The Combe was ever dark, ancient and dark.
Its mouth is stopped with bramble, thorn, and briar;
And no one scrambles over the sliding chalk
By beech and yew and perishing juniper
Down the half precipices of its sides, with roots
And rabbit holes for steps. The sun of Winter,
The moon of Summer, and all the singing birds
Except the missel-thrush that loves juniper,
Are quite shut out. But far more ancient and dark
The Combe looks since they killed the badger there,
Dug him out and gave him to the hounds,
That most ancient Briton of English beasts.
By Edward Thomas
Two fields over, Rooks argue
a raucous parley that
goes on and on and on
while other birds sing prettily
Here in the meadow we have knelt
as if worshipping
to peer at tiny pink blooms
wobbling on a frail stem
On the way home
we walk a green lane
lambs call behind a hawthorn hedge
a ewe responds, deep voiced
Pretty bird song
clamorous rooks, bountiful sheep
Are all remnants
Of a greater whole
Nature worn ragged
By our actions
And I feel the need to
kneel once more
and in fear
Copyright © 2019 Kim Whysall-Hammond
When you plunged
The light of Tuscany wavered
And swung through the pool
From top to bottom.
I loved your wet head and smashing crawl,
Your fine swimmer’s back and shoulders
Surfacing and surfacing again
This year and every year since.
I sat dry-throated on the warm stones.
You were beyond me.
The mellowed clarities, the grape-deep air
Thinned and disappointed.
Thank God for the slow loadening,
When I hold you now
We are close and deep
As the atmosphere on water.
My two hands are plumbed water.
You are my palpable, lithe
Otter of memory
In the pool of the moment,
Turning to swim on your back,
Each silent, thigh-shaking kick
Re-tilting the light,
Heaving the cool at your neck.
And suddenly you’re out,
Back again, intent as ever,
Heavy and frisky in your freshened pelt,
Printing the stones.
by Seamus Heaney
“Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don’t they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers.”
― Ray Bradbury
The Smell of bees
I saw my first bee today, hearing buzzing while weeding
I searched for the little fellow and found him
Bumbling around the Lungwort
Buzzing with glee in the surprise warmth
Black, gold with a red bum
Furry and indomitable
He also harvests my garden
And mine depends on his
Its relief to see a bee today, with all the talk of their demise
Poisoned by chemicals that may yet kill us
Directly, as doses build, or indirectly
As my garden companions cease to pollinate
And harvests drop
The smell of small dusty bees
Will no longer tantalise my nostrils
Nor will the fragrance of food
Copyright © 2017 Kim Whysall-Hammond
I actually saw my first Bumble Bee last week– it is warm very early here this year.