The stars are in our belly; the Milky Way our umbilicus.
Is it a consolation that the stuff of which we’re made
is star-stuff too?
– That wherever you go you can never fully disappear –
dispersal only: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen.
Tree, rain, coal, glow-worm, horse, gnat, rock.
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
august rising from the ground in mist
Day seems to rise up from the ground in the wavering thinning river mist, rather than wash down from the sky. Each morning carries the scent of autumn already, and the light is soft, sifted. This morning two hot air balloons drifted over southwards from the moor; I heard the burners' continuous roar as the balloonists struggled to keep them afloat – no thermal lift, despite the heat.
A spotted woodpecker came again to tap at the kitchen door; I don't know why. Last week, TM's cat, who very rarely catches birds, caught the other young robin – just one left now from that little courtyard brood whom I've been carefully watching; who've survived so much. When I went into the house yesterday, the cat was prowling by the dresser, back and forth, pacing. Unusual behaviour, so I shut her out, in case. At that point a tiny baby vole, half the size of my little finger, shot out from beneath the dresser and wove its way in the shelter of the furniture to the open door into the courtyard.
A hammock hour to celebrate the arrival of the cover for my new novel (more anon; am pleased with it). Dreaming under the blue sky by the ash trees: one of the local buzzards; a skitter of young swallows, still minus their long tails, about me, chittering and looping – already they've been gathering on wires.
The bumblebees are the size of hornets. I never thought I'd say these words, but – I find myself actually missing the hornets we've had in previous years – their placid (unless threatened) natures, their aphid-eating ways. A dragonfly buzzes me, curious, then goes to hang vertically, as if in water, on a plantain stalk, its tiger-face turning my way from a yard or two. A bluebottle lands near it and it bounces up into the air. The fly rises too and then resettles; the dragonfly jounces away, as if threatened. The butterflies are here en masse now: fritillaries, admirals, peacocks, orange-tips, coppers, meadow browns, small blues and of course the cabbage whites.
At last our veg plot is cropping – weeks after our friends' with polytunnels, but we've an organic and abundant harvest of early maincrop red potatoes, huge onions, garlic, and the wonderful Cobra French beans are forgiving of elements and prolific of crop, as are the kales. And at last we've enough courgettes coming on to make fritters (try them: grate a couple of fat courgettes and maybe a potato, leave them in a bowl with a good shake of salt for 10 minutes; squeeze them out, then mix with herbs, a chopped onion and some garlic, salt and pepper, a beaten egg, and stir in about a half-mug of flour, then drop flattened spoonfuls into hot olive oil. You can add the courgette flowers too, and I sometimes mix in marigold petals.).
The daffodil bulbs are already in the shops. The wasps are eating our apples. These days. These days of late summer, of fire and water, earth and air...
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