Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Sunday Walk.

It was closer to 11 than 10.30am when we, me & Gwyn, set out, Sunday 3rd May, under a cool grey, aloof sky. It didn't threaten, but nor did it show promise, or friendliness, just disinterest, ennui maybe. Along the road from home, said sky dropped some large drops of rain, , then nothing, then a slowly rising drizzle, for the next half hour or so, this built into a full on shower, all the way through Digley Wood.

There were few if any other walkers, so the simple but beautiful cacophany of Spring bird-song went pretty much undisturbed, and without challenge.

All manner of “Tits”, and Sparrows, House & Hedge, Robins, Blackbirds, Nuthatches, Tree-creepers, Pigeons and allsorts accompanied us to the reservoir.....

High-singing, piping Curlews, slightly more aggresively acrobatic Lapwings, with their distinctive voices, and the jarring occasional Pheasant joined in and took a more open-aired prominence, as we approached the reservoir. They too were then accompanied by the Larks and Pipits, Fieldfares, and crows.......An occasional Jay patrolled, looking for nests no doubt......

I noticed the ragged state of the fence at the top of the steps, up from the old Digley Road, in the wood, a section had vanished, not that it was all that brilliant to start with, and if there were any sheep in that field, they would have no barrier to going for a wander.....I made a mental note to mention it to Anne if I saw her.

Rounding the corner onto the reservoir embankment road, Anne randomly appeared, in the truck, and drove straight past me, though I got a wave, she didn't stop, even when I shouted, and waved like a loon trying to attract her attention......

Originally I had thought I would start the next section of the walk, by starting on the old Digley circuit, from the Holme end, and then turning off up to Issues & the school, and then on to Yateholme......but I noticed that I had a follower, another man on his own, with a dog, about a hundred yards behind, though thought not much of it. But, as I approached the now blocked-off car-park, I heard the sound of an approaching quad. The fields above the car-park are Anne & her family's, with sheep, and cattle, a large rickety looking, if serviceable barn, with an old red Massey, or something, along with all manner of accumulated and mostly farming-related “stuff”. The quad came around the bend above the car-park, and I flagged it down. I don't know the lad's name, though I know that I really should, as I've known him to say hello to, as they say, for years, but I'm pretty sure he's her son. I asked if they had any sheep on Digley banking, and told him about the fence.

We parted company, but in the meantime, the dog-walking pursuer had caught me up, and taken the Digley circuit path, through the closed car-park, so I casually changed my mind, and continued along the road to Holme Village.......

I could hear a Cuckoo in the woods by the old Water-Board cottages by Brownhill Res, and came to “Holme Castle.” Which is nothing of the sort, but a large house, latterly Hotel, then a private house again, which has castellated features....... but is as close to a castle as I am to a brain surgeon. Since reverting to being a house, it has acquired a mill-stone as a name plate, declaring “Holme Castle Number One” but why it's that I have absolutely no idea, it's hardly as if there might randomly be a “Holme Castle Number Two” (or Three....etc) anywhere....but it wears it well I suppose, posey nonsense nevertheless.

Here Gwyn & I turned left to “Uncle Arthur's” old home “Underhill”. Famous for a while in the 70s, with various broad-sheets and TV appearances, even a spot on Blue Peter if memory serves, and the winner of various accolades from erstwhile Architectural organisations, for it's unconventional design. “Underhill” was effectively a shot at a contemporary “Hobbit House” being built more or less underground. Alas the only time I ever managed to cross the threshold was prior to it's completion, and so I never saw it first hand in it's full glory, complete with a central swimming-pool.......I kid you not.

I recall a rectangular “box” void underneath the place you'd expect to find a normal internal door-mat, if you had one, which I was told was going to house the house “safe”, though how true that was in the end I have no idea, but if it was a man-trap instead, then an intruder might well have a broken ankle to show for it......I climbed down the stainless steel ladder into the empty pool, bare concrete, prior to being tiled, which was under a glass dome, could have been perspex I suppose, which was explained as being a very good way of “drawing light in” which didn't make a lot of sense back in those days, but maybe does a bit more now.

Arthur sadly passed away not all that long ago, but pre-virus and he had sold “Underhill” a few years ago, though not for the £ million he'd initially asked can't take it with you after all.

Gwyn & I took the footpath down the side of the property, the lower, Holmbridge side, and the volume of bird-song began to rise again, to my pleasure, if Gwyn didn't seem all that “plussed” about it. The nearest Cuckoo obliged, several times, but visually remained elusive.

We dropped down along the blue-bell banks through the woods to the little foot-bridge across the stream, and water-fall, as so many times before, and as a few brief interludes previously, stopped for a breather, but more to bathe in the atmosphere, and feel the beauty.


The heavenly moment, the song of the brook, the steady rush of the falling silvery curtain of a million, million wet couldn't last, though was hardly changed since my earliest childhood decades ago. The first of many later mountain bikers bounced down the path opposite, a steepish, very rocky and rough course, and slightly squeaky brakes into the mix..... and an ocasional swear word, collectively shattering the tranquility, which simply slid away down the valley with the stream, and away from my thoughts........

We made our way steadily, no real reason to rush after all, up the same path, with its exposed rocky under-layers, stepping as far out of the way as we sensibly could, when necessary. for a couple of pairs of walking couple, and another couple of bikers.

Turning the corner, there's a choice, a continuation of the directional path, down through the res woods to the banking between Brownhill and Ramsden Reservoirs, and a right turn towards the West, and subsequential further decisions..... we took this, onto the side of the grassy moor known as Netherley. My (not “our”, Gwyn doesn't yet have a direct say in these things) unofficial goal was to navigate to Yateholme Res, from where William had alerted me only yesterday, when I was on a related but different route, to the presence of an Osprey.

I am fairly certain in hindsight that we had both had a fleeting glimpse of it, prior to parting company on the road between Riding-Wood and Ramsden, but too far away to be totally sure, but it definitely didn't look like a Buzzard, and was way too big for a Peregrine. It was also too far away for my 250mm lens..... After I had walked back towards home at the time, nearly as far as Moss Edge, William texted to say that he could see the Osprey over Yateholme....bum! Gwyn, and Bonny the Beagle (Mum & Dad's) who I have been walking since not long after “lock-down” had to about-turn with me, when I made the decision to chance a walk up Ramsden Clough, (Monkey Nick), to chance a view.....I couldn't resist..... We didn't see it, but I digress.........I never need an excuse to go that way.

Returning to the narrative of Sunday, we're on the path along and across Netherley. It's a funny one, as it's mostly obviously actually a constructed “path”, being raised for the most-part in a stone structure, above what may well be somewhat and sometimes swampy and boggy reed-beds, though they were relatively dry when we passed.. An echo down from past generations, and situations.

I thought I knew the moor well, but, as most of the times I have crossed it before, I had no reason to stick to paths, following hounds, I wasn't familiar with the route, and found it turning away from my goal......towards the Holme Moss road, I had so miscalculated........

The path delivered us to the track, rather than the actual tarmacced road, so we took the left and set our course for the South, and Yateholme Res.

Here the level of Mountain bikers intensified. Strange days indeed. But how can I complain whilst being “out” too....? I counted over forty in the next half hour alone..... How the lock-down has persuaded so many to dig their bikes out of the backs of their garages and sheds, is probably a “good thing”, but I have noticed that about roughly ten percent of them didn't dig out their courtesty at the same time. They, the ten percent, can't manage a “hello” or “Hi” or something to save their lives. It really saddens me when people are defiicient in “common courtesy”. Perhaps they are just shy, but I see it as simply “rude”.

The track has deteriorated too, as well as manners, quite significantly since I used to use it regularly while riding. The old bits you used to be able to “give your horse it's head” and have a proper full-on gallop, aren't even safe or suitable these days. Time doesn't always heal some things, but entropy always increases.

More walkers, more Cuckoos, that must be seven at least I've heard on this one walk alone.....invisible buggers.....! At one point I could hear three in different parts of the woods, all competing, or flirting, I have no idea which, with each other.......

Then the throaty sound of an engine, or two as it turned out, approached from the front. Two enormous road-bikes, not sure what they both were, but the first was definitely a BMW. The rider ignored me and Gwyn. At least the second one nodded to acknowledge my standing to one side for them. About five minutes later, they must have reached the main road, and the subsequent roar of their engines as they opened up to race to the summit of the Moss was enough to drown out every scintilla of bird-song completely, even from such a distance....... My soul sank.

In the moments before, we had “pulled-over”, as it were, to let some hard-walking, speedier types to march past “safely”..... (The “marchers” dismay me, as I am one who likes to look, smell, listen, and live the moment, and place......but each to their own.) When they passed we rounded the corneer onto the wooden planked section, over the bridge. I could see how much distance our break had alllowed the speed-walkers to make up.....over a hundred yards, at least....

