Saturday, 13 May 2017


I thought that people here talking of a drought were being a little over-dramatic, but two weeks of bright sunshine certainly checked the growth of the grass and I have yet to hear the drone of forage harvesters cutting silage.  Just a bit more time for the early purple orchids and the ground nesting birds (in nearby fields a couple of pairs of curlews embody the triumph of hope over experience).

A fine steady rain began early yesterday evening and continued until after 7 this morning.  I woke to a transformed garden.  On the trees the green leaves were "all in a rush" as Hopkins wrote.   During the last six months I could look out of the kitchen window and see the road half a mile away.  Recently there have just been glimpses of the traffic but today the road is completely invisible.  My garden is totally enclosed by the leaves.

The delft porcelain blue and white of the bluebells and wild cherry blossom has gone.  White petals have blown away like snowflakes and the bluebells are starting to shrivel and fade.

On the grass verges the cheerful yellow of the ubiquitous dandelion has been replaced by the greyish white "clocks" that, as a child, I loved to blow.


Soft fontanelle of flower
geodesic gossamer
puffball of light

one day everything is green and yellow
a week later a million poised parachutes
strain between delay and departure

a child's view of time
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10
fragile indestructible ephemeral

these clocks belie the sundial's hours
tell the blowing child of freedom
seeds floating into the future

whirligig of hairs reaching out
each fruit hooked
to lodge in the earth

lion's tooth root devouring time

© Mary Robinson 2010

from The Art of Gardening Mary Robinson (Flambard 2010)

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