From the East a time lapsed tide herds bison from one corrall to the next. Breath in breath out. Rivers quicken streams and sink holes. Station to street to station. Eddies, walls, hurdles lights stop start, trickle. Warmed stone and empty steel cases filled with life. Pupae of untransformation.

While automatic weapons guard hot air, a piece of glass rises on the tide submerging castles, a flood of funds in a desert of belief. Naked Indian beans lean on their braces waiting for the next moon. Breath out.

It is the summer of this winter day beneath baubled peeling planes barking the colour of their remaining leaves. A velvet drink to quench unswept airwaves.

Butterflies wrestle from bloom to bramble. Their day is done before the tide has run. Past this fading facade they will fly again.

Sea lions

Where elements favour water over air the disembodied lagoon swells with every lost breath. Vapourous dreams to feed cold stone lions. When a capsized forest of chandeliers pierce the mist from a second storey, the bustle hum of coughing engines splutter soft washing wake, delicately slapping the green clam clung fondament. Hollow hulls tap piles of oak. One million to raise a dome from the marsh, how many forests for a city?


The magnifying emotions of light. It passes unnoticed.Under this foggy canvas great washes of feeling are illuminated. Cold ink stained horizons make blue feel like glacier ice. Then from the outside, intense radiation bathes the whole visible world in warmth. With this concealing medium, space becomes light, light becomes space.

Sound helps to see, to extend senses beyond. In the open cathedral of the beech forest, the sensations of rain fill the canopy and with them space within an enormous volume, out of body.

The spider’s web is filled with fog. Mapped with jewels of dew. The crystal piste illuminated by a forest of stars.  A mountain range of light, an atmosphere caught in a pocket of silk.


November grey

Only in November can days fail to dawn. Darkness guided to dusk by streetlight. Night lifts to rest just above the tallest tree. A ragged poplar’s filigree fingers anchor this ceiling of purple grey overlay. The saturated atmosphere condensing to drip from tip to top to tip to drip.

Unusual Sounds transmit through the weight of wetness. The weir of the waterway is drowned by hundreds of tyres displacing a steady tear. Too constant for the sea, except in a strangers waking thoughts.

Headlights make an alien palette when the corners of darkness permeate this day, echoed in the shriek of a heron invisible in his elemental grey.

Losing battles


The grand copper beech drops leaves in it’s own time. The tree undresses leisurely from the outside in. The outer layers tumble in their thousands throughout October leaving end of season bruised green underwear protecting the gnarled modesty of this multi centenarian. The senescent folioles dance their crispy twisters as my yellow plastic tines attempt to out manoeuvre these restless sprites, herding them in to the slumber of numbers. A gentle gust fails to wake my mountain, but after the gust has passed-just as the light we see from stars has long since ceased to shine-hundreds of new recruits rain down. They gather in the shades of my tan leather boots, from the saturated sepia welt to the original orange upper.

Just as there was last year, there will come a day when the tree is naked and there is no more dancing with the leaves.

When planting bulbs I am reminded of Anna Pavord’s inference that gardening makes you an optimist. She argues that through the process, you realise that it is not the present that is important, but the future and your gifts to it.

My gifts were already wrapped in translucent flaking bronze skins. With a fork inserted horizontally into the turf, I levered up and peeled back, great sheets of an entire layer of life. Below the root zone of the sod, knotted pink worms have been resting out the dry end of the summer. 75kg’s of Narcissus ‘Mount Hood’ now lie with shiny black chrysalis. Waiting.


Butter yellow

This is not the melting gold reflected on the chin of a child, but the frigid block that tears up toast.

Our Aesculus x carnea is the only chestnut we have which resists the leaf miners that turn A. hippocastanum leaves to curled scratchings before summer is out. It drops pointed wedges of dairy in morning drizzle.

Bruised purple dogs curl up in shrubby mounds and a few fading cherries hang their flames like hankerchiefs dripping from a line. Their heat is only memory, insufficient to melt buttercups.

A meadow that stretches in lengthening days is half the world away.