1 January 2019

Quiver faint and tremulous only at the tips of the highest ash as the ice queen breathes and blows soft and silent from distant lands; anticipation waits and wonders about joining in the round; bird solitary and small swoops in and lands giving all its energy of flight to help the quiver ripple up the tree; bird waits and watches to see the undulation rise and flicker amongst the twigs then calls to tell the world the world is still alive and breathing.

2 January 2019

Light streams through trees a river all its own hurling long horizontal shadows up the hillside; wisps of not yet cloud adorn the ring of light a ghostly crown on a rising head; more light than heat this sun cannot warm the day by much; and yet it gives a sense and semblance of the heat it holds and keeps for us and will release in time.

3 January 2019

There is a place beside the path that never captures sun is always bramble-shaded and yet on mornings such as this it glows as if with magic.  Here frost settles deeper than elsewhere and those frozen crystals collect the light reflected all around and refract it back and forth until it seems to grow and almost pulse with life.

4 January 2019

There is a warmth within the wood; a heart of heat that’s held by trees and branches by oak and hawthorn all standing dormant and by brambles and by ivy still proffering leaves of green and high above by hanging clumps of mistletoe; a centred spirit created by their communal presence; and pocked around are open spots where frost has frozen earth and glazed the top with ice.

5 January 2019

Transition held in the soft and sluggish stream that feeds the river with the shallowest of drops; where beside the main run leaves cluster when they can and slow some water to a trickle allowing night’s cold to lure the liquid into that liminal phase change where it is solid and it is liquid and it is both; neither frozen liquid nor melted solid but balanced on an arete where any change must tumble to one or other.

6 January 2019

No sound it would seem within the wood save water wandering down the stream; lowered level from dry cold days and nights lets rocks sing one song and sunken branches now exposed another; and in a rivulet there is a little waterfall that cries out its call to join the journey to become a mighty river.

7 January 2019

Leaves damp and soft have absorbed the dark time mist; mist that hints of woodsmoke of decomposing litter and of the dung of animals; animals that wander warily in the wood aware of us and of each other treading softly on the leaves to leave no sound; sound that’s muffled by their softness and grasped by damp; damp that sits and waits for warmth to dissipate it.

8 January 2019

They grow and multiply from the mist that would be rain like gangs drawing children to their first illicit cigarette; become disconsolate teenagers gathering in corners whole drops coalesce in the bends and twists of branches; and some fall to be lost forever and some to land on good ground and find their feet.

9 January 2019

Sun star sets blades of grass asparkle and shines the leaves to mirrors; brings little heat amidst the magic of the shafts of light that dainty and graceful march across the leaf littered woodland floor; and through a single dew drop hanging from a bramble barb it pulls the world entire.

10 January 2019

Curved backwards along its spine like a model posing for a picture; raised high upon a bed of spiky grass lies a languorous leaf of oak; long sapped of life now marked deep white by frost upon the edges and the veins that supped the minerals and waters from the mother tree and offered back sugars of the sun; the image of a life well lived.

11 January 2019

Bright points of green fresh leaf appear; minute and largely hidden by the remains of autumn litter they peak out unsure of the route ahead.  Or are they merely leaves that have lingered and now catch the brightness of the morning sun in a simulacrum of life and not as I am hoping real growths of plants hoping for an early handhold on the ladder of a life that leads upward to the light?

12 January 2019

Not quite gone light still shines within those clouded eyes; eyes that hunt me out to track my place and speed; eyes that set upon a route and if away from me can be stopped only by a close call as hearing follows sight.

13 January 2019

Bright eyed and high tailed sometimes he sits and waits until I am done with the poultry and take the first step upon our walk; then he is off away and running released from some cage of his imagination; his nose twitching for something to chase or a scent to follow; guns stop him in his tracks whilst the dogs pull him forward to bark across the river; quivering in what I guess is fear fearlessly he claims his terroir.

14 January 2019

More than three score years and ten since they were pollarded; three times that since they were sown as border markers more than guards; a source of fuel for an oven that fed a village with its bread; now skeletons of winter they wait to leaf again.

15 January 2019

As if supplicants with arms extended trees stand with stretched out branches bare asking for warmth from the poor sun hiding behind thin clouds; or refugees from some long-lost other world in desperate need of succour.  But there are no dogs on makeshift leads nor gaunt eyed children standing by to pull at heart strings; so this must be the turning of the year and a part of some natural order.

