Politician – Summer Dreams from Childhood

Summer Dreams from Childhood

I walk the meadows

Alive with splashed colour –

Impressionist’s dream

Of oxtail daisy, poppy and purple vetch.

By the hedgerow

The cowparsley stood bold

Above the feather-tops of grass,

Like cocky acacia on a diminutive British savannah.

In the cool of the shade,

By the reed rimmed pond,

The frogs jumped and splashed

As I passed by,

Pond skaters danced on invisible skin

And tadpoles cruised the depths,

Nosing the weed on which newts clung,

Still as statues

Alert with beady eyes.

Caterpillars spun their silken webs

Around the nettle heads

And clumped in colonies

Of black and yellow spiny families.

The green grass baked in the dynamo of heat’s electricity.

Only a soft breeze stirred the leaves in lazy caress,

To suck the moisture free

And rob the drying plants;

To carry off the spoils

Of the seeds and scents of a million petals,

Arid blades and seared soil.

The hum of nature –

The stridulation of grasshoppers

Merged with the rustle of tiny feet

On crisp leaves;

The drone of bees

As they trundle from flower-head to nectary

Laden down with yellow pollen-swollen legs,

Drunk with the heady sweet fumes.

Above, the butterflies silently dance

In tumbling multi-coloured clouds,

Spilling on the breeze in gay gavotte.

In the streams the sticklebacks,

With red bellies like aquatic robins,

Dash for cover

And dart from weed to bank, to hide

Safe within protective caverns

Hollowed out by crystal clear water,

As the currents eat out the overhangs

To which they zig-zag in a flash.

Grass-snakes, slow-worms and lizards bask

In the hot sun

And slide into the undergrowth

At the first vibration of footfall on soil –

Lizards jumping through the

Raffia grass with loud clatter

As I delight.

Pigeons coo and woo

As songbirds sought the highest perches

To sing their songs of love and fury –

Laying claim to all that they surveyed.

The world alive with scent, colour and life.

Summer sang with a song on interwoven melodies, big and small,

That set the spirit free,

In harmony

Of pleasure and peace.

Lying in the long grass,

Surrounded by bobbing flowers and creeping creatures,

In an island

Adrift from civilisation,

As the yellow sun

Gleamed down from a deep blue infinity,

Giving perspective

Through the lazy suds of clouds.

With all the time in the world.

Wanting for nothing more.

A world now locked away in the past,

In my memories,

And gone.

Opher 30.10.2016

Summer Dreams from Childhood

In the fifty five years that separate me from those days the world has changed immeasurably. The meadows are no longer full of colour and sound. The grass still dries in the hot sun but there are no longer the rustles of insects or drone of bees. The flowers are gone and the insects killed by pesticide. It is a silent world.

The ponds and streams are devoid of frogs, newts and sticklebacks, the countryside bereft of reptiles.

It is a sad world now. The poems of nature have been shredded by the carelessness and profit of the modern world and I cannot help thinking that we are all the less for it.

I plucked these pictures from my memory.

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