Running in the Slow Lane
Running with the pace of life is fast Journeys taken without concern or care Words used and carelessly abandoned Targets and deadlines replaced there. Among the burgeoning piles of file-paper The overflowing nature of our lives Where mindfulness becomes one extra chore And our mental well-being's in demise. Did it really take a global situation To make us stop and take a different path To see beyond our own limitations To a different perception that was stark? In every sense our freedom was clean taken Overnight the challenge made quite clear To stop or simply be over-taken By the warnings given and of course by fear. And so quite simply we were shaken and everything quickly reassessed In every home spread across the nations Priorities that had to be addressed Management of time became our own To choose a little wisely than before In the slow lane running - a different tempo To listen and observe and gain far more. Joy is found abundantly in wildlife When we chance to stop awhile and look To see how nature heals and restores The balance of our lives so over-looked Running, swimming out by sea or moorland Birdsong and the colours of the skies Consciousness of elemental beauty Powerful healing for our lives.
I run in the Shadows
I run in shadows in the sunken lane
And look above to laden oak leaved boughs
And see the turn from green to orange hue
And feel the sun go down in quickened hours.
On bracken fronds the webs are spun and clear
The wispy threads of clematis hang low
The Spindle with its orange fruits of fire
And leaves are kicked upon the road below.
The hedgerow fruits are laden and so ripe
For Crumbles and for jams for winter store
The apples drop and bruise upon the ground
The lane is dark and the air is raw.
The sun sets brightly low in western sky
The reddish glow sets the world
The dew already heavy on the grass
As I head home ready to retire.
Wild Swimming Like a knife I cut the surface Of the deep dark saucer of the pool And plunge down Breath catching And rising As toes and fingers Are gripped by changing sensation; The coldness Seeps Through Warm skin Like a battery charger Creeping into every part of me, Leaving the world I know behind To join me to this new place In automatic union Of strange and raw freedom; Where stress has vanished Drawn by osmosis, Creating equilibrium In unknown depths Of different rhythms, Slowly Synchronised to my own; Matching my strokes To the draw of the current; My toes flexed Against a hidden force, Breath is even Energised and ready Awareness is sharpened The view is flattened Levelled with nature; I’m camouflaged At one with the river; My sight-line crossed By those who travel other paths Unfazed, Unknowing; The rules are changed.
Evening on the Slapton Line
Personified in the smile
Of the bay;
A ribbon of blue
Fading to pinkish grey;
The hue of the horizon
Giving way to a charcoal
Line - a smudge
Across the canvass
Of the silent sea
Save for the gentle
Rippling at the edge;
Soft roll of shingle
In and out;
In near darkness
As vessels make their way
Into hidden ports;
Clinging like clams
To the rocks
Beyond which the luminescence
From the Lighthouse
A beacon in the dark.
Golden grasses hang
Suspended in warm air;
Gossamer threads string pearled strands
In beaded chains;
Dew pools form
In grassy hollows.
Swallows have gone.
Blurred edges of the season;
Leaves torn by storm and rain;
Curled and ragged forms
Peppered lawns with
The party’s over-
The morning after.
On the brink of change;
Hold as we might to summer days;
We orbit on
Tilting from the sun until
Big Skies above Dartmoor
Light box of the heavens
A Rembrandt sky
Painted and layered
An artist’s eye
Heaven drawn to earth
Clouds that grow
Strength of trees
Anchored and firm
Roar of the wind
The Sun chasers
A rainbow sheen
Of woodland spores
Drenched in moorland
To marbled granite
Quartz and feldspar
Flecked with mica
Dry stone walls
And drover tracks
Hidden from view
Fan like veins
At moorland edge
Deep in valley floor
And rise through gates
To lush green grass
With gorse and heather
And granite tors
Wild and free.
Running Beside a River in Full Flood
Mercurial bubbles of foam
Twist and rotate
Spinning against the creased surface
Of blackened water
Effervescent as they travel
Downward towards the ocean
Then as I realise I’m travelling
At the same speed
At one weightless as those bubbles of air
On the water surface
My speed: the water speed
The sea 60 mins away
Onward the bubbles dance
Effortlessly over the churning
This is the river in full flight
Powerful and strong
Driving the current
Channelling the banks
Carving its way
And so I too carve out the distance
Deepen the stride
Dig deep to ascend the hill
Onwards and upwards to home.