Coming to another gate nearby, the avian music picked up again, accompanied by numerous pheasants, harsh and random, and an occasional, more distant, cackling Grouse.....Curlews, a distant owl, baa-ing sheep, neaer to the village somewhere out of view, and then, something hard to describe....

I saw two birds further up the hill, on the more open bit of the banking, grassy, not heathered, but white-grass, and bracken. I couldn't tell what they were, but at the time thought “Cuckoos”....but given where they were, and how they flew, very low, and straight, I could rule several other contenders out whatever. I didn't think they were Cuckoos, as, scant though my experience of them might be, they didn't feel “right”, I'd like to think they were Nightjars.....and aim to go back to see again as soon as I get chance, but it's a long walk from here!

I waited, and waited, but the characteristic repetitive, almost digital, trill was not forthcoming, instead, from seeper in the woods, several sounds that I can only describe as like “someone blowing (not 'playing') an individual organ pipe”....I know that probably doesn't conjure up the right thought, but if you strain to imagine it, then add the sound of someone blowing actross a glass bottle with liquid in might half get the mental structure/sound...!I haqve never heard it before, but it wasn't a Pheasant, of that I am dead certain, even if it was in a similar key/tone. It was so distinct, and the pheasants were giving their own versions on and off at the same time, so it stood out.....It sounded sort of ethereal, but natural, not animal, or humans messing around.

A mystery.

It didn't happen more than a few times, and my vain efforts to attempt to capture it on my phone's “Voice Recorder”amounted to nothing. Eventually I gave up and set off again....

More rumblings, loads of Mountain bikes, more walkers, social-distance aware, and then a couple who clearly weren't remotely bothered about either jmy personal health security or theirs. I couldn't step further back than the dry-stone wall, but under the circumstances found myself holding my breath just in case.......mad world. Then, there was peace.

A non-speaking family, dumpy children, one of each, both very well-fed, roughly pre-teen, and a grumpy dark-curly-haired, and bearded, short but quite round man, maybe forty or so, appeared. I was apparently totally invisible to them, The younger ones didn't even look at me, and the man ignored my “Hello” altogether, though I deliberately caught his eye and slightly increased my persoanl volume, as I could see he was going to be not someone I would want to get stuck in a lift with, as they say....and wanted to make a point.

The thing that really struck me about the whole scene was that the frizzy, short round man, rumbling along on a bike that didn't like him, and probably vice versa, had a smartish looking Cocker Spaniel.....on a lead. I kid you not. While he was bouncing around, on a bike he was clearly unaccustomed to, on a rough, fairly decently sloped old track.

Every now and then he very harshly tugged at the far too short lead, causing the dog to tumble backwards, or, more than once to fall on it's side, or roly-poly, while he bounced along on the bike..... I watched as the front wheel nearly crunched the dog's chest, but just missed. I watched as the wheel nearly hit the dog's neck, it's back get the picture. Make that picture worse.

I could barely watch, but like the accident on the other carriage-way that you know you shouldn't look at, your curiosity gets the better of you...... The lead-jerks were accompanied at times by a “bark” from the man, not the poor dog, and a lot of swearing, again, from the man.

The two chubby kids, and bouncing father passed by, thankfully without any dogs dying,

At a modest distance behind, at a much slower, careful and cautious pace, followed a mousy, slender, very drawn looking, and grey woman, also on a bike that she was clearly unfamiliar with...... Tiny and hollow eyed, tired, pale, frizzy “strawberry blonde” hair. But at least she smiled and did say “Hello”.....Her eyes told me everything I didn't want to know. She looked so sad.

Gwyn and I sat again, and I got my phone out to look up “Nightjars” and I convinced myself that they definitely were not what I'd heard, but I was now sure that they were almost certainly what I'd seen! I was surprised by how happy this made me, I think sometimes that I don't actually know myself..... I love the natural world, but my curiosity is driving me these days more than ever before, and it was always healthy......

Another Cuckoo echoed in the wood below me. I heard my first a couple of weeks ago, and its May 3rd as I write this. It's not important, really but I do remember newspapers printing letters from various like-wise weirdos claiming their own “first cuckoos” back in the halcyon days of yester......

I stood, and the very tired Gwyn did too, and so on we went. There were four Buzzards, slowly and very high up, circling, crying their instantly recognisable calls, and coasting the thermals from the slopes of Twizzlehead, and then they drifted away over the tops and out of sight. Frustrating, but lovely to see.....

