#30DaysWild Day 18 The Parliament of the Sea Creatures

IMGP0947 ((c) Fraser Hutt) blue crab

Blue Crab from Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (c) Fraser Hutt

‘Hear ye, hear ye,’
the trumpet fish waved his long snout
’The Boss is anxious to sort things out.
He’s calling a meeting of all you chaps
to right a few wrongs, so perhaps
you would kindly make your way
to the reef at eighteen degrees South
by one four eight East
on Sunday week at half past four. ’

At the appointed hour Poseidon thumps his trident.

IMGP0923 upsidedown jellyfish

Upside down Jellyfish from Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (c)The Hutts

You should have seen the throng:
of whales and sharks and lion fish
with cod and hake and herring;
anemones and sea slugs
sea cucumbers and angel fish,
coral, fighting shy of parrot fish –
it should have been a disaster
but I quelled them with one Godly look.

We’re here to talk, not nibble
you can quibble later. I’m having my say
and what I say goes.
We need to keep a balance
of species and varieties,
so you must control your appetites.
Give and be given, live and let live.

TCI beach litter

Fishing Litter, Blowing Hole Middle Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (c) Sally Hutt

It’s those blasted humans
who’re spoiling the ocean for us –
whose greed and careless waste
cause  pain, pollution and worse.
That’s what we’re here to discuss.

Mutter mutter, argy bargy,
piffle, waffle and baloney –
after hours of fruitless discussion,
the God’s expression stony,
he came to a momentous decision.
What I propose is to intervene
with the Gods of storms and weather,
but most of all with the human race
to work together,
clean up our act,
save us all this bother.

‘Twas soon agreed by one and all
that it was worth a try:
the case was taken to Zeus, my brother,
and won – unique in unanimity.

(c) Vivienne Blake 21 May 2013

Photos taken by the Hutts when they spent 3 months in 2010/11 volunteering on the Turks and Caicos Islands – a British Overseas Territory

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#30DaysWild Day 17 Kielder Midges

IMGP3749 islands

Top end of Kielder May 2014 (c) Sally Hutt

Kielder Midges
A hatch of midges hovers in a cloud
above Kielder Water at eventide.
Hungry for human blood they are avowed,
not to disperse until it is supplied.
Despite this hazard, hardy walkers crowd,
for the beauty of the lake can’t be denied.
As complex eco-systems demonstrate,
it’s nature’s way ever to compensate.

(c) Vivienne Blake 17th July 2014

An Ottava Rima form of poetry: a poem writ7ten in 8-line octaves. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:scheme – Abababcc

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#30DaysWild Day 16 Renaissance Camp

I’ve been browsing through the box of Mum’s writing I have and came across this poem about Sandwood Bay which was a family favourite on our 3 week caravanning trips around Scotland for many summers.  These summer trips did inspire a love of wild places and exploring.  There is no public road to the bay – it is still a 4.5 mile walk along a track from the nearest road.  Sally

Renaissance Camp

Sandwood Bay in Sutherland
in days gone by only reachable
after a twenty-mile trek across moor and mountain.
Nowadays a road ties it to so-called civilisation,
a retrograde step.

My renaissance camp would set up there
back in time, like a Tardis,
I’d wander the pristine shore
rejoicing in the sounds of the sublime
the swish of sea, the cry of guillemot
the scream of dive bombing oystercatcher.

Mermaids would whisper their stories
into my ear to re-invent for the children
who’ve accompanied me there –
sturdy trekkers that they were,
receptive to wilderness and beauty.

They’ve picked up the baton
in search of remote places
now that trekking is behind me,
renaissance of the seeds sown so long ago.

(c) Vivienne Blake – first published on this blog 20th July 2014

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#30DaysWild Day 15 The Birds Came

A survey of bird life hereabouts
showed nary a one when we moved in.
The need to see life is vital to me
so I set about planting treats:
flowers to lure insects,
greaseballs stuck in the apple tree
and a regular supply of crumbs.
You have to laugh, or you’d cry
…………………………………….for no birds came.