A Dartmoor Walk
The gentle rise of land
Through meadows of fine grass
Up ancient drover tracks
Cobbled and worn though time
Walls cloaked in moss and liverwort
Grey lichen hanging from stunted oaks
Draws the walkers upward to
The moorland gate.
Soft swathes of grass
And bracken flanks
Lead to the babbling of the brook
Over granite slabs
We nimbly step;
At Glasscombe mounds of stones
And ruined walls
Lead conversation to ancient times
The boundary wall becomes our guide
The eastern brook provides a ford
And then Ball Gate
Elaborate balls and granite columns
Tell of a forgotten age
The banks here adorned with flowers
Painted heather and flames of gorse Amidst jewels of berries bright.
Through lush growth we descend
On ancient routes that trace the edge
And finger down in secrecy
To meet the tiniest track
Like veins they wander and connect
And draw us down the hill
As moor is left and fields merge
Seamlessly a change
The track widens, becomes a road
Until the stream is met
And crossing a stile and past the woods
We have made our way right back.
Wild Swimming in a Dartmoor River
Lure of a swirling pool
Of rust brown moorland flow
Cascading over rocks
Covering orange sand;
The first steps in
With primeval force
To synchronise with nature
On eye level- a new world;
The energy released
To swim against the tide;
To swim and hold ones own
At one with nature’s force
The cleansing that it brings;
The mind is sharply focused
Sees things usually unseen;
The angled forms of rock,
The feel of rounded stones,
The sounds of rush of water,
Chains of bubbles spiral;
The freshness of damp air
The warmth of the water.
The freedom that is owned;
Breathe deep and inhale
An elixir for life is found.
The End of a beautiful Day
Warmth hangs on the evening air,
Quiet breath of the cows,
Jewelled streaked sky unfurls,
Joins heaven to earth
In camera frame-
A world in stillness held.
Evening in Each Direction
Look West: A golden band paints the western sky Grey threads drawn through, Soft edges dissipate. Leaves which earlier were twisted and wind-blown Cast silhouettes; The black moorland outline Is defined Like the back of a sleeping giant. Look North: Cyan Blue and misty grey Softness as the light diminishes; A world of stillness broken By the fleeting shapes that Cross the sky. Look South: The distant hills Of violet hue Where the land meets the sea Look East. Beyond the dark shapes of trees A whisper of light Pulsates once then twice Through the night The lighthouse beam Twenty five miles away Look west: Night.
Transient element of Morning
A veil of cloud hangs between moorland ridge and green lowland hills Like grey cloth hung on a line; The air is still; A luminence behind signals transience of shower And captures the moment before Earthy spores release from heavy drops In deliberate fall of summer rain A primeval dampness prevails As arched stems bend forward, Frothy clouds of spent willow herb shroud the foliage beneath; Rain dances on the canopy above Drips steadily branch to branch Of sodden grass And slippery stones beneath; The wind picks up In soughing of the trees; The view diminishes; Stillness is lost; The haunting beauty Becomes a memory.
When hopes are Dashed
When hopes are dashed And all around seems dull And uselessness prevails and all thoughts take downward turn Head to the lanes And breathe Look the mist and the rain in the eye Run headlong into the wind And stride towards the hills; Oh to be out on the road Going not wither or where Taking all thoughts and questions Releasing them into the air.
If I could
If I could, I would surf the waves If I could,I would be a sky runner If I could,I would write a book If I could,I would climb the world’s mountains. Yet I can ride the waves of a storm Run the depths of the lanes Write words that inspire And help in a way that moves mountains.
When the mist languishes down the pane in rivulets of tears, speckling the glass in glistening bubble chains; and the pendulous trees nod and bow in random motion against roar of the wind ;the spume of cloud moves across the sky in an unfurled carpet Of grey; and the moorland ridge is seemingly pellucid and the world beyond the tops of trees has gone,in hyaline cloak;it seems discernible to stay awhile in bed. Ruth Partridge
From the Cliffs
First glimpse of sparkle on the sea Glistening shards- Fragmented light; A luminance of glass Shimmers effortlessly Across the flattened surface Of subtle hue of cornflower blue And teal; A mesmerising amalgam Between pastel land And powdery sky; That wide band of light Tye -died and fanned; An array like The stroke of a brush Glazed across the canvas; A smudged horizon Boundless Indefectible movement of sea and sky Creating beguiling changes From play of light; We are drawn to watch.