The whistles, cheeps, trill, of the mass birdong came back to prominence in my awareness again, and the lovely “safe” feeling of peace and what I think of as a “Pagan” love flowed in my thoughts, and veins again. Peace. Understanding, and experience.

A few breaks in the clouds started to come through, a touch of the clear blue we've been so spoiled with here and there. It's hard to carry negative when bathing in beauty.

A solitary man, in (very) orange lycra, immaculate, probably brand-new, and wearing a black shiny cycling helmet, bright red face, glistening with his own heat moisture.....puffed, sweated, and panted up the gentle slope as we were descending. I sympathised a little.... momentarily.

Again, he didn't reply to my genuine convivial greeting, and I wasn't sure I had actually expected him to, if I'm honest, as oxygen is less than twenty one percent these days, apparently, and he needed every bit he could get.

There were two Cuckoos further up Ramsden Clough,(Monkey Nick) as we approached Riding Wood Res, calling and replying to each other. Nice, I thought.

I heard the steady random rumble of a bike, the orange man had returned. I noticed he was wearing two Go-Pro's (other brands are available, but I have no idea what) both front and back of his shiny brand new helmet.......excuse apostrophes, I think I'm right as it's an “unusual” word thing. Maybe there's an exception....

I didn't give him the generally accepted “One-fingered hand-signal” I had internally thought about. Just as well, as he stopped on te the road across the res wall a hundred yards in front of me.

Orange Man then took a long slug from a matching plastic orange water-bottle, and started on his phone. It's not like I was concentrating on him, my senses were still full of light, beauty, huge three-dimensional woodland scenes, bird-song, and the lovely piney smell of the woods, and the slightly irritating, to my sinuses right now, pollen/dust that worries me so much in and of our current times.......but he was getting my attention, as they were all efectively stable....I must be a bit trivial in my attention to detail at times......jsut not when it matters, maybe.

So, he's in one of the most beautiful parts of the district, and he is fiddling with his phone. I don't know if he couldn't get a signal, or had just read a heart-breaking message, or something banal, fingers crossed for something good.... After a few minutes of standing and looking like an orange obscenity, banal or not, his phone went back into his pocket.

Gwyn had slowed down a bit by the time I'm describing. She's knocking on the door of twelve, and has arthritic moments and gets a bit foot-sore at times, and it's a rough track at that point, but she is getting some slighty challenging walks, with, when it's needed, some Rimadyl help, but she's happy. She was “loitering” and so I waited a bit. You might say we were dawdling a bit …..

The Orange Man was clearly going nowhere though, so I took the opportunity to comment on just how f-ing beautiful it all truly was.

To my slight relief, he agreed, maybe his oxygen levels had caught up a bit, I don't know. He couldn't manage to use any of it the lst time I'd said “Hello..”

A random Sand-Piper obliged by doing a quick fly-past on the res wall. We both saw it, and I said “Sand-Piper”. He mentioned “Yellow Wagtails” which lead into a small correction, but I thought about dodging it, then decided to “do the right thing”........More Cuckoos obliged us both, further up the valley.......Was one of “those moments”.

Then the pheasants called their replies, so harsh, and warning. A pair of white birds, I have no idea what, not doves, or gulls, flew into the woods, and vanished.

We passed the time, not much, just a bit, and I left him there, as his red face started to return to a more human sort-of colour......

Chaffinches, Nuthatches, Sparrows, Robins, various Tits and so on, accompanied us onwards, as so often. We came to the old trough, then the Yateholme car-park, and the man who carries his nearly-but-not-quite-dead-cat everywhere, to various places aound the area....sits with it, in the open air, then takes it home to whatever hell they share. The man and his cat were at the picnic table by the car park, he fiddled with his phone, while the cat tried hard not to die. As we've crossed paths, in very similar circumstances, I acknowledged him, and got a response, limited, but it never relly ever turned into a conversation, so I wasn't expecting much, if anything. His own personal hell.

Then, what I am sure was a Peregrine shot past and upwards, fantastic! I know there's a pair of them close by, but can't find them when I try, hey ho.

We wandered closer to home, and occasionally checked over the wall, as I've seen all sorts down there over the years I've been here, but nothing but little tiny flits of feathered things at high speed, and sunny lit shadows of forgotten and hidden places, No Roe, or foxes, or hippies, or anything really.

