Tall, lean, feline, black eyed Winter is aprowl high-shouldered, haughty, she swirls through branches that strain to catch her bleaches an expansive sky watches for lonely bones
This night a god will sing in the storm lay her glitter cloak over all reveal a power and deadly glory to make you question your beliefs as she slithers under doors to embrace you gnaws your bones with cold takes you
Chickens roam the aisle, having burst from their basket, but it’s only a problem when we stop to let more people on. The driver pulls us rounds tight curves blasts his horn at slower traffic squeezes between them and a sheer drop onto smoking fields.
It’s 1983 and we are climbing Etna the hard way in a local bus. Someone is praying in a low voice and there’s nothing to hold onto except each other and perhaps God. Certainly not the chickens who squawk at every bump and swerve. Three villages later we get to the hotel. It is empty, embraced by a tall curve of still glowing lava. Hailing a battered Landrover, we pay its owner to take us further see the bus turn to descend to Catania once more.
Up once more, at a steadier pace, until the driver stops. We walk over hot ground, to a raised snake of rock which we climb, until I realise it is a lava tunnel and dangerous. As we climb down you pause to take a photo and the mouth of the volcano explodes. Our terrified driver flings his vehicle around we chase after him, get in, race down past the deserted hotel down further to find the bus in a village.
We sigh with relief at the safety of the bus, Enter, find seats together. A chicken pops onto my lap You stroke her gently and a goat puts her head in yours.
The other nations of this Earth live along side us Misunderstood, undervalued, used and abused So many of us not longer see them We fortunate few may wilfully misunderstand But many see the truth, see the power and strength Even in a hen, blackbird or crow Animals are the other nations of this Earth Caught in the net of time Travellers with us on this one green globe
“….the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.” ~ Henry Beston
No matter what I say, All that I really love Is the rain that flattens on the bay, And the eel-grass in the cove; The jingle-shells that lie and bleach At the tide-line, and the trace Of higher tides along the beach: Nothing in this place.
The poetry of the BBC Shipping forecast, broadcast late each night, has filled my adult life from my university days using telescopes, via night feeding babies to now, when I often can’t sleep until well past midnight.
A typical forecast for several sea areas might be;
“Dogger, Fisher, German Bight. Southeast veering southwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6 later. Thundery showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.”
What this is telling us is that the sea areas Dogger, Fisher and German Bight are forecast to experience a SW wind direction blowing Force 4 or 5, sometimes F6 later. ‘Later’ is specifically at at time over 12 hours from the time the forecast was issued.
For those of you wondering what the first line of this poem refers to, here is a map of the sea areas covered by the forecast……
Sharing this poem in the Open link Night over at Dverse!
Dawn breaks the sky raw light floods island & ocean All birdsong ceases for just the moment when day is painted over night colour returns to us a breeze slowly lifts the sun soars, reaching for this speck of land in ocean immensity
Pico, veiled in high cloud crenulated by sister cones looms soft purple & charcoal across the strait diva of the skies, demanding attention holding the gaze stately hot tempered grand dame always beautiful, subtly threatening
Walking the Ridgeway track in a dripping autumn rabbits scatter away lollop towards the grassy mound of Waylands Smithy an ancient tomb haunted by a Norse godsmith here in troubled England but I have no horse to shoe today