Haiku -Scandi Design
Memories to keep Beautiful script from the heart Simplicity shines
The Keepers- Stonehenge
Think of these as keepers, Closed ranks On hidden secrets Form connotations of mystic meaning Threaded through time. The world without Dark mystery within Waiting; Questions surround; Clear purpose inside. What covert union Maintains the recumbent secret Unscripted in ancient rocks From Welsh Pressili hills? Behemothic bluestone Hewn a hundred miles away With Neolithic tools- Rome wasn’t built in a day Or Pyramids by the Nile; Which age considered primitive? The stones won’t enlighten our Naivety Or edify the secret; Think of these as keepers. Ruth Partridge
Sculptural art Or pile of rocks The view aloft on mountain tops; To one just a ragged mound Another a safety line is found; When lost in mist the drop is spared By the site of stones ahead impaired. One time with friend We’d set off clear Intentions sharp, maps set No fear; We reached the ridge in record time And onward to the peak we climbed. Only then, did a shower of snow Deplete the route we aimed to go; At which with compass bearing checked Precariously we inched our way Knowing that the edge was near Impossible though it was to clear So heavily it snowed and fast We were unsure how long it’d last. Nervously we stopped to think And suddenly the mist retreated Enough to see that pile of stones A cairn which every walker knows Marks a cross or sudden drop We knew we were right to make that stop. So as we pass that way marked spot We place a stone upon the top With care by some And others not But working together the pile will grow And mark the place like lighthouse glow For all who chance on mountain slope The cairn is there to give some hope. Ruth Partridge
An anchor holds Fast In a storm With strength imbued Taught and firm In calm Released The boat will drift What anchors us when things get hard? Or do we come adrift?
Gossamer threads Spun gold Join heaven to earth; Whispered ethereal messages Across time And space Chase conversations Across the skies; Echoes of those Who walk on distant shores Who walk in parallel Light and free In time and space Tracing the stars.
Change within Miles
How lucky we are to live between the moors and the sea. Sometimes we feel in a bubble of our own micro-climate. A short drive and everything can be different.
A strengthening wind And unsettled sky Grey mist intermittent over the moor A short distance South To where land meets the sea Over the hill The sea comes to view The colours transformed Cerulean and green Sparkling in the distance We rounded the lane Drove down to the familiar beach again. The difference so great Clear skies and wide views Start Bay at its best How quickly things change.
Running with the Wind
It plays tricks in the lane Like galleons in full sail Trees high on the banks Sound like rain Cocooned between banks Is like the trough of the wave With every gate passed Another blast from the side The out run is fast Wind on the back With every turn there’s a change Debris strewn Picking my way Wind in my hair Soughing of trees Then roaring again Deep in the valley The shelter there Stillness is held I can hear myself Climb to the ridge Meet it head on Air sucked from breath Big skies Reveal High building cloud Towering above A line of grey Intensity growing Another turn Wind in the hair I’m flying again.
Trust in the things we cannot see Injection of self belief Confidence to take A step and Move from our comfort zone To take a leap unknown Resolve to leave things for Another Day. Courage to ask for help Wisdom to know that That we need to worry only about the Things of today Tomorrow takes care of itself Acceptance when we get things wrong Recognition of infallibility And human limitations Understanding that these abstract nouns Are as intangible as the words suggest To unpick and define As the complexities of the temporal lobe Limited by cerebral cortex Faith is when We hope in a better tomorrow Faith comes from trust In love given from above.
They forecast thunder
They forecast thunder: Looking above Marbled sky ever changing Sweeping like the dementors Of Harry Potter fame. A stirring overhead, Silent and heavy; A world in waiting Subtle changes Building cloud then dissipating Heavy sporadic drops of rain From no apparent source. Enough to release the intoxicating smell of spores released from the earth. The orange sky against intense grey- layers of smoke grey Bubbling clouds with cauliflower Edges; A Spielberg sky Intimidating Mesmerising Forces of nature With Strength building Into the night. We’re still waiting They forecast thunder.
