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lemon drop daffodils

enchanted, frightened, in equal measure. eloi, eloi. edges of the wild, evergreens, powerlines. a little too old-fashioned, english girl impractically nostalgic. abalone shells as altar of eros, ink stained fingers planting tomatoes and irises. foxgloves, forget-me-nots, pressed into the pages of heavy books and forgotten forever. feed the hummingbirds before breakfast, they’ll hover about the kitchen window, sing the songs that appear as they wish. mint tea in a mason jar, mountain on my chest. eloi, eloi.

march 2019:

saturday evening. lemon drop daffodils, saint julian’s day, heavenly protector of wanderers far from home and looking to find safe lodging. old man’s beard, traveller’s joy. english pear scented candles crackle. shadow and glow. earlier this afternoon*, probably the last of this winter’s snow, although it was eleven degrees and i don’t entirely understand how. tonight, though, now, raindrops race one another from the top to the bottom of my apartment windows. lavender’s burning, lilac perfume. a spoonful of elderberry syrup, a two cup teapot, i fall asleep under stars on the ceiling.

the next morning, and there are blue ribbons tied around blackthorn branches. glassy petals, magnolia spearheads pointing up. i’ve tulips bundled in string, and i am sitting on a wooden bench by a willow tree, underneath an umbrella. i’m eating a belgian chocolate twist, but only because the pastry i actually wanted was sold out, again. there is a boy sat next to me, i think he’s about 13 years old or so, and he’s got a fishing rod and a bucket filled with bait. everything is blossoming, every person is a beacon. i can hear bicycle bells in the distance.

all of a sudden, the clouds, which had before been billowy, reflections in a rippling mirror lake, block out the sun, turn shadowy black, and then break into a hailstorm better than any i’ve ever seen before. each stone, icy pearl precious beyond comprehension and beyond my ability to describe. millions of years condensed into muted iridescence, now stinging my bright red, and very cold, fingers. i attempt to catch a few. my skirt whips about in the wind, and gusts blow parting patterns on pond water. everything moves into its rightful place.

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lyra

i have guarded my heart, as hortus conclusus –
or, twisting trail of petals to tread.
all the while, venus has been wandering above us,
she’s been scattering patterns of stars overhead.
a couple fall, then catch, on the canopy,
the cypress ceiling, cosmic chancel, that shelters me.
now a capiz crescent wanes watchfully,
and the night sky is lapis lazuli.

sunken empires, seaweed forests

the sound of scissors through cellophane, upon returning home from a saturday spent with your grandfather. hours hovering about the kitchen, heart of home, heart of life, boeuf bourguignon and clattering conversations about crumbling down chapels, to be visited, along with sleeper trains to the scottish highlands, south of france summertime memories, how distant they all feel now, and there was a lecture on single malt whiskey, too.

unwrap two bouquets of the sweetest scented gypsophilia million star, and breathe it all in. stretch out the moment. flood senses. place both in their own vases on your dresser, magellanic clouds under an antique map of california. splash rose water on your face, pour sparkling wine into a portmeirion glass, it’s decorated with hand-painted sunflowers. attempt to give all of your thoughts away, for the rest of the day.

smile, and pull down the calendar that is pinned to your wall. scribble a few notes, flip a page, it is a new month, and there’s an illustration of alqualondë, or, the haven of the swans. a song about sunken empires and seaweed forests is set to repeat through your laptop speakers, as you stake some of the sweet peas that sit on your windowsill. like you, they lean into the light.

freya (diary)

it’s a stormy sunday early afternoon, and i am walking around moseley park and pool. skeleton leaf veins, looking like the finest antique lace, are catching raindrops, suspended glass spheres or kaleidoscopic crystal balls, colour captured. and there are tracing paper petals too, wild pear blossom, cherry plum, blackthorn.

i’ve got muddy knees, a soaked through coat, and am taking shelter from the (ever increasing in strength) rain under two very tall, and leafy even in the winter, trees. freya is almost here. later, when i’m home, and warm, and dry, i’ll light a few candles, the french ones, scented bluebell, and i’ll sit at my piano and listen to her as she pulls at branches, frees a tile or two from a neighbour’s roof, i think it’s possible that nature speaks only the truth.

winter bells

diary, last week of february, 2019.

 

catch alsophila aescularia in a mason jar.
cirrocumulus clouds above you, baby’s breath in your hair.
the sky is almost the same colour now as the persian speedwell
that’s scattered about everywhere,
and a bumblebee is hovering sleepily about bethlehem sage.
it’s the first you’ve seen this year.
set out a teaspoon of sugar water.
an unusually mild february. everything is waking up early.

*

the sun is on your shoulders.
you’ve jasmine petals in your pockets,
and winter bells helleborus, too.
watch as a blackbird plucks red berries from a holly bush,
one, after another, after another.

**

“there are snowdrop valleys and swiss mountain trains and by-the-wind sailors and sweet peas sprouting second leaves, there are children with clattering cans chasing bad spirits back into the ocean, the blackthorns are blossoming and they’re guarded by…” –

what are you going to do?

***

the sea is not a surface.
you have called the gods by their names,
and now they form within us.

mariner’s way

the sun is passing the sign of pisces,
a snow moon is sinking into dangerous seas.
well, a careful love was never enough for me,
and it has been found again – eternity.
it’s a spire shell tossed to a sacred well
or a sailor’s prayer set to the song of hosanna’s bell
it’s a red ribbon tied around a golden bough
and the pale yellow crocuses growing in circles now.

