Sunday, 20 March 2011

Walled Garden, Felbrigg

WALLED GARDEN, FELBRIGG  Wendy Webb


Mature fruit in the apple orchard,
skies blue as endless summer.
Neptune’s cherub poses,
harmless in a pond,
where lavender yet blooms.
No crooning from the dovecote’s aged red bricks,
while vegetables are fat for harvesting
before first winter frosts.

A bloom of agapanthus skies
and angel’s trumpets in the greenhouse.
Just gently snaking breeze
of naked ladies blooming bare and pink.
Geraniums in second flush,
fuschias tall as trees.
Cabbage whites flit caryopteris airs,
while pensioners slow to a long-gone age;
yet fast as humans, fast as fall,
and always like a Noah’s Ark, in pairs.

Geese arch to church-migrating shapes,
into a storm of popes and formless fears.
Silent jets spike the sky,
to seashell echoes of a distant war.

One stray dragonfly dances light-stormed peace;
too soon, gone.
An echolalic child lifts laughter into air,
as windfalls stray and bruise on verdant lawn.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Underside the Seaside

UNDERSIDE THE SEASIDE  Wendy Webb


No coastal town takes erosion with such charm
in calm and winding, car-denying climb,
as Blakeley, beside Cley.
Blue/white striking cottages, cobbled together
higgledy-piggledy along the narrow street,
with ‘Sugarplum,’ ‘Tidal Retreat,’ and cosy ‘Snugglers Den,’
dropping as a gull for fish; or bread on the waters.

Quiet courtyards impassion passing age;
brimming hollyhocks, roses, honeysuckle;
dried starfish streak a window sill’s salt theme.
Pensioner chronometers muscle shore-steep Quay:
‘They’ll be crabbing along the edge...’

Fair views of beach huts, galleries lined
with boats or Norfolk scenes; sublime.
Proud beside blue dinghies, packed parked cars,
higgledy-piggledy browsers passing through,
with picnic seats and picnics. Time to chat;

to choruses of swooping gulls,
blackheaded for the season’s vocal feed.
Clustered homes along the wharf, all cobbles,
Blickling bricks. ‘Seal trips’ advertised by
‘Bishops Boats.’ Waiting – perhaps for trips to bless the seals,
blubber-rich in seafood, all for sale:
of WHELKS and MUSSELS, PRAWNS and SHRIMPS,
OYSTERS and ‘CRAB SANDWICHES.’

Youthful gull begs bread among his peers,
bobbing shoulders hunched full down,
in raucous bow and gawping beak;
brown smudge feathers, begging in the mud.
Sludge path, the scenic right of way, finds Cley,
signs Blakeney Point, home of mud seals;
a smudge without a telephoto lens.

Young Barbie Dolls screech in delight and hail
a yelping terrier, paddle-deep in slime and dowsing salt.
Bucket and crabs aloft, they race around in grime,
a smudge of mud within their parents’ lens,
pouring crab pool chrome mud pies,
muscling, screaming: surfing mud-sucked flow.

Below the crabbers’ estuary,
higgledy-piggledy boats huddled at low tide
and, in full stride, the late, good-natured sun,
twinkling, youthful as a Barbie Doll,
all English misting clouds and dust
and blubber, mud-splat flesh and limbs askew.
Beached as the mud flats, fat with seals,
scruffy coastal shrubs, coarse grass
and art translated into sludge and paint.
‘For Sale.’ The higgledy-piggledy perfection
of a blue chrome Norfolk sky.