Ribbons of pastel colours Chalked across the sky The heat dissipates The colour intensifies Above The silhouette of moorland ridge Stars aligned and waiting A crescent moon aglow A hung stillness Dampness creeps And night waits in the wings Until black Is chalked across the sky Enveloping all.
Haiku Poppies Highlighter of verge Of gateway or of the field Brilliance displayed. One day flowerer A splash of red against green Native of wasteland. Resilient seed To paper- thin endurance Poignant remembrance. Ruth Partridge
Only in England known
Endurance of mist and rain
Dense blanket of grey.
Haiku:Mizzle- a definition Only in England known Endurance of mist and rain Dense blanket of grey. Ruth Partridge
Summer Solstice Stonehenge The Heel stone marks the rise The crown of the year The sun in its meridian Held momentarily clear; Statistically recorded Longest day of light Waning days till Yule Bale fires alight. Mystic ritual performed, Ancient Norse procession, The light of Earth’s existence, Mysteries of succession. The sun reaches its zenith Upon these ancient stones; Our planet in quiet alignment In beauty is honed; Connects something intangible Deep in DNA Responding to those questions Of Neolithic way. Older than we can fathom, None can reason how? Spirituality reawakened To ask the question now. The orbit explained with physics Around this central star; The planetary alignment mathematical Seeks order out of chaos To be predictable. Questions still unanswered Evoke such mystery Of time long discussion Summer Solstice agreed A spectacle indeed. Whatever belief or none Put science and faith together; From this our wisdom comes; The power of our Earth Is drawn from things above, But the greatest thing of all It was made with love. Ruth Partridge
To understand To understand I have to place my feet In someone else’s shoes; To smile and walk beside Is not a lot to lose. Ruth Partridge
Compromise Nothing’s ever perfect Nothing’s ever right Give and take Empathy We learn to see a point of view To let things go To see another way We wrestle The Acceptance of disappointment To learn to live without To let things lie We pray for humility to accept defeat Forgiveness from The one whose love Will never compromise And so We learn The art of compromise. Ruth Partridge
The Stillness of Morning Taking on the serenity of morning, That first glimpse of the day Before sullied by things to be done; To simply ‘be’ In that moment Suspended in time and space Quiet and refreshed. Alone, Breath steadied and deliberate, Still. Ruth Partridge
A narrow length of grey Disappears into black Between high hedges Well aligned. Ferns are arched With secrets held In spectral stillness. A Breath of wind Casts elicit conversations Between the leaves, Murmurs Of time forgotten years By long gone travellers Whose spectres linger there Above the moss And creeping ivy That twists around The gnarled trunks of trees. Haunting stillness Envelopes all and Takes me in to feel And breathe that history. Ruth Partridge
Hare Brown hare at the gate There on my wheel Power engaged Turns on a sixpence Gone. Ruth Partridge
Shadows form; Charcoal stains splash across the road; Light is obscured Thrown into darkness, Hidden. Shadows grow; As daylight lengthens A tree in shadow Solidified, its strength intensified; Patterns play on surfaces, Undersides in darkness Silvered above. Shadows define The light at the end Of a tunnel of trees; The pattern of stone In a wall. Shadows hide Those who don’t want to be seen. Ruth Partridge
Enveloped in white.