We approached the water-works, and two wrens were going at it, like really, not “hand-bags at dawn”, but a proper full-on scrap! What a racket two tiny little birds can make in full combat mode....... Another moment when you bring the camera up to bear as quick as possible, and then they're wasn't a gentleman's scrap. It was proper “full-on”......

No sign of the Black-Caps I saw last week, but missed with the camera, which is being a pain at the current time, that's another story. Never mind, they might still be there in the next few weeks, after all, they've come all this way to migrate here, to breed, and the weather's good......

They're not terribly dramatic in form, just Tits, with a distinct and literal “Black cap”.

But hey, you've got to follow the things that you're interested in.

Down the road, past St David's Church, and homewards, slowly, steadily. Gwyn is now dictating the pace, as she really is foot-sore.

Home for bacon and a strong tea.

Perfect Sunday walk. Nicer with company, but these are the days we're in.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

52nd Street With Perfect Vision

The Healing Process.

Great black tumbling storm,
Pauses, coughs and gently,
Slowly, with purpose....

Backs out of the sky,
Western horizon.

Rain lightens, a sun-beam,
Rain stops, trees dripping.

The ducks shake their coats,
And appear on this glass stage,
To dance again, bends, and circles,

An audience before the pure,
Emerging tendrils of tree feelings,
Root, branch and leaf unfurling.

Clouds part at last,
The big reveal,
Infinite blue.

Boundless heart lands and surveys all,
Pauses, coughs and gets on with
                                                        The healing process.


No words of darkness,
Rain and storm winters,
Closed stove doors and cosy night,
Faith that better days,
Breaking clouds.....
New tide of hopes,
Shoots, breaking soil with promises,
Buds glistening in howling gales....

No towering fells of despair,
Sheltered valleys of loving,
Wild streams carrying fear away,
Returning geese, a hundred or more,

A secret smile, a tight hug,
Remembered dreams, hopes, laughter,
Inner strength, re-lit fires,
Friendship, loves, dawn of new self-belief.

Chainsaw Bits

I get bits in my eyes
Chainsaw, strimmer cutting brush,
Blower, mower, tri-star....

Hours and more eye-rubbing,
Haven't found a cure, but sleep
Seems to help, tears and grit.

I get bits in my soul,
Poems, songs, scents, photos,
Spoken thought, candid, human....

Hours, eye-watering, head-heating,
Self-questioning, fault finding,
Haven't found a cure, not sleep...

No help, just grit and
No safety-glasses.

Just dancing stupidly with
Prose tinted longing and
Brush-cutting regrets, bits.


There are far too many times,
When calling it a day, and going to bed,
Feels like “defeat”, giving up,
And, so sad, so welcome, sleep fights,
A sorry battle, to a sorry morning,
                                                      And a hamster wheel.


It's a strange old not-friend,
You remember from school or,
College or whatever, but fiction,

It is real, an internal real,
You know it's there, you dance,
You circle, with a hedge-trimmer,
Internally, or at least secateurs,

Keeping the hawthorn or hollies at bay,
Dance, circling the place you can't avoid.

Just don't give-up,
It was just meant to test,
To change, to challenge,
But we've got this, really,
The foggy December morning,
Carries hope, and a promise,
Happy tomorrows,
It's a test.
A strengthening.

Cliche Trap

Don't dilute your written dreams with
Obvious cliches,


Black dogs, man waving,
Cliff edges
Scents of someone else's imaginings....

Trees falling in the eternal forest!
Lost souls.....

Finding solace in darkly inspired penning,
Hard to create when happy?

Snappy, crappy, wappy, gappy....


Juvenile. Novice.

Crush these papers, sniff, ignite, laugh,
Fill with songs from your Happy Heart....


Just Notes

You realise its downhill
When you have to take your glasses off
When drinking tea.....


Search for human noise
Then ten years of searching for silence
Sounds like a stupid plan.


Pattern, full-on, slow boredom
New, love, laughter, love,


Goodbye 2019. Would like to say it was a blast, but hey, you and I know that you could have been less grumpier........

Hope both of my current readers had a brilliant one, and that 2020 brings you both a hat full of awesomeness.


Thursday, 28 November 2019

Contemporary. What I Want for Once.

A Quickie

The dream then snuffed itself with the thumb and finger of married reality, and left a hole for the man,
To fill with doubt and dark "What ifs" Unthought the true to rekindle a hope that dwindled and then went out.

And washed him over with the sad real brine of mature accepted understanding. No hollow reason but firm resolve to live and burn and perceive the dream for itself, No more.

Looking for a Rainbow

The Hornbeams, Oaks, Beech and cousins.....
Put on ring after ring, buds, leaves, shoots, seeds, and ...repeat...
Dark, curly, unwanted but accepted top-knot turns
Slowly silver, and love comes and leaves, Autumns.

Dark, mizzly, drizzly, damp and foggy times,
Inside warm womb room and under sad duvets,
Wet work, uncomfortable thoughts, and stoic nights,
Behind locked door, time-traveling dreams, self-reproach and hate,
Hard to stride strong secure and self-assured......

From dark caves, dark foggy pubs, books, dreams.

Though, with the sun on your sad back, shoulders,
There remains half a chance, of a rainbow forward.

Affair One.
Posted by the-birdman on July 3, 2007 at 6:49 PM comments (0)

Ugly premonition

Admonishes me between

The flat and your car.

Barely have I stepped

Into the lion's den,


Door-buzzer signals

My hasty fire escape


And you never called

To relieve my worst fears,

Never called.

I haven't got your number,

In case the lion

Picked up the phone first.

Forewarned was not forearmed,

But before my retreat

At least I knew

Whereabouts I had left

My brother's coat

Affair Two.

That was the night,

Betrayed half seconds of panic,

Blind flight into the trap.

That was the confirmation,

Failing to allay my worst fear,

This is a dangerous meeting.

The pulse beat seconds in my throat,

Try to slip away down drizzling

Unfamiliar fire escapes.

Then the controlled but hasty walk,

On insanely noisy gravel driveway

To the conspicuously parked getaway car.

That was the night,

Betrayed by the carefully hung,

Black leather coat in your hallway.


It's early morning, misty, I know there's a wall,
The ground slopes, no trees, just grass and stuff,
Indistinct, but I know it's there, profound, constant,
Delicate whiff of fore-boding, immutable, incontrovertible,
Alike to death, or tax, or sense and reason.

To pass to the next meadow, or wood, or heath,
There's a way, a gap, for people, not stock,
Ancient wisdoms fail.

Taking Liberties.

I'll take it all,

Everything you can throw.


I will not stop.

I will take your life,

Your house,

Cash, dog, car,

Horse, pictures and

Even your gun,


Even though I'll take it all,

However big, or however small,


Your woman will forever be

Forever, safe from me.

Just over a month.

Most of the above are this month's work, or re-writes of relatively recent stuff, so I think they count as "contemporary".

Ha! I make the rules up, but two of them were written today......

I'd still like to keep this non-personal, but hellooo to new and old friends alike. Good to see the numbers are building up a tiny bit again......not that I make a penny off this, it's just a portfolio for stuff, and I hope it represents something, even if I'm still not sure what it really is......

Stay strong people. x

Monday, 21 October 2019

Lost Friends, Found Friends, Re-Found Friends

The Grove.

Between the two valleys,
There's a quiet still grove,
A hidden green place,
Where she likes to go.

To escape from the grim,
And shut out the grey.
To sit, or to stand,
To take stock of a day.

I came into this place,
As I wandered, in error,
Thinking of little,
I walked into the terror.

The scars on the grove,
I saw were her pains,
Left where she'd poured them,
Discoloured dank stains.

She watched me from without,
Speaking no words.
Her silent thoughts echoed,
By paradisian birds.

I flew from my tree,
I now know without seeing,
What I needed to do,
To effect her freeing.

Back in one valley,
I felt her return,
Neither could speak of
What I had learned.

A gilded cage, perch, trap,
An imprisoned bird.
I sit here quite cat-like,
Perhaps I should purr.

Predatorial manners tell me,
Its time to stop playing.
But the caged one can't seem to,
Understand what I'm saying.

Days later, I'm thinking,
Of the grove in the wood.
I'm considering what I've done,
And the things that I should.

"What you saw was not you,
Nor aught you have done."
"I couldn't quite share all,
Not with you, nor with none."

Her words fell on deaf ears,
As they've oftimes before,
Convinced me I can't hope
To settle the score.

Between these two valleys
An empty quiet grove,
Hidden from eyes that pry,
Where she used to go.

No, I'm still not letting the blog get "personal" so won't flesh out the post's title in any revealing way, it just seems apt given the last few weeks. These have been, and continue to be a bit "dark times" but randomly some glints of sunshine do manage to break through the clouds, so there are things to think about beyond work.......and surviving.

