
31 January 2017
River risen; water flows stronger, no longer just a trickle. Spilling over obstacles the surge disturbs the silt, stirs the bed, lifts shreds of leaves we thought lost to winter. Above the dam smooth pools slowly moving hold a clarity that is lost to chaos on the other side.

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