1 October 2019

There is a welcome moistness to the soil which has lain too long dry and now its pale milky coffee brown gives way to the deep dark espresso that lets loose its ability to hold and handle more living things in every teaspoon than there are people on the earth.

2 October 2019

More subtle than in spring the greens are changing with the season; memories of acid greens long gone give way to deeper and darker shades; held light on high where ash and poplar grace the sky down through the storeys and the stories to the creeping bramble with its cheerless leaves shadowed to a green that is almost wicked in its depths.

3 October 2019

Summer has stolen away and slipped off with heat to go dance in warmer climes leaving little in the way of balmy air; so sloes are looking proud knowing they will last to winter frosts whilst nettles fade into a stingless senility and brambles look surprised to see their deep black berries almost gone to autumn scavengers.

4 October 2019

Buzzing quietly my passengers in their tens of thousands express their displeasure at being shut in their hives and transported for some hours.  I have air and light a bee suit and anti-venom drugs whilst they are strapped and jammed in place doors stuffed with foam and sealed with gaffer tape and then draped with blankets smelling of dog; there is nothing natural about driving down the road with bees.

5 October 2019

New participants to the plot buzz out for early flight; some boldly exploring their environs and eyeing up the incumbents whilst others peer slowly around the door wondering where they are and pushed forward by those behind they step upon the sill and scan about; then bravest step out into the air.

6 October 2019

Dampness differentiates between the greens that autumn would slide into a single colour; a rain so soft it is worthy of Cumbria it gathers in the trees and waits on branches to slip and slide on fur and neck and finally to start to fill the river unlike recent rains that have soaked into dry earth and stayed; almost a mist at moments that ghosts about behind the eye.

7 October 2019

Cool enough for coat; a phase change in the season as we cease measuring the heat of summer and the warmth of early autumn sun to assessing the coolness and the chance of drizzle in terms of clothing before the next when rain will be gauged in stair rods and cold in depths of ice upon the water troughs.

8 October 2019

Drizzle misting into mist and mist drizzling into drizzle so faint it feels like the remnants of some passing fog of yesteryear or perhaps the ghost of some minor past indiscretion unintentionally brushing against the intangible invisible and all but indistinguishable barrier that separates the worlds.

9 October 2019

Scattered out in little groups nestled in the dampness of the grass a plethora of walnuts is waiting for collection; some find their way into my pockets deep and dark; some are crunched by young dog and by old; some will be found by squirrels and feed them through the winter; and one perhaps or two will seed into the earth and begin another cycle.

10 October 2019

High but hardly soaring on a thermal thinned by autumn the curve of rising road the only source the pair of buzzards take the hill with greater ease than plodding man; and as food fades in these cooling days I wonder do these great birds consider plucking some small vehicle from off the tarmac to taste the meat inside.

11 October 2019

Low slung gold tumbles down the gentle dew dropped hillside turning it into a silver sea before it spills into the woodland and turns the leaves to standards of burnished brass bramble barbs to swords of silver and walnut shells to fallen shields.

12 October 2019

Chill air greets the day heat having gone from an almost cloudless night now leaves the sky free for the sun to rise cast her shadows and spread her warmth.

13 October 2019

Wind rattles the leaves gently and my immigrant ear hears the drying of the grass along with the complexities of the Sunday morning guns whilst a gentle rustle in the trees followed by a thwack brings back memories of leather on willow but this is a walnut released from on high to rebound from a branch and fly forth to and fall on wider ground.

14 October 2019

A trail upon the ground walnuts golden when they catch the sunlight leading on step by step around the tree; a fairy ring that might have been had the river bank not intervened upon one side; and how many nuts have floated slowly off upon the current?

15 October 2019

Finally the river speaks sufficient water having worked between the sods and stones to filter in and fill the bends and join the meandering journey; and at the tipping point on rocks water spills over shingles and starts to sing the song of water to be voiced through the winter until the next dry season.

16 October 2019

Wind has whipped the tree tops and shaken out the branches; the weakest fall and tumble through the canopy; some hang amongst their brethren swaying in the breeze; others reach the ground and litter out the woodland; and one took down a vast great spray of mistletoe a harbinger of the turning of the year.

17 October 2019

Death and the Moment

Death does not come in a moment
She does not wait upon the door
Not an event more a process
That happens in a stretch of time

Rarely can we discern the start
Comes a time we see the method
Be it short or be it longer
We will know the end is coming

And as the mind or body fails
Or both begin miscarrying
Extremities lose their burden
In a manner quite disordered

And you who sit and hold the hand
You know when fragments have been lost
Time when death begins in earnest
Changes to another rhythm

And when the corpse is still and cold
When the house is stilled and silent
Love is beating and breathing still
Life does what only spirit can

And in the hearts and memories
Of those who loved and still do love
There is a life a living one
Who lives not lost not dead not gone

Recalled retained relived reloved
And death must stand aside and wait
Whilst those loving ones remember
However dim and old the thoughts

However sharp and clear the face
Whilst it is held in hearts and loved
Then the course is not yet finished
And death truly has not chanced

18 October 2019

And one day there are none, none at all, just empty black skins leeching into earth. The last walnut has been and gone; gone to squirrels; gone to humans; gone to dogs who look about and sniff and cannot understand why there are none to crunch.

19 October 2019

Earth has gone from moist to wet to sodden to puddled and in places small lakes are holding conversations about convergence; all to be swept clear by a growing river that is shifting debris that has lain in shallow spaces amid the shadows or rested upon sloping banks to admire the summer.

20 October 2019

Between the raindrops the air is crystal clear; each leaf and blade each flower and twig every stone and sodden clump of earth is vibrant and distinct unblemished in all its flaws; torn leaves shine with their inner beauty and branches damaged by the years stand true and clear and clean.

21 October 2019

Mist envelops the world dense yet ethereal thin and fine yet with a weight of water; and that water liquifies upon leaf and twig on blade and bough; and just enough adheres to one high limb weakened by the winds of autumn and the drying action of the summer sun to load it sufficiently that one more drop becomes the tipping point that breaks the branch and releases it to tumble grumbling to the earth.

22 October 2019

Crucified upon a tree a branch hangs where it fell from high in the canopy; nature creates its own strappado with arms stretched backwards and legs twisted frozen in a spasm; or a metamorphosed insect pinned upon a board that will hang until limbs rot and release can come.

23 October 2019

Waters run full and soft and almost silent; no longer summer's tumbling over rocks or spilling across fallen branches but viscous thick and with a sense of slowness that belies the flow; surface smooth and soft-hearted calm welcoming and hushed.

24 October 2019

Stillness holds the space in a cloak of infinite feathers subtle and supple and almost warm and oh so gentle; autumn birdsong softly infiltrates as we move into the wood songs of summer past of wonders that have been of places far and near and conversations of the coming cold of nests and shelter and of eggs and young.

25 October 2019

Plummeting it descends I miss the stoop and catch only the feathers hurtling past the corner of my eye; I feel but do not see the strike know that prey did not escape; then climbing on beating wings showing all the effort needed to lift the limp vole the harrier rises above the vegetation and takes off for the skies.

26 October 2019

The smell it is that registers that we call the smell of the sea the smell that tells me oysters are available for dinner; it curls about the nostrils plucking at the senses invoking ancient memories of holidays beside another sea when life was simpler and seemed safer.

27 October 2019

At the margin where the sea washes in and out across the shallowest of slopes the waves are gentled and softened; seaweed settles in strands upon the strand as if placed gently by a parent; and amongst the flotsam and jetsam a seaweed tree hard and rigid no bigger than a hand and decorated with broken mussel shells and coagulations of sand.

28 October 2019

Home ground littered with the falling leaves; sharp green blades of ash; oak fading from green to a pale golden yellow and beech and poplar gone from green to a darker yellow that now mottles to a brown that begins to disappear into the very earth.

29 October 2019

A blanket draped across the low hills to either side the mist lies above us with all its weight of water but in our shallow valley it is thin the air is clear and the little birdsong is subdued; liquid oozes down from up above coalesces upon the leaves and drips irregularly or scatters across our backs when wind shakes the branches.

30 October 2019

Fresh fallen or soon to go hold all the beauty of the turning leaves catch the viewer and hold the eye whilst underfoot long lost to colour and gone to earthly brown those that fell a year or more ago are slowly breaking down fading into skeletons and turning into soil as the creatures of the underground take them grain by grain and molecule by molecule into the hidden world beneath our feet.

31 October 2019

Mists and mellow fruitfulness ‘tis true but also rain rattling on rooftops all evening and night now oozed and sluiced and streamed into the river that has filled almost to its banks and rages as only little rivers can; not flooding sprawling or brawling but tantruming at turns where broken branches churn the waters fretting and crying at tree roots that impede the flow and sighing despondently at leaves that cluster in the stream and smudge the smoothness.



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