The eyes are the first thing to go: more Instagram epigrams

Another arboreal face, this time on a beech, with wide eyes looking upward.

I’ve taken to walking all the way down and back up the mile-and-a-half-long Plummer’s Hollow Road every day now, and what’s curious is that, despite having walked this road many thousands of times in my life, I still notice two or three new things every time. You can see a lot just by looking, as Yogi Berra supposedly said. Of course, most of what I see are trees. And many observations don’t make good photos — but a few do. And by the time I get back to the house, sometimes I’ve thought up a caption as well.

Log over stream with eye-shaped opening on the side and fur-like moss on top.
The eyes are the first thing to go, melting back into the head, murmurs my lover, the undertaker’s assistant.
Continue reading “The eyes are the first thing to go: more Instagram epigrams”

Moat

photo of weeping willows

photo of weeping willows

My castle has a moat
bordered by weeping willows
and filled with tears.
Great blue herons pattern the sky
with dinosaur wings.
They land and line the bank,
erect and still as meditating monks
in grey-blue robes, no longer
prehistoric but eternal.
Happiness holds my hand as, slowly,
we walk to raise the drawbridge.

Woodchuck in the woods and other instagrammatic things

Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.

I have a hand-me-down iPhone 4S and an Instagram account linked to Flickr, and so I’ve been amusing myself with poetic one-liners. It started with a particularly antisocial woodchuck, who (unusually for his species) has a den in the middle of the forest.

Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.
Woodchuck in the woods. Also, yes—a groundhog in the ground.

Continue reading “Woodchuck in the woods and other instagrammatic things”

Open Day

photo of a cemetery

The old Dulwich burial ground

photo of a cemetery

This ground heaves, lurchingly
    uneven through its mulch of leaves,

tips us towards the tilting graves,
    the shade of tall, stooped trees.

The stone sarcophagi are empty – burial
    was below, in now unfathomable depths.

Toppled headstones sink slowly
    in a green lawn where the nameless

are marked by darker green hollows
    that tempt today’s visitors to lie down,

and a girl in a vintage print frock
    carries a golden bowl — her cycle helmet,

its glinting curves reflecting miniature
    monuments, tiny people, old light.

That lost gesture

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall

Morris-ThatLostGesture

Is this the challenge, then,
as older age begins to settle in:
to be fully present to the precious
and fluctuating here and now
while bearing witness to the past
that lives and breathes inside you?
to be cradling always, one in each hand,
two things that cannot co-exist?
as you relish the magic keyboard
that sends your words across the world,
to recall that lost gesture of feeding
a sheet of paper into a typewriter?
to say something about a time
and place that disappeared?


With thanks for both the sentiment and the typewriter image to the wonderful Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina.