Keck, Cow Parsley, Anthriscus sylvestris

keck1

Where I grew up, which was once part of the Danelaw,  we called it ‘keck’, a common name for cow parsley; some call it wild chervil, or even Queen Anne’s Lace. Well, it sounds like an ancient Norse word, but it could equally be good old Old English. Either way, it is characteristic of this time of year, as spring turns into summer.

keck2

words and pictures ©copyright rp 2016

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Au Revoir Summer?

wet1

Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 1, or June 21 with the Summer Solstice, according to some.

But a few warm days in early May lulls you into that typical false sense of security, leaves you thinking summer may have come early.

Then, of course, the heavens opened and May returned to its usual, not entirely unexpected mixed bag of meteorological mayhem.

wet2

And that’s just it, the downpour reminded me of many previous Mays, and by all accounts the temperatures will be almost back down to single figures by the weekend. This is a normal May.

Great.

That’s why I said ‘Au Revoir’ at the start. So, like the French might optimistically put it, until we meet again, dear summer…

Here’s hoping.

wet3

© copyright words and images rp

Poem: Summer Coming In

spring summer

Spring finally comes, like your
warm breath on my
desiccate skin. So then
sing to me of careless summers,
your smile, where
love begins

© copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem: April 2

daffodils3

No longer will I bore you with my
mother’s life, and how I wish I could change
the way of her death. Thirteen years

is a long time, abridged by events that
just happen down this road. Though more
and more, this life seems impersonal, like

watching a new born lamb, sweet
to touch and then later to taste. How does
this lover turn carnivorous at a stroke?

And the lamb, like its mother, is a mere
vessel – when you’ve seen one, we all
know how we’ll react. So don’t get me wrong,

but Mum, you were a function, a role you
played so well, and no matter how
I embellish your memory at this time – well,

there you go, I have done it once again

Poem: Birthday

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hope arrives at January’s
close, whether in presages
of spring or several feet of
snow. Right now with snowdrops
peeping, the increasing length
of day, it’s all palpable
at last. Then you call me your
rock – I’m very far from being that,
a mere
step, a name on some
useless bifurcation. Outside
it is twelve degrees; bring on
the west wind and
hope of spring

© copyright David F. Barker 2013

Poem ‘Hurricane’s Grave’

Hurricane’s Grave

A copse can be an intimate
friend. Most days he roamed there, always
finding something to love, a life of
reasonable expectation.
Late winter was a favourite time; tree tops
took on reddish hues and
there were further signs other
than snowdrops
and blue tits’ brighter songs, of the
burgeoning spring

Today was different. Large boots
had been this way,
their wearer, like
a stump line of grey, stood
barely seen by an old fence, through straight
saplings in sunlight.
He approached the figure, which seemed
to dissipate like mist in the sun, something
he’d mistaken for form
and life

But it was more than
a notion that had led him there. The fence
overlooked a rolling field, familiar lumps
and bumps of pasture unchanged
for decades,
where lords in their demesnes might
still rule for all he knew.
He leant on the fence, it
gave way in his hand. A piece of torn
grey cloth freed from a nail, flopped to
the damp ground.
He held it,
felt its old thick weave— like a uniform

He pondered the scene in front
of him, gave space to wartime tales,
the remembered lumps and
bumps which might easily hide a
hurricane’s grave

image and poem © copyright david f. barker 2012

* The Hurricane here, is a British WWII fighter plane

Poem ‘The Sparrow’

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Aus...

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Australia in March 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Sparrow

The sparrows are gone and now the winter is lonely.
Their spaces are taken by the gravelled drives
and the paved gardens. There will be no reprieve
but as the little bird leaves, like the wise man
deserts a fool, know that everything has its time
and that ours, too, is almost run.
*
The horse chestnut’s elephantine trunk glows warm
in the low winter sun, its clawing bareness stretches
into a cleansing sky. A narrow shaft of yellow light
dispels the rime on the whitened sward,
and the hanging orange globes of the passion flower,
like tiny suns, remind us of long gone warmth,
a hint of the approach of solstice day.
*
The lone robin stands guard, like a redcoat
patrolling his shed roof, punching way above his weight
to see off the bigger birds, those who would dare
plunder his own private space. He has nothing
but disdain for the squabbling starlings
who strut around in their shiny suits
in vain shows of bluster and pretence.
*
Even the cowslips thought it was spring.
Over keen, they showed their yellow hats
when the weather was mild and now they’re
caught out in a sudden arctic blast.
So too, the evergreen rosemary, whose lilac flowers,
though welcome, reveal the underlying unease
at the heart of the garden.
*
So we grew to like mowing the lawn, put up
with cutting the hedge. We let the poppies grow wild
and the elderflower rampage. We even learned
to love nettles and the funny little weeds –
but the sparrow never came back. They say he lives
in tiny enclaves now, in the fringes with red squirrels,
quite unknown in these parts, where the blackbird
chinks a meagre winter song.

poem © copyright df barker 2012

*first published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, available on amazon.com

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anonymous-Lines-ebook/dp/B005SGWTOG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338013669&sr=1-1&tag=acleint06-21

Please also see this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_tc_2_0?rh=i%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3AMilly+Reynolds&keywords=Milly+Reynolds&ie=UTF8&qid=1338013925&sr=1-2-ent&field-contributor_id=B0056IY4OE