more dragons

I mentioned recently that there are certain words and phrases that I use over and over again: “rather lovely” occurs in a dozen posts here, while a search on “glorious” brings up 11 pages – over 50 posts. But it’s not just language that repeats; it’s also the topics.

There are daisies and dandelions scattered across these pages almost as liberally as the actual flowers occur in the neighbour’s garden, while bees bumble between posts, swallows swoop down and swans glide through at irregular, but fairly frequent, intervals.
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fantastical flora & fauna

For some reason, I’ve been thinking about fairy tales.

I’ve already mentioned that the tree lupin buds made me think of alien claws, but I’m pretty sure the plant is terrestrial, so perhaps it’s more like the talon of a mythical bird.

Lupins weren’t the only flowers I found in my mother’s garden last week that transported me into the world of the imagination.
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gone to seed

Although it’s still nearly three weeks until the equinox, the meteorologists say it’s already autumn. Certainly there are plenty of fruits and berries about on trees and bushes.

As I wandered round in the sunshine yesterday, camera in hand, wondering what to take photos of, my eye was caught by the magnolia tree. More specifically, by the seed pods in various stages of development.
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hic sunt dracones

scarlet snapdragonI have a soft spot for dragons. Especially red ones. So naturally I stopped to photograph these flowers when I saw them in the park yesterday.

Then I found something even more dragon-like:
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here be dragons

dragonfly closed wings

The cats bring me gifts; they leave them outside the door: lizards, locusts, snakes, birds, eggs, embryos, feathers…

I’m never sure what I’ll find on the verandah in the morning. Never sure if it will be alive or dead, complete or dismembered.

So when I found this lovely creature the other morning, I assumed he was only in one piece because the cats had got bored and abandoned the game when he died of shock.

Naturally, I went to get the camera to take some close-ups… Continue reading “here be dragons”

200: a work in progress

When I first started this blog it was intended to be mostly poetry, but I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by other language issues and general bits & pieces, and it’s a while since I posted a poem.

This, though, is my 200th blog post, so I think some poetry is called for. The problem with short poems is that it’s almost impossible to know when they’re finished. So, like the blog, this is a work in progress; a draft:


The dragon in the fireplace snorts
contempt for kitchen mortals. He shifts
to find a comfy spot, catches his breath
and coughs, farting a firework spray
of sparks and embers. His scaley hide
cracks open as he settles back to rest
on his vermilion hoard.

terror incognita

mountains in the south of France
There is a phrase in the introduction to Heaney’s Beowulf (Faber & Faber) that caught my attention when I first read it:

“Nevertheless, the dragon has a wonderful inevitability about him and a unique glamour.”

It took me about five years before I found the poem where the idea could be used.

Of course it’s possible that speed isn’t necessary when we’re dealing with mountains, dragons and poetry.
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