Clouds of grey are churning High above in stratus; Soughing of trees increases With punctuated stopping Under heaviness awaited. Intensity foreboding; Drawn to be outside To feel the storm approaching To feel the pressure dropping Into deep depression; Oppressiveness in air A world more monochrome; The road joins the sky; Hedges lean in closer. An air of caution heeded With Heavy drop of rain The turning off of light Foliage hanging heavy Birds going quiet. Ruth Partridge
Consciousness of sound Momentary wakefulness Awareness returns. The calm grey of dawn Recumbent cows are stirring Sleeping world waiting. The first sound of birds An urgent call and restless The flourish soon gone. Blurred edges of day Nocturnal meets diurnal Time stands juxtaposed. Thoughts like whispers flow Slowly losing clarity Recrudescent dream. Ruth Partridge
The Slapton Line
Long sweeping curve of the bay Thread of yellow Meets mist And foreboding cloud Disappearing into a charcoal sky, Whipped up waves Churn against the shoreline; Light plays on the ever-changing Surface Of indigo and grey; A constant movement of the beast, A heaving mass of rolling wave Surges and falls; Hides the creatures that live Beneath its surface. No sign of porpoise or seal . And where is that great Leviathan we once saw? When eyes trained for hours Were rewarded with That great spout of water and arch Of the tail; That spectacle so great; Nothing today but Random illusions from Effervescent forces, The damp wind in the face And voices blown away on salted air. Ruth Partridge
Haiku Pattern – Tables Turned
At the end of March We stepped off the planet The world kept turning. Our pace had to slow With endless restrictions Nature stayed at work. We began to notice Sounds so more distinctive We listened more. Birds became louder- The blackbird, wren and thrushes? You just thought that way! We had quietened And so insightful we saw more That was nature’s gain. Unhindered by us Nature continued growing The tables were turned. What when this all ends- Will we forget this learning? We owe it to the earth. Ruth Partridge
A Walk along the Shore Awakened with childlike anticipation, the world gives way to a shimmering haze of blue. An empty swathe of pale gold sand meets the eye and catches the breath with a haunting beauty. Wind-blown and almost deserted, but for a solitary figure some way West. A setting unheard of but these are exceptional times. As if stripped of all unnecessary accoutrement of human activity, unadorned where land meets the sea. Fine dust and grit from an onshore wind, A translucent sea held still and glistening; soft, turquoise blue- a sheen against a pastel sky. Cool sun and gentle beams of light cast shimmering lines on the water surface as it gently tickles the shore. A shallow skin of water forming undulating pattern of shifting sand and rhythms play under the ever-changing sky; shadows modifying the colour in a mesmerising way, Ribbons of blue green stain. A gust of wind entombs faded footprints which lead to water's edge. Intuitively, drawn to follow, we too sink feet and set our footprints there in perfect line; our pattern is the same. And with flattened stones Sea- worn smooth in palms, we skim the mirrored surface and watch the spring on the meniscus spit and ripple. Concentric circles widen to dissipating pattern repeated as we play. Instinctive is the need to hold a shell or turn sea glass in the hand. These are tactile pleasures reciprocated every visit on a walk along the shoreline. We tread lightly: take nothing but the air, the freedom of the open space, our voices on the wind. sand in the hair, the breath of the sea , the memory in our DNA. Ruth Partridge
An ancient bridge Spans moorland gorge Deep running Clawing at the rock; Smooth worn boulders Undercut And crystal pools Dark hollows block; A cobbled path will take us still, Smooth worn by constant tread; Age old route beside the river Leads up to Lydia Mill. Moss covered rocks line the way Tumbling along its line; Trees overgrown and leafy shrubs Restrict this view of mine. Sheep though graze beneath the boughs To shelter from the rain, Tucked in and hidden well Till showers have passed again. The way,though short,is special still What waits is worth a view; The water tumbles down with force Primeval smells of damp earth ensue. The climb is short An ancient stile Of stone is at the ridge; Beside darkened pools the final task To reach this ancient bridge.
