is what it is what is isn’t (27/July/18)

the sun and moon had a face-off… at much more than ten paces… at dusk… the outcome was inevitable as clearly someone had been feeding the moon loads of cheese so huge had it become while he forsaken sun which had carelessly pricked itself on a random mountain was now deflating into the west’ish… it didn’t stand a chance against such a formidable fromage foe… I wonder, are crabs actually crabby?… have you ever really seen a duck duck?…do crocodiles actually cry, ever?…what do albatross wear around their necks?… are bats blind as bats and are flamingos really that pretty, with their gangly legs and oops, I put the nose on the wrong way up bills?… do dormice live inside doors?… and while we are on the subject is a mouse actually as quiet as one to other mice?… do wolves ever wear sheeps clothing?… unless fleece is regarded as the height of fashion in the canine world, and anyway, when have you ever seen sheep wearing clothes?… how come every single male goat has the same name, and why Billy, why not Bob or maybe Clive?… and surely all ladybirds can’t be ladies can they?… do whales have a whale of a time?… are jellyfish actually made of gelatine?… have you ever known a cricket actually play cricket?… and be honest, have you ever in your life seen butter fly?…… well, at least I can be sure flies fly, but, do bees bee or not to be… and is that even the question?……

© 2018 robert greig

strawscape skeining (26/July/18)

geese flying overhead… they’re early… not hugely, but a few weeks and notably so, v-cuts through the early evenings attempts at dusk… sometimes the early morning too but that’s more likely to happen more later… they are a sign of late summer and yet here we are in high summer… the apples are close to picking even though it’s still only July, this is all wrong… hedgerows pregnant with blackberries fit to burst and they are big too, desperate-looking, a plants last shock and awe response to threaten… fight or flight?… the former, fight to stay alive and if you might not yourself try your damned best to ensure the next generation has a chance… it’s all wrong…… greenbelts become yellowbelts, greenscapes become strawscapes, every other hillside another fire, smoke, white’ish-grey billows filling the role of the clouds that have largely been leaving the sky vacant, reluctant to make an appearance and when they do hang around for too long…… leaf-fall… already?… nothing like a prolonged heatwave as a most effective defoliant… some shrubs, trees, flowers, already surrendered, either retreated beneath the soil to reserves depleted energies in the hope there’s enough until wait it out, or just died, had enough, left the stage, how long should one wait for water that never comes…… the short-sighted, ignorant, empty-headed, self-serving fools, bellow, “global warming? bring it on!”…… surely I can’t share the same cultural of even species heritage with these people…… so many insects, so much dust, so, so much pollen…… “make hay while the grass grows”, but it isn’t and yet tractors are out making hay, what choice do they have, it’s early and probably good news in some respects but at this rate where will the next crop come from?… I won’t believe it, the neighbour’s out mowing his lawn, and within an inch of its life, or more likely death, that’s one way to ensure bald patches and receding grasslines, pile yet more pressure on top of already drought-stressed swards, but then again I don’t tar him with the epithet of Tweedledumber for nothing… probably unfair of me but hey, I’m not perfect…… welcome to the tinderbox, parched and baked, out there where there’s no smoke without fire and no fire without flash-floods that doesn’t take a seer to see coming…… the geese know, they’re just getting their skeining in early……

© 2018 robert greig

gone to seed (18/July/18)

the wallflower outside my patio door is dropping its flowers, red lippy affairs, bleeding their deep corpuscular red onto lifeless paving… gone to seed I suppose, or going, like the fennel the same although I have arrested some by beheading them before the flower heads can form, sounds cruel I know but it’s normal for herbs and allows them to keep leafing and temporary halts their going to seed, and as the leaves are the predominantly edible bits then all’s fair in love and gardening…. I let some go to seed, much to the hoverflies pleasure, producing stunning yellow parasols… going to seed is often seen as not a great thing and usually means “this is the end, beautiful friend” as the song goes… going to seed and then gone to seed yet still alive and kicking… just… so many grasses this year have gone prematurely so to seed, I’ve never seen them so yellow, in fact so much yellow, or more a straw-colour, pale, blanched, bleached almost having grown tall, tumbled, drawn by the weight of their seeds some of which already husks and weakening of stems, too big for their boots or heads maybe…… an old blue tractors been hay-cutting in the neighbouring field in a scene that could be from 70 years ago leaving piled rows in wobbly lines of what become the driest grass ever I think despite a slight cooling and a little rain, not enough to do much but give false hope to the armies of the gone-to-seed…… reading a recent university alumni magazine to find towards the back a page of obituaries, selected I imagine as surely many more previous students, all fellow alumnus though few of us know each other, must have died between issues, and made me wonder of all those others unmentioned, unremembered, un’anything who remain forever unwritten… how many who graduated the same year as me are now gone with the wind, dust to dust and all that malarkey, going, going gone to seed until they’ve just gone…… the wallflower’s leaves remains dark green and determined, even with roots in nothing more than a concrete crack… how on earth has it managed through near-drought without even wilting never mind giving up the ghost entirely but here it is having managed on nothing more than hand-out from a bit of dew here and fleeting shower there… how little it needs and how much it gives……

© 2018 robert greig