 

 

 

  1. mariner’s way is an ancient track that sailors once used to travel across dartmoor. people aren’t quite sure where it was, exactly, but there’s probably some ancient scroll hidden away somewhere dusty, just waiting to be discovered.
  2. hosanna’s bell can be found at buckfast abbey, it’s a benedictine monastery, they’re famous for their tonic wine, too. i’ve not tried it.
  3. sharing honest writing is very difficult for me, even on this odd public diary/blog. 

 

 

 

c. angustifolius (x stellaris)

 

lupercalia. crocus angustifolius (x stellaria).

i’ve:

– lunaria in a vase
– abalone
– seven plundered devon shells on a bathroom shelf
– an antique map of nevada
– and a framed black and white illustration of the aurora, dated 1823.

i celebrate my new home, though it’s the size of a stamp, and there’s no pool or gym or balcony like i had in las vegas or los angeles, with a picnic on the floor. brie and raspberries and what’s more, just down the road from me, an elderly lady wearing denim dungarees and a straw hat is planting yellow and purple crocuses, to be part of a flower patch opposite my old primary school. later that day, i introduce myself, and offer my help.

my sister is in love. he, she tells me, is sparry light through stained glass, and sweeter than all the moroccan almonds, it must have been hundreds, pressed into the bottle of essence currently perfuming our mother’s kitchen. the smell is somewhat sickly, which means he’s really quite something.

“i remember seeing sacks of them, you know, powdered and whole, years ago. they were being sold from wooden stalls by skinny-legged sandal-wearing ten year old boys, their homes were hidden away villages, deep in the heart of the atlas mountains. brilliant green valleys filled with blossoming trees, surrounded by the sahara.”.

similarly, she continues to tell me, he, with his corrugated emerald eyes, is at least 50 percent more perfect than all the pale pink patterns, toothpick hearts in dyed icing sugar, that i’ve been decorating the bakewell tart i’ve made, for her, for him, with. i laugh, because more than anything, i love love, and am ever so happy for her. i let her pour me a little more wine.

“did you know, the oldest love poem in the world is over 4000 years old? the song of shu-sin and inanna, goddess and daughter of divine rain/dangerous storms. or, something like that. it’s true that love outlives us. at the weekend, shall we visit a windmill? i don’t know why i want to visit a windmill, but let’s go. we ought to make sure it’s surrounded by long grass and rolling fields, the sort that turn yellow in the summer, something like those ones we visited when we were children. do you remember how much we grumbled?”.

 

(it’s my birthday next week. 19/02/91. 19/02/19 – pretty neat)

cormorant, celestia.

diary 10/02/19:

1-

cormorant. celestia. a neighbour’s budding magnolia.
fuzz, tepal, whorl. waiting for april, all
of them. or early may.
well. i am too. petals falling to the pavement on a springtime day.
i close the rusty garden gate. it swings shut behind me.

2-

the steps to the beach are steep and mossy.
approach cautiously.
solsbro. seaway.

3-

i’m the sort of person that sees signs everywhere.
spirit, salt, sailor. a compass on the pavement. sacred, sacred, sacred,
and why shouldn’t i believe in magic?

4-

the Grand Hotel is grey and ghostly
with its tearooms and towers and spiral staircases. disused, mostly.
i’ve a fondness for near-forgotten, or faded places.
there’s a rainbow over the railway bridge.
stories untold.

5-

i make it to the beach,
and the wind is sweeping seaweed like it’s tumbling russian thistle
and i’m watching waves crashing and exploring little rock-pools,
i’m looking for crabs, sea glass, oyster shells too
(a pearl or a chest or a leviathan or two)
but there are three men, better prepared than me, with a metal detector,
i suspect they’ve stolen all the treasure,
and the sunlight’s bouncing off the water.
so i give up. skip stones on the sea.
i never learnt to throw them properly. they immediately sink.
i think a storm is blowing in.

daffodils (diary)

this is the gift of the soul, before the body surrenders,
and like sunlight on saltwater, breaks into impossible colours.

 

07.02.19:

a single new bloom wild daffodil grows at the top of vicarage hill. people used to believe that they would appear where once ancient temples, or monasteries, stood. holy ground, tread with reverence.

muddy red clay paw prints meander about the pavement. there are mosses and mushrooms, too, growing along the shadowy banks of oak-shaded lanes. i’m thinking about how strange and splendid all of this is, how it’s already beginning to feel like the start of a new season. each day, increasing numbers of snowdrops and crocuses spring into their brief being. i can hear gulls, in the distance, they’ll be gliding around the harbour, over rooftops, between spires. a sea-birds’ choir.

 

sunlight, transformed.

diary 04.02.19

 

i am two hours out of london, now
my train is speeding faster, now
and the horizon stretches out vaster than it has before.
there are rolling meadows, ancient hedgerows, mythical moors
and snow-tinged distant hilltop tors.

this is our inherited land.
this is not at all what we had planned,
but there are shipwrecked sunken boats and silver tidal sands
shifting and settling like swept in stardust. last night, it stormed.
i’ve got to trust that all of this is sunlight, transformed.