Cotswold Summer

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There is a moment in the Cotswold year
When the rolling wheat fields
Summon the golden hue of the stone
On which all is built:

It is the baked brown of a village
Ripe upon the history of the hills;
The colour of summer made hay
Adhering to the sparse pasture

And bitten at by shaggy sheep.
It is light to warm the heart
And grow roses from the sun
Still kept at dusk

In the envoys of the warm bricks
Radiating in ochre moods
As the jasmine clad night enfolds
All within its sumptuous scents.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

Orchard

Six old codgers
Wizened as the crooked years
And mottled with age pigment
Lean on the honey stone wall
Resting their swollen joints.
Their feet are slippered in the grass
And feel the settled earth of the village,
Cradled in the seasons and strewn with
Apple blossom, windfall or crisp autumn leaf.
It’s spring now
And daffodils, yellow upon the pasture
Make good on the bulb planter’s promises,
And cowslips, mild in the moss,
Peep for the buttermilk light.
The old boys lean and watch,
Pondering as their grandfathers did
And the grandfathers before that.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2016

A Year In The Chalk Stone Village

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In the chalk stone village
Flint glints metamorphic
In shards of black sunlight
Mortared in the strata
Of a time when much
Was constructed from spare
Thoughts left lying around.

In the spring
Fledgling wisteria,
Delicate on the woody vine,
Take to the sky on pale green wings,
And garlands dangle voluptuous
Above each cottage door
And homely window frame.

And in the summer
Swallows spit and daub
Their dwellings under eaves
And flit the pink sky
Scoring invisible patterns
Of impermanence etched
With high swooping cries.

And in the autumn
The plants give up
The flush of summer’s
Vital light, let go the link
For approaching torpid night
And release their fruits
To future’s fertile cornucopia.

And in the winter,
The shabby season’s end,
Expectant bulbs await the sign
To push their green nibs
Beyond the hugging ground
And light the new year
Just as the last was so conjured.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015

Southern French Village

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The boulangerie
Opens its sleepy eye
To the bird tweeting village
And looks upon
A once neat boulevard
Aged to a trunk lumpy
Old woman, clucking
Pleasantries as she ambles
With white crusty bread
To her shutter clad dwelling
Limp on its hinges
But crookedly beautiful
With time.

Her garden is put to work:
A crop of gnarled tomatoes
Fruiting in pastel lanterns,
Grapes yellowing
And freckled on the vine
And a font
Where honey oozes
Through the faucets
Of voluptuous figs,
Loosened and falling
As purses unclasped
And relaxing
Amid the gravel
In which herbs muster volatile
In air sweetened
To Provençal notes
And excited to fragrance
By a brush past
Or even the sun
Hot in the radiating stones.

© Ben Truesdale and distilledvoice, 2015