As I alluded to in the last post, I am more or less down to the very barrel-scraped-dregs of my juvenile ramblings, so present them as they are. There just randomly might be an odd oldie in the future, but if so, it'll be out of the "questionable" folder.......!

Let's kick off with whatever presents itself......

  My "Home village" Upperthong. With Black Hill in the background....

Just for balance...."Netherthong"

We're good at place names in this neck of the woods.....

The Holme Valley, from Thurstonland, with Holmfirth High in the foreground.

The Ant.

The picture of the ant
By the burning lake
Burning mass of consequence
Flames of a second life of torment
Lick at the legs
And the eyes
And the ant licks back
Spitting first at your hands
And defending soul's right to all
Deafening unsound from fire's edge.

Spit out the insane poison
Into my ant's eyes and legs
And we may watch the souls
Burning for a billion years.

Green aura need not be envious
But white may never come to us
Think "white" to heal your soul
Think of it, to make you whole.

The ant faces consequential flames,
Brave and stupid.

Time for second thinking
While the flames are stoked up
While the coal's raked over
While the cruel smile of the overlord
Blanks out thoughts of accepted justice.

But this picture is on a page dog-eared
Soon turned, soon burned
Soon forgotten in the fires of it all.

 There are beagles in the picture above, just in case you can't see them.....

Star Child.

Silly child,
Come dance the ages,
Hawthorn wild,
Infinite stages.

Strange child,
Come dance in bars,
A kill-me smile,
Thoughts of stars.


We are simple, as an atom to a molecule,
Or a molecule to an entity,
To the real beings of this point in the whole,
We their vessels, their transport, their succour,
Their medium, their water, air, earth,
Ultimately, fire and death,
Ours, not theirs.

Where now the original thought,
Original rebellion is original sin,
Dilute the whole by mass,
And detach, unitary not complex,
Cut-off and close the door,
Not easily achievable to the simple, idea conduit.

Silas The Beast.

Silas, a man, a spirit of cold grey,
Stands with the van, at the brink of the day.
Enters the town, where nature gave him birth,
Unnatural clown, who knows what its worth ?
Silas is still, and Silas is calm,
The panicking viceroys raise the alarm.
But Silas says naught, and glances around,
He's nothing to fear from this miserable town.
His forces are gathered, but there's noone to fight,
Now is the time to establish his right.

Silas, the beast,
Plays the awkward game,
Chess with men's souls,
Gambling names.

Unravelling minds,
like bits of old twine,
Hoping to find,
Some kind of sign.

Silas stands up,
Smiles to himself,
Picks up the cup,
Drinks his own health.

Silas grins at the sight,
And turns off the light,
He has no need of it
During the day.

His people await,
The conqueror's fate,
Though maybe no blood shed,
They'll still have to pay.

A purple emperor, dancing the breeze,
Catches that vanishing eye.
Silas now knows
He's lost all that he sees,
Is gone with the emperor's sigh.

1000 Miles.

One thousand miles, down,
The jaw-ache of rushing air.
Intense cold, muscles cramping.

No visual impression, occasional mists,
Skin pushed tight onto bones.

Faster than possible, falling,
Spinning, air rushing,

No, it doesn't take long to finish a thousand miles.

Screaming, intense cold, darkness,
Your stomach several hundred feet behind you,
Tumbling out of control, rushing jaw,
Intense mists, tight faster air, rushing intense,
Occasional miles, skin down, spinning, finish,
Possible falling, intense skin, one thousand bones,
Cramping screams, intense falling, rushing,
Falling visual mists, spinning skin faster....

Is the fall killing me, or am I ?

A Camping Scene.

Never known how to be
A tent peg for your love,
Could not have guessed,
Could not see,
The blade, hanging just above.

Holding up the awning,
In the dawning of relief,
Sees me sometimes yawning
In shadows of disbelief.

The guy-rope of the marquee,
Where love has gone to drink,
Tension has now got to me,
And made me stop, and think.

Fine weather means no cover,
No shelter from no storm.
So this 'camp' accessory, your lover,
Leaves the campsite, on your lawn.


The pagan and the Anglican,
Stand there talking man-to-man,
Face-to-face, well its a start,
For who can tell them apart ?

Bishops' Wood.

Perverse pornographic imagery,
You are so funny, so near to me,
So undressed for the shot,
So unimpressed by what you've got.

You wear my old waxed coat,
The picture, maybe three years old,
Turns me on, rutty as a goat,
But that day was wet, not cold.