16 January 2019

Dark green bramble leaves like decorations upon a cake are dusted white and catch the light from shallow sun that peers up from the dark of yesternight when cold came visiting and used her hands to lay a thin ethereal blanket across the earth just enough to freeze unmoving waters and coat the world in icing.

17 January 2019

A handful of birds call to greet the day fresh clear sunlit sounds that resonate amongst the trees; winter’s open spaces let them through before the leaf cover grows and shadows light and sound; for now dawn’s glow dapples in between the trunks and branches and the songs of the few travel far and wide.

18 January 2019

Dropped river levels increase its splash; rocks and debris now break the surface and gurgle like well fed babes; shallow runs set a liquid dance in motion creating swirls that sing; and branches caught between the banks become waterfalls of resonance.

19 January 2019

Rain so soft it almost fails to reach the woodland floor; holds in the air like a shadow an apparition or a vision of something too frail and fine for reality; gathers on a leaf tip slowly and steadily through the night until the first murmuring movement of morning air disturbs and starts to dry it.

20 January 2019

Mist and mizzle muddle for supremacy never quite becoming drizzle; just enough to wet the ground and leave a sheet of grease that sticks to boots and paws yet provides no traction.

21 January 2019

Thin clouds that hid the blood moon failed to hold in any heat so air is chill and hands chilled further by water for the animals now sit in pockets as we three walk and warmth is held in each my hands as between them they snuggle three fresh laid eggs carrying still the heat of hens.

22 January 2019

Buzzard brown and grey aware of us and not afraid of us rises from the ground at the woodland entry; lifts up with an energy of which we seem unaware and barely moving wings heads off along the path matching its meanderings between the trees tilting left and right to turn; and finally at the first full clearing it breaks high and flies off into its element.

23 January 2019

Branches strewn with pearls translucence washed away by night and rain they hang high in the chill sunlight that turns each one into a lens and focuses the eye and heart upon the fragility of all they see and upon the beauty that yet here resides.

24 January 2019

Age is no fair deliverer of change; no judge of who should suffer and who should be spared; yet age is the defining character that marks us for declining health; our history has some impact but is uncertain; our individual character we are told will determine our fate and in some areas it might; but in health there appears to be a set of dice rolled by someone we do not know.

25 January 2019

Parakeets mob in like jets and sharks swooping down from trees dangling from stands swinging from the feeders and frightening the yellow tits and great tits the finches and the robin and scramble at the food scattering crumbs and lumps upon the ground where squirrels gather for the feast.

26 January 2019

Black crow patrols the grounds watching warily; protecting and surveilling.  With one eye searching worms he pecks the grounds whilst the other swivels scrutinising all around.  I move and as if from nowhere he reappears displaced still pecking and still minding me.  If I dare move again I wonder if will he appear once more observing and inspecting me.         

27 January 2019

Air moves chill and strong; driving clouds like wandering sheep which tumble and jumble mumble and grumble their way above the world; sun follows dragging out its paint box and daubs the sky with colours in the manner of a child; bright and scribbled with a fist confirmed and approved of with a smile.

28 January 2019

By the pricking of my thumbs something wondrous this way comes; hands so small the fingers cannot yet my thumbs encircle; but they can grip and hold and hug to me; can to my chest hair cling and twist those in my beard; still so small that life in days and weeks and months is measured; each moment feeding sleeping crying and smiling more precious than a jewel.

29 January 2019

Age shall not wither them and yet it withers me; some days of sitting and standing and little walking registers on aging arthritic bones and joints; tolls from past injuries begin to show and luggage loaded I reach the point where I am pleased to be offered a seat on the train and am still able to resent it.

30 January 2019

Wind whistled in last night and lifted everything it could to look and sneer; but being but an adolescent storm it dumped some rain but did no real damage; then angered by its failure to impose its personality on house and home moved on to woodland and set to tearing branches limb from limb; so in the morning light we found twigs and boughs scattered along the path though nothing wider than my thumb for this had been a petulant teenager of a tempest not yet ready to to let rip with sound and fury.

31 January 2019

Cool but not the chill of frozen water; mist turning to drizzle and drizzle turning to rain in the Buggin’s turn of weather; softens earth and sets my feet to waking on this uneven ground after days of flat hard man made floors and pavements and platforms; joints ease as steps become unregimented; and softened earth rearranged by foot and paw builds tomorrow's fresh ups and downs.



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