Monthly Archives: June 2015

Summer Wine

Brockhampton Door

A door has opened into summer
Much longed for after the bleak of winter.
You stand at the threshold, the warmth
Seeps into your body, you take a breath.

Road to Lower Brockhampton
Ahead lies the dusty twisting road
That will take you between the fields
Where the lush grass is already being cut for hay.
The sun beats down, the cow parsley dazzles you
So you seek the comfort of the orchard.
Where the fruit is forming on the trees
Under the hum of bees, the nuisance of gnats.

Summer’s song beguiles us, lets us dream
Amidst bright flowers, as they devour
The brightness of the day long sun.
All around the mystery of transformation,
From bud to flower to fruit,
Instigated by insects, fulfilling their tiny needs,
Part of the eternal, ephemeral alchemy.

Transcending the cycle of seasons
Slipping sideways from the wheel of life
To cheat the sudden death of winter
Requires a cunning catalyst, the unseen yeast
To raise the spirit of the fruit:
To work its magic on the sun-sweet juice,
To distil summer’s shrivelled ripeness,
To complete the journey of fruit and vine.
Haute Serre Chateau 130712 19
Born from the unseen, inner fermentation
Of the useless abundance of autumn
Comes the eternal wine of wisdom
Fully charged with alcoholic zest.

So we drink deeply, we cannot hold back.
Each time it ambushes us, diverts us,
Sets traps for us, tempts us to stray,
Unable to take a sip: “Just one more …”
We want excess, to lose ourselves, our sense of time,
Consuming, filling ours lives
With summer’s richness, forgetting the path.

The leaves are beginning to fall
And the vineyard is golden, red and purple
With only some withered bunches
Hanging low on the retreating vines.
Regrets at having been seduced once more?
No, it was worth it. Every moment.
Did we get the girl, Demeter? No,
She escaped this time. But next year …

© Peter Young 2015

A note on the photographs: The Doorway is to be found at Brockhampton Estate top carpark [52.191630, -2.463966].
The road is the approach to Lower Brockhampton [52.200505, -2.458168] www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brockhampton-estate/
The vines are at the Chateau de Haute-Serre, 46230 Cieurac, near Cahors, France [44.390039, 1.490594] http://www.hauteserre.fr/

Chateau de Haute-Serre

Chateau de Haute-Serre

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Croome Court – The Wall

Chinese Bridge

Chinese Bridge

In May I became a volunteer at the National Trust property at Croome in Worcestershire. I have joined the small team of wall-builders, where we work on the ancient stone wall at the southern end of Croome Park. During the last few weeks I have witnessed the construction of the replacement Chinese Bridge which is nearing completion.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croome/


 

The Wall

The Ravages of Time

The Ravages of Time

I am building a wall.
Not a wall to keep people in,
Nor will it keep people out.
Instead it will stand as a monument
To the people who found the stones,
Who put them together, who built,
Or rebuilt, or merely passed by
Or through, or even over.

This wall has lasted for centuries,
Assembled, crumbled,
Fumbled, and bungled.
Now showing its age
And a mixture of styles.
I despair at the use of mortar
To hold the stones together
A short cut, and one which
Ultimately fails.

There are powerful forces shifting
And moving the foundations –
The oaks and the ashes,
Their roots, trunks and branches
Do their best to regain their space.
Shoving the intruder away,
Claiming their place on earth
Shunning human intrusion.

The New and the Old

The New and the Old

I am part of a long line of wall-builders
Who have built long lines of walls.
Pretending they’re for eternity,
But truthfully, no wall stands forever.
Now my turn to correct the errors of the past
To impose a looser style
Using the stone that lies around
In heaps, alone, or stacked.

Although I would wish for better stones,
I am limited to those right here.
As I take apart the old wall
Many of the stones split and shatter.
They will become the infill.
Serving a new purpose
Deep and blind to the world.

Ahead the wall stretches into parkland
Behind me it emerges from the forest,
But in reality, I do not know
Which is in front and which behind.
All that exists is here in the clearing,
The wall dividing the land
Where the weeds grow prolifically,
Seeking the light of summer.

Croome Stone Wall Building 150523 pan 1© Peter Young 2015


2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized