Primroses and bluebells at Buck Mills

These primroses are on a bank with bluebells, ferns, and red campion, along the steep road by the stream down to Bucks Mills, near Clovelly and Hartland  in North Devon, where on Sunday I read at the Bucks Mills Poetry Festival with Deborah Harvey

Deborah, whose fourth collection from Indigo Dreams is coming soon, read from earlier collections. Many of the poems had come from walks on Dartmoor. In one of these she encounters a snake with whom she feels a sense of sisterhood. In a more recent poem we were back in the Bristol area  hearing from the undiscovered body of DJ Derek, who went missing in 2015 and whose remains went unfound for nine months. 

Among the flowers and birdsong on this sunny May Bank Holiday afternoon , we were both rehabilitating unpopular creatures.  I read  from the allotment section of The Ladies and Gentlemen of the Dead but also some new poems, including the one below, which first appeared in the Spring 2019 edition of Raceme magazine. We were graciously and generously hosted by Merlynda Robinson and her partner Nigel of The Bucks Mills Gallery  and The Bucks Mills Poetry Magazine  who ran this very full and interesting festival all through the weekend.

               Wasp mid air

               In the black and yellow plates
               of your waisted fuselage,
               gyroscopic and able to stay  
               in one place still flying,
               you are neat as a samurai.

               But they do not love how you
               hang and zigzag on just one tune,
               the flamboyance of your antennae
               or how your mandibles, almost prim
               can make a paper fortress.

               My book, admittedly quite old now
               even calls you imperfect female
               as if your chromosomal balance
               had been tilted out of true.

               For myself, I salute how you juggle
               globes of dew on early mornings
               unerringly find sugar anytime.

              And this overheated summer I hope
              for a fat plummy autumn when you
              and your sisters will dance on fruit.

 

 

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