The north winds of winter
came and stayed –
the face of the earth devoid of smiles –
…………………………………..and no birds came.

A meeting of tractors conferred
and spread in formation to labour the earth.
A flutter of pigeons took the hint,
flocked to the field near the house
………………………………….and a few birds came.

Buds burst, blossom bloomed, the sun shone
my treats took heart and did their job.
First a blackbird came to sing his song
a sparrow arrived and brought his mate
to chirp and squeak.
One after another,
to change my report,
………………………………….the birds came.

(c) Vivienne Blake, 25 May 2014

Apologies for missing another day yesterday. Sally

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#30DaysWild Day 13 Woodland

An ocean of green
shadowy depths ─ through which float
islands of sunlight

Deepest forest
clouded by the breath of trees —
small creatures creep

(c) Vivienne Blake March 7 2016

Photos taken in Viv’s Wood 2 June 2019 (c) Sally Hutt.  Apologies for missing posting a poem yesterday.

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#30DaysWild Day 11 Slugs

EPSON MFP image

Scanned from a print found in Mum’s paper archive.

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#30DaysWild Day 10 Nature Cento

IMG_7173 southern hawker

Southern Hawker (c) Duncan Hutt

Insects flittering,
leaves flickering in the breeze
filter the light with moving speckles.
Glistening blue and green
of dragonfly delight the eye.
Cacophony of birdsong
tunes the ear to individual airs.
A waft of flowery fragrance
scents the air as a small miracle
of light bathes fields in gold.
Scent, sight and sound restore me –
defeat my grumpy mood.

(c) Vivienne Blake, July 29th 2015

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#30DaysWild Day 9 The Kielder Gypsy

pretty pair on nest 1 2

Kielder Ospreys (Mr and Mrs YA) (c) Forestry England 2014

From wandering far,
wind-soaring nobly,
wearily back to remembered refuge,
Litter-strewn encampment,
scruffy pile of sticks:
I don not belie the reputation of my kind.

So why?
Why do they watch me,
peer at me,
target of telescopes
and paparazzi lenses?

Twitchers queuing
to see what I’m up to.

IMG_0292 Osprey Watch Fraser Duncan

Fraser and Duncan Watching Ospreys (c) Sally Hutt

Why?
I’m not here to entertain them.
I’m just doing my job,
catching fish
while they shop,
fathering young,
tending my brood,
while they abuse.

n1a-08.05-4-in-row

Kielder Ospreys – Feeding Time (c) Forestry England 2019

Tell them from me
to live their own lives.
My life is free,
while theirs is all chained,
to places, to things and to greed.

Tell them, tell them for me,
to live as I do.

(c) Vivienne Blake 2010

This is a poem I have found in Mum’s paper collection.  She may never have posted it on her blog before.

 

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#30DaysWild Day 8 Monsoon

Monsoon

P1050438

The Hutt’s garden after the monsoon – 21mm of rain in 12 hours (c) Sally Hutt

Eagerly awaited in parched places
producing life in desert oases
feared in low-lying river basins
suffered stoically on vacation
welcomed by gardeners
inhaling petrichor* with appreciation.

* Petrichor – the smell given off by rain falling on dry earth.

(c) Vivienne Blake 24 June 2015

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#30DaysWildDay 7 Wild Haigu

meadow ecosystem haiga

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#30DaysWild Day 6 The Cream of the Garden

The Cream of the garden

SG1L1456 Fraser April 2009

Viv’s Grandson, Fraser, in the old stump in the hedge bank April 2009

The bank, left wild for birds, insects,
and January primroses,
before violets, bluebells, nettles,
cow parsley and foxgloves.
The hedge, murdered every few years
for winter logs and kindling – a motley thing
of alder, hazel, chestnut,  ash,
wild cherry and baby hedgerow oaks;
there’s a hollow stump sprouting hazel hair,
where a blackbird raises a brood in Spring,
becoming hideaway for summer children.
Its brambles give us jelly and crumbles,
sweetness from undergrowth.
Sweetness, too, behind the shed
where grass cuttings, weeds and waste,
moulder undisturbed into compost,
loved by vegetables, flowers, fruit, and me.