Rule of Three
The rule of three a writer's trick Memory facilitated, Three facts, that's it. In children's stories, threes found here, The Three Little Pigs The Three Musketeers. In fiction we remember three Beginning, middle and end agreed. A story group- a trilogy. A Narrative that shows progression Built up with tension Then released invention. Even stooges came in three Shakespeare made good use of these. A student learns with ease. Letters too have this restriction Salutation And valediction. There's strength in three for sermon too Three points made, then conclude Expected rule To err would fool. Consider other speeches then, 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen!' Slogans Pen: Stop Drop Roll, The 3 Rs toll, Three goals. There's power of three Makes a cube Rigidity of strength imbued. Take a power away and strength is lost. A flat square is not as strong. Power gone. Three-leaved clover, a fourth is rare; Nature's power of three is there, Three elements in air. The Bible too has symbols then: The three wise men, The cockerel crowed three times again. The third hour,the third day, Three times in the garden at Gethsemane The disciples forgot to pray. Father, Son and Spirit given At Trinity the power from heaven Omnipotence is riven. Omnipresent Omniscience Power over all with love is meant. A triune God of one in three Blessed Holy Trinity. The rule of three. Ruth Partridge
All is calm below The soughing trees above Protect this hidden space The depths I've learnt to love. Richness in these lanes Hold such secret there, A hidden wealth of nature Makes me linger there. Echoes in the wind; Gentleness beneath the trees ; Vibrancy beheld; The beauty of the leaves. Pastel shades of green Whispered feathers blown. Muted creatures stirred The lane gives up its throne. The secret lives it holds Twisted stories it could tell of folk who walked its path This lane I know so well. Ruth Partridge
A pastel glow beneath the heavy sky Signals a sign of change. Warmth descends to valley floor; All nature held in the spell of rain. Breathe deep. Droplets jewel from the fronds of ferns; Earthy smell from moss and stone Heightens senses in this place; The knowledge of being quite alone. Breathe deep. In this world of darkened state Of hidden boughs laid low Musk of fox, rank smell of decay Spires of foxglove bright pink aglow. Breathe deep. The tremoring call of the lark, A bird which cannot be seen So high it flies above; The silhouette of the hare On sodden field of green. Breathe deep. All nature seems awakened The shower for now has passed. Swallows skim close to the ground Refreshment , nourishment Elixir of life is found. Breathe deep. Ruth Partridge
A leaden sky, dark grey marauds against the brightness of the morning. A stillness; with time suspended; all nature waits. Slow to fall the sound awakens, perceptions heightened. Olfactory senses stirred by primeval smells of spores released. A reawakening - nature's release. Rejuvenation or decay, water replenishes. Droplets quicken- moving to a different tempo. Sounds intensify against hard earth. Nature responds: Birds quieten, Plants stand tall, Colours intensify against the grey. With gentleness it falls , The weathervane redundant; Windless Slow moving Thirst quenching Life-giving. Into pools and rivulets streams in the lane each droplet finding its course, Repurposed, Focused. For each living thing hydration. Repurposed, Focused, Changed. Ruth Partridge
Early Summer Run
inspired after a run on a very hot day June 1st
A dusty road snaking down To sound of constant whine. The rumbling sound of trailers carried, Grass-cutting is the sign Of summer in this ancient lane- A vein off an artery. None will know that this exists Save those whose lane it be. To run this route is less well known But beautiful all the same. It slopes away beneath the hill Contouring is this lane. So stride is long and metres swift From top to valley floor. The river is a welcome sight, The shade of trees assured. The river's sound is pleasant now- A soft flow through the gorge. Slabs of stone are now revealed Undercut by constant force. Sparkling water runs so clear And tempting it would be To take a dip within its depths As it glints and beckons me. Instead the view of houses Perched up on the hill; The choice is there- short and steep- Or even longer still. Past the old kiln cottages The true height though is hidden A laboured run up the narrow track Roughly worn and pot hole riven. This, an hour, is not so long As others on my rounds, But offers up the best in choice of running steep hills down. The shelter though and trees contrast And the river is a dream And often favoured is this way To run a while unseen. Ruth Partridge
Inspired by a three Km stretch of lane which our family has always called ‘the thinking lane’- on account of us walking it almost daily, alone, together or with dogs. It’s a single-track road with few passing places, but mostly straight enough to see something coming and quiet enough to hear something coming. It is far from flat and the hills add interest as it follows the valley – one of the prettiest in South Devon.
