Time #1

when it’s been really hot
like today, close to the mid-point of June
eventually the blue begins to thin
as if mixed with a few drops of white spirit


the air moves a little faster
adding cool to shade
under the solitary oak
crowning the rise


arrhythmic sounds of a distant road backwash
strangely vigorous mid-afternoon songs of blackbirds
who call as if expecting rain
but it won’t, not yet


there is no accumulation of clouds
over the Blackdown Hills
just the wind seasoned by a dash of brine
chilled through months of swirling winter tides


provoked, other birds respond, goldfinches
keening for respite from potential drought
trying to sweet -talk moisture from the sky
to fill the hard-set hoof prints and tyre-track hollows


to soften the soil and freshen pasture
to fill the brook now wearing a skin 
that barely covers its old bones
its smoothed stones lie dry, matted green


heading west into the breeze
every feather extended to the full
a buzzard floats along the hedge
then shifts its path toward the wood


I sit against the towering trunk
spine aligned to its hard rutted bark
listen to the plaintive songs
wonder at how fast my sixty years have gone

Christopher Perry

Christopher’s poetry blog can be found at www.voyageswriting.com