Friday, 24 January 2014

2014 ~ Year of the Horse

Driving through the New Forest

The ponies run free
New Forest skies fill their eyes
Ears to the wild sea

The Horse (Rhiannon's Dream)

After all these years
Lying down my head
Bed of stones
Flesh of clay
And all around a forest grows
Trees of dreams
Leaves of wind

And in the rushing air
I thought I heard you smile
For me
Love, like the angel's flaming hair
And silver horses running free
The dove before the storm
Waiting for me

And I will stay here
A horse carved out of my bones
For you
Until love is returned to me
Like silver horses running free
I'll carry this storm
Waiting for you

After all these years
Lying down my head
Bed of stones
Flesh of clay
And all around a forest grows
Trees of dreams
Leaves of wind

I would walk again a Dorset year

I would walk again those spring tides
The unsettling shift of shingle slides
And all the spray in rainbows spun
Against the high tide harbour flung

Dried seaweed crackles underfoot
A cuttlefish, a long lost boot
A razor-shell, and old, tarred rope
The beached turtle of an upturned boat

My steps are swamped by the shifting stones
The air pungent with bleached fish bones
And the sea is wild and free and rare
Shaking horses from his hair

I would walk again those summer lanes
With leafy boughs and murmuring streams
And overhead in the whistling sky
A lark song lost to cloudless eyes

White campion, ragged robin, cow parsley and wild garlic
All choke the low brook and wreathe a hedgerow garland
And underfoot the warm, worn tread of stile and chalk stone
Climbing up across the harvested flank of the hillside
To find the view all lost in a late haze
Sweet slumbering landscape on which to gaze

I would walk again those cold autumn cliffs
Towering above the wind drowned waves
Their buttress trees all torn into shapes
While scattered crows shout down the droves
As blackberry pocked and flinty scree
The valleys clamber to the sea

A sheep's wool twist caught on the wire
The seagulls loud lamenting choir
The whip crack cold cutting through my coat
And sea salt burning in my throat

I would walk again those winter fields
The frost cracked branches bare of leaves
And slide across the frozen bow
To where the river slowly flows
Hugged by mist-hung willow trees
Catching dew-strung cobwebs about my knees
Across the bank a rook coughs twice
And beats a path home for the night

And under early stars and greenish sky
The first snowflakes fall and fly
And I am certain standing here
I would walk again a Dorset year

In the shadow of Tilbury Fort

In the shadow of Tilbury Fort
A grey pony paces his ground
Without so much as a second thought
For the regiments once marching
Behind those brick walls
Now long gone to battle
To fight bloody wars
And the wind in his mane
Is as wild as the sea
While the smell of the salt marsh
Reminds him he's free

Above him a cormorant surfs a blue sky
Punctuating chimney stacks into giant eyes
No coal now to these mud slackened shores
Power station's closed, locks on the doors
There's not much round here any more
In the shadow of Tilbury Fort

Musket and cannon
The chalk and the drill
The barrels of powder
One spark could kill
Air raid sirens
And barrage balloons
Bombs meant for the city
Falling too soon
And the echo of marching
Behind those brick walls
Is lost in a wind as wild as the sea
And the rub of the salt marsh
Where ponies run free

Deep Mystery
Swimming up on the shore
With my water wings
Scales falling from my eyes
I'm back to the tide line
To hear the sand sing
Dragging the seaweed rhythm
Is there where I see the sunrise?

The wild horses couldn't keep me in my grave
And I'm washed up and not feeling to brave
Guess then, I'm on my knees to pray
Come Neptune, be my king
Not drowning, just need to sing
Dragging the seaweed rhythm
And when we smile it'll be a sunrise

All our lives pour into the sea
And yet it still retains deep mystery

Monday, 20 January 2014

Birds in the garden and on the TV this week

If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit of a birder and so I am delighted that tonight sees the return of the BBC's Winterwatch programme, this year based up on the Mar Lodge Estate in the Scottish Highlands (field fare, red wing, ptarmigan, black grouse...) providing us all with a chance to get up close and personal with our wonderful native wildlife. Then at the weekend is the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch a great way to observe nature first hand in the garden.

If, like me, you regularly participate in the Big Garden Birdwatch only to have barely a bird turn up on the day, then you'll appreciate the following list of some of the birds that have visited the garden over the years but probably won't visit this weekend! For information about birds and local events try the BTO website and the RSPB  and good luck with your Big Garden Birdwatch surveys. 

female black cap

male bullfinch

fledgling blue tit

green woodpecker

willow tit 






tree creeper

collared doves with fledgling

long tailed tits

wood pigeons

great spotted woodpecker


Website Links:

BBC Winterwatch Programme  ~