A framed view of fields captured in The golden light Of long shadows and filtered sun; Where sheep graze , their coats full and heavy, And lambs in groups Charge to and fro in playful chatter. Where dappled light is cast And dark green of oak filters lime Through leaves caught by the sun Down into the sunken lane; Where the air is close; The heat intense; Breath is heavy; Holding on to the warmth of the day. Stirrings in the bank as I run past Rustles and urgent calls of a thrush- That elusive bird of dawn and dusk- Darts across. Bullfinches play out in final flourish Branch to branch- with seemingly no purpose But to enjoy. The flowers too- Colours intensified Of striking foxglove and blousy willowherb. A bee works frantically Petal to petal Bright yellow buttercups and campion Face upward, Tall grasses arch over. The air thick with the scent of honeysuckle. Time is running; I am stopping To watch, to look and save the view. Waiting. A cloud of dust : a tractor passes; The farmer waves And makes his way home. The air settles and the view clears. My breath is stilled. This simple beauty of a world intensified Just before the sun goes down in Rhythm of the day. Where all creation seems held In harmonious pursuit of calm enjoyment. This is their church and mine to share. Before the ending of the day Grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Ruth Partridge
The Ridgeway Road
When I ran along this route the other evening, it’s comparable length and straightness challenged in a different way from the tiny lanes. As ever, I’m lost in thought and invariably think back. This was the evening exploring local history- something I wanted to do with the written notes I have to hand. Local friends may recognise the places. The poem dips and dives a bit, just like the road itself. Please enjoy.
Long and narrow upland road Hugs the contour line; Worn through time of toiling step From abbey to the Devon coast. The Ridgeway For meditation and reflection- A solitary journey, A pilgrim on the route. In Saxon times the name is changed To Wheel Way, though still rough. Wheels are made for ease of travel Yet progress slow It's far from flat. The reddish stain of Devon soil Hugs The rims and soils the boots Of those who walk. The views are good where land is open A safer way to go, Yet sheltered too from deep set banks Stones drawn: soil piled As fields are made And native trees line the path From the winds that cut across Forested Dartmoor hills. Romans may have aligned some straightness Visible in Five-Mile Lane. Sketchy knowledge they were here. The Normans were and used the route And named a field Vauldeveur. Medieval times, manorial living Gifted by the king. Villain farms, A settlement, Beenleigh, Trimswell names remain. From the ridge Lanes steep and narrow Connect the valleys Thread like veins, Farm to farm Hidden deep , Long ingrained. Still well-used this road through time, What memories it holds If only we could see. The clues are there But nothing more- The love of history. Ruth Partridge
Written this morning to catch the beauty before it is gone. South Devon Banks In May Elevated in tiered position, Ephemeral clouds of white froth of Cow Parsley Drift above slender stems; Elegant Queen Anne's Lace In vogue and favoured. The Violet velvet of Bluebells Fades gracefully beneath; Statuesque monarch To central orb. Sparkling woodland celebrities- Fluted rubies of Red Campion, Robin Hood or Cuckoo Flower- And princess-cut diamonds of white Stitchwort Dance amidst; Heralding The strong fanfare of emerald ferns Unfurling their fronds to the sky Catching the light in multifaceted array. These are the jewels of the season... A long awaited Regal appearance; Transient in beauty, Perfect by design. Ruth Partridge
First Light A petrol sky etched with pinkish hue; The muffled cockerel cry; A hazy outline of moorland ridge; The first calls of a thrush imbue. Recumbent cows with their faces alight; Shards from the eastern sun; A lone calf wanders, stirring the herd; Sharp cry of a blackbird in flight. Conspicuous by its reddish form, A deer runs back and forth. Green juxtaposed against the golden grass The hedge-lined fields adorn. A gifted morning, a savoured treat So often going unseen; A hidden world- a rhythmic pattern; Opposed lives chancing to meet. Ruth Partridge
Devon Lane Ruth Partridge High banks bear down on a ribbon of grey; Undulations rise and fall; A palette of colours brush one world With another; Hidden secrets: whispers heard Of ancient labourers' trail The Rhythms of time; Work of the seasons kept marked; Rough and worn down by tread and wheel; Timeless, monotonous Twist and turn; Punctuated Views through old gates that frame Soft green against the grey. A galleried work of smooth grass or plough, Shows hill to climb; The path goes on to destination end.
Ascension Day This is the time of year When life springs from the cave Pushing back the stone, And vanishes to heaven leaving blue stains in the woodland Drops on sunshine on the meadows New lambs bouncing in the backdraft. Then we are alone , just Ghosts of memory on our shoulders, The storms from events without, The dread of emptiness within, Comforted by the softness of truth Buried in our DNA. Wordwool mindfoxblog
Warmth hangs on the evening air,
Quiet breath of the cows,
Jewelled streaked sky unfurls,
Joins heaven to earth
In camera frame-
A world in stillness held.