Saturday, 28 May 2016

Nant y Blodau Bach

Dear Monty,

Yes gardens can be whatever your idea of a garden is.

I see them as an opportunity for creativity.

I have been looking more closely at the natural 'gardens' of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path and the lush hedgerows.

They are truly inspiring. In some places peoples gardens spill over into the hedgerows with a natural blending of natives and introduced plants. Nature does a good job of gardening. What is noticeable though are the areas where farmland grasses border with the paths - and there is much less diversity here. The grasses are green and lush with few native plants. Perhaps this is due to nitrogen ?

There is an example of hedgerow and garden blending on the front wall of the cottage we stay at called : 'Nantyblodaubach '- yes John Kingdon that is how it is written !

I did a poor sketch of it - but it is enough info to inform a new fresco.

The cottage sits on a quiet lane leading up to Carn Ingli.

Moving cattle on Carn Ingli

An Angel stands - arms outstretched just for a moment
He stands above the landscape
Ancient, fixed in time.

The scoop of sea below is like a love spoon carved by the tides
The Norman Church and ancient keep held in its haven hollow.

There is a song of skylark and blackbird mingled with sheep and bellowing cows
Reluctantly herded up the hill.

Newport market morning
Swallows chatter
We walked the curve of the estuary
Sensual curve
Ducked, goosed and swanned.


The landscape pounds beneath my feet

Dyffryn Fernant

Dyffryn Fernant is a garden that emerges out of a natural wet area and the wild plants merge into intentional planting. Some areas near the house are formal but mirror the hills behind.

A place of respect.


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Waiting for Rosamund and other songs

Dear Monty,

Today I would have been meeting Rosamund in my garden.
The Clematis is flowering for her along with the Rhododendron complementing Montana's palest pink - white blooms.

Alas Rosamund is not coming and so the wait continues - but will the garden bloom for her ?

Her seat in the cloister awaits.

Rosamund is from the National Gardens Scheme - I await her visit anxiously - rescheduled for the end of May.


Sitting in warm sun - sudden heat,
New leaves
Birdsong mixes with children's voices - echoing afternoon playtime from the village school on the hill.

Crow, hover fly, bumble bees, thrush thrum.
The wind not carrying the sound of cars today
A gentle day
One which could pass for peace.

Buds break on the Norwegian maple from what seemed dead branches
The miracle of the green fuse.


Art in the park

Dyffryn House Cardiff

Thunder clapping cloud without sound
Drops of rain the size of peas
But the heavens do not open

Here I am in Dyffryn House Garden
Estate of gentry long gone
Grand acres rolling to the horizon

Making an exhibition of myself
I feel invisible in this tent
Exhibiting terrifies me
Makes my nerve endings buzz

Then I find my mouth boasting about commissions
A cover -up for my vulnerability
What a fool.

The light comes
Striking on the wet paving of the Mediterranean Garden

Birds sing life into the tent
Life in all its fullness
They do not need to boast
To feel accepted

A low rumble like thunder from the furthest part of the tent manifests itself as voices
Human voices in waves
We drown in them sometimes
Voices are everywhere.

Sometimes I prefer the voices of birds or dogs
But other times there is poetry in our voices
Like the blue-eyed woman who bought a painting
Speaking volumes with those eyes
And the man who sung of butterflies.

Then the heavens finally open
And out pours a waterfall of encouragement from unexpected places
The rain comes in from Abertawe with old names in its drops
Joseph Herman
Vernon Watkins
Philip Wilson Steer
Ceri Richards.


Welsh funeral

Honey scent in the warm damp air above the valley and its roar
Hyacinthoides Hispanica
The savage interloper
But a sweet scented savage.

Welsh was the funeral service in Capel Calfaria
Remembering and forgetting

Lives can have a great impact
Can be fast and furious
Joyous and injurious

So are all our lives
And we end them in such a small wooden box adorned with tokens.

Who remembers ?
In time we forget
Which makes the scent of bluebells so precious a thing
Fleeting and poignant.

Spring broke in after our mournful singing
A sparrow irrepressibly chirps
Joy unbounded
Nothing known but toil and singing -
Once the preserve of this village and its miners.

The rumbling voice of the Minister sing songing his rrrolling rrrrr's
And growling base
Soon to be a dusty memory.

I'm waiting for Rosamund.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

The mystery of a dull day

Dear Monty,

I am no poet
But blood and bones
Bag and rattle

I sometimes slosh this body over hills
And the crow in my carapace picks at its own failings sharp beaked

Hills disappear
The leaden mist drops heavy in my head
Dull day
Disasters loom

I am a Saul
Doomed to failure
I see it like a prophecy

But then the light bursts through the dread dark and soilish damp
Bursting with bud and fruity potential.