We lived like we knew it all,
And left like we'd just come in,
The dark greenery forest hall,
Where we laughed away the sin.

Then the ground opened to a crack,
Some geological quirk of mother nature,
I loved you, and only saw your back,
But loved you, so could not hate you.

I hate you, and I hate 'us', I think,
So much wasted time between our lives,
Too great a waste, gives off a stink,
Like abandoned rotting meadow hives.

But I am a near a junction in my life,
Where things clear and choices are made,
A point where I could ask you to be my wife,
Or at least where we both are saved.

That could be a chance for you to say,
"Not right, no the time is wrong for me,"
I should get used to this game you play,
Should know I won't go down on my knees.

But we dance from a distance,
We both need what we both can give,
The thing is neither will give a chance,
And so "mythical" our love must live.

A Spot Of Sea Air.

Left alone, but not unloved,
At least that's what I tell myself,
Like the seaside town,
Visited once a year by the people.

"We always come here, we do like it so."
"We like a spot of sea air."

Do people say that about me ?
I doubt it.

Hard Bargaining.

It is not a foregone conclusion,
Not a predetermined thing,
Not planned out by the hand of fate,
Too late, too soon,
Too much, to expect.

Not a frank admission of God

Cumulus sits on weathered frown,
Brow to heathered thought stream,
Not the soft imagined solstice,
Simple and delightful in time.

Stretched out your belief once,
Twice and sits comfortably,
But not in this ridiculous song.

Never should you shoot at fish,
Nor clouds nor stars nor suns,
Test leads reactions to new surrounds
Test mine to heavy guns.

Seeking late Elysial entry, to deny.

(Is this denied ?)

Forever to exclude
To sink ethereal, forget my cloud

Never to predict
Not to forget
Never to submit
Predetermine my demise, admitting mistakes.


A Sense Of Drowning.

Cut lashes with razor kiss tongue,
Lick my eyes and sockets,
Sting my lips with shocking lust
And strip my mind of reason.

Then dance-bizarro on my body,
Insano profano and pure depth,
Creasing heat and intent of chase,
Then release us into cold mind flight.

Suck at my heart from without and within,
And remove all doubt.

Shout your name out !

But to scream out "I am here, this place called X"
Is not the done thing, baby.

Not the thing for us to do.

So lay your leather love on my broken skin,
And bleed your love on my chest and face.
Clench deep screaming long lusty ballads of sense,
On my soul and wet singing in stormy love.

Be my insane mistress of broken scenes,
Trade your name to visit my dreams,
And let my mirror reflect your actions,
My body-mimicry cries out diversions.

Now lick these stupid wounds clean,
With words of false conciliates,
And holding hands re-enter my dream,
Drown in these loviturates.

It's October, it's been a funny year so far. At least I still occasionally manage to get out on the hills to watch hounds working. Controversial? Not to me. Though the times we're living through are, and the lies, hatred and bile that seem to be taken as truth, by so many people, it's very hard to see how the old world will survive, which to me is a very deep sadness.

Without legislation, it was slowing suffocating, through the lack of interest of the younger generations, and these changing times. Not that there aren't any, just not enough to keep the tradition going.

14 years after the ban became Law, so much has changed, and so many good friends have passed, hunting friends, social friends, casual, and close friends. I feel a touch of not just Autumn, but maybe the whiff of Winter not far away, and I am thankful for good, and bad days out with hounds. Good people, good crack, good company, and beautiful country.

A wise man once said that the particular view in front of him was so exquisite, the only way of improving it, was to run a pack of hounds across it, and I utterly agree. I apply it wherever I happen to be.........

10 years after I left kennels, none of the hounds here are now the ones I bred, though just maybe an odd blood-line survives, I do hope so.

The end of a good day, even if I only caught the last couple of hours.......

Feels a bit like my life story in an allegorical sense these days.

Still, I do love where I live, and the life I've had wasn't all bad, not by a very long way.

Here's to many more "good days".

On the poetry front, I now have realised that yes, this was the last post of the text/document pieces, I still have acres of old scanned hand-written stuff, that never got typed up to sift through.....

Bugger, and stuff that was typed up, on my old typewriter, but with several pieces on a page, that need splitting, and saving as individual ones....

I wish I'd indexed this blog as I went along, as I really don't want to repeat post, without good reason...

Anyway, that's for me to think about. It's time to start actually producing and trying with the stuff in my current note-books.......

Now that the nights really are drawing in.......