At the business networking meeting I attend each week, we were recently talking about what we’ll do when we are allowed to meet up in person again. The group started just before lockdown last year, so we had a few face-to-face meetings before we were obliged to reorganise and meet on Zoom.

Those first few meetings were held over breakfast at a hotel. We’d gather together just before 7am and were usually finished by 9am, though some of us would then order more coffee and continue the conversations. Essentially, though, the meetings took place outside the business day.
Continue reading “mornings”

strawberry sunrise

After spending the night gadding on the other side of the world, the sun crept in on Thursday morning, draped in a gauzy veil the colour of crushed strawberries.

(This mid-week post is brought to you in a shameless attempt to increase the number of visitors and views logged on the blog before the end of the year.)


Recently, I seem to be waking very early. One morning when I checked the time it was four minutes past four; it occured to me I should be writing a poem with the line “4:04: sleep not found”.

404 error pages

That idea didn’t seem to go anywhere, but here are a few pre-dawn lines:

awake again at 4 am

birdsong weaves around the house;
the chorus swells and fades
in fugal waves of sibilance
to spin a spell that teases out
the softening grey.

dawn chorus

Early dawn over the Severn Bridge

The neighbour’s cat croons throatily;
songbirds squeak and whirr:
the new day eases slowly into gear.

time passes

2:00 am
Crickets creak a tripwire grid
across the garden.

4:00 am
The hoot of an owl glides like a shadow
from the heart of the tallest pine.

5:30 am
The rooster’s crowing wakens the hens
who peck and pick, unravelling
the fraying edges of the night.

6:00 am
Now, all the valley dogs are worrying
at the straggling ends of dark; they tug
and bark and run with them towards the morning.


(A draft – or perhaps just notes for a poem – which is very much a variation on a theme. I posted an earlier interpretation almost exactly two years ago as Alarm)

Incidentally, trying to find out what type of owl I was writing about, I found the Owl Pages site with its extensive selection of recordings. And having cross-referenced with the Iberia Nature site, I think I must be thinking of a tawny owl.

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