(c) Vivienne Blake

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#30DaysWild Day 5 One Beautiful Morning in May

One Beautiful Morning in May

It seems as though the path runs through three seasons –
where just three weeks ago the foliage was sparse,
now  banks are full of flora in abundance.
Fauna also leaves its evidence –
I stumble over mid-path lines of molehills
and a badger sett shows signs of a spring clean

P1050342 Common Dog Violet Viola riviniana

Common Dog Violet (Viola riviniana) Taken in Viv’s Wood 02.06.19 (c) Sally Hutt

For company, my shadow and a blackbird
who sings his courting heart out, free, for me.
I trudge through fluff of fallen pussy willow,
see  violets from March still here and there.
Rosettes of knobbled primrose leaves I see,
though February’s buttery flowers are gone.

Campion, dandelion and pignut flourish
side by side with early foxglove spires.
Umbrellas of froth, cow parsley rubs shoulders
with bracken, unfurling fronds of autumn promise.
Flashes of light flicker through the trees,
arouse the scene to joyful life once more.
© Vivienne Blake 04.05.14

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#30DaysWild Day 4 The Storm

The storm crashes through the membrane
of blue sky, brings booming thunder,
streaky wayward lethal lightning,
machine gun hail  to batter us.

The limb of ancient oak creaks and cracks,
tumbles from force of wind on wood;
perfect habitat of birds transformed
to home for insects, fungi, lichen.

Creatures cower in the undergrowth
fearing the storm as bird of prey
until the drama fades,
and they creep away.

(c) Vivienne Blake

Not quite thunderstorm weather but it has been raining all afternoon here in Northumberland.
Sally

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#30DaysWild Day 3 A Microscopic Drop in the Ocean

A Microscopic Drop in the Ocean

Our wide world is just a drop in the ocean,
a punctuation mark in creation.

A zoom lens powers in
with vertigo-inducing speed
from the vast outer void
through space
past planets
oceans
seas

 swoops over earthly terrain
to observe the anthill
of a rush hour
city street

lingers over a hair on the head
of a lonely homeless man
focuses on a grain
of sand

hovers over forest  plummets to earth
over trees, plants and animals
insects swarming infesting;
contracts to a single
microscopic
dot
.

(c) Vivienne Blake

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#30DaysWild Day 2 The Trees Know It All

The trees know it all

IMG_0535 lane near Pont Brocard

Lonning/Lane/ Near Pont Brocard (c) The Hutts

We know that feeble ancient poet
who slares along the lonning
between our rows on good days,
encircles the built-on bourg
peering at nettles, splits in our bark
and holes delved inside us by wild beings.
She is at home beside us.

She who gazes from her armchair
on bad days
across the meadow
to where we grow in crowds
along the rounded valleys.
She finds solace in the sight of us
busily protecting the planet.
She is at home.

(c) Vivienne Blake

Cumbrian dialect:

  • slare (v) to amble slowly
  • lonning (n)  a lane, specially a secret lane to a farm

Written by Viv from the perspective of the trees she knew with a photo taken by The Hutts on a trip to visit Viv.  We all loved to wander the tree lined lanes that the farmers use for moving their stock between fields – the type of landscape in which they are found is called Bocage.  There were lots of lovely traffic free (if sometimes rather wet) sunken lanes around where she lived in Cerisy-la-Salle and Notre Dame de Cenilly.  Mum seems to have mixed Cumbrian dialect with a french term, bourg, in this poem.  Bourg is a French market town or lot and she was watching a TV programme about Cumbria when she was inspired to write this poem.

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