A Forest Ditch

Walking in the forest
I hear the quiet breeze
Flowing through the tall conifers.
Above me.

A Great Tit calls
with piercing clarity
Impressing his mate.
And me.

I come across a water-filled ditch
Long enough for Ophelia
To drown herself.
But not me.

I get down on my hunkers and draw –
Peat-brown edges,
Reflections of Sky,
Above me.

I fall into a state
Of introspective meditation
On the words of Lao Tsu
Who speaks to me:

Eight:
The highest good is like water.
Water gives life to the ten thousand things and does not strive.
It flows in places men reject and so is like the Tao.
In dwelling, be close to the land.
In meditation, go deep in the heart.
In dealing with others, be gentle and kind.
In speech, be true.
In ruling, be just.
In business, be competent.
In action, watch timing.

No fight: No blame.

Forest Pool
Acrylics on canvas, 45x60cm.

Today I planted seeds:
Sunflower, parsley, Zucchini
Sweet Pea, Antirrhinum,
Nasturtium, Night-scented stock.
Scottish Marigold (Calendula).

I hope they come up.
As usual.

I Know a Place

170131 Woodland 01
Acrylics on canvas, 45x61cm.

I know a place where the birds sing softly.
I know a place where the leaves lie gently.

I know a place where field mice forage
And wood lice feast
on fallen logs.

I know a place where the wind sighs high through the canopy
and pine needles drop to replenish the earth
in a thick spiky carpet of orange and brown.

I know a place where we always meet
To renew our bonds
In secret union.

I know a place where I will be happy
To spend eternity
With you.

Doon the Glen

160919-calderglen-02-stage3
Acrylics on canvas, 51×100.2cm.

Doon the Glen there’s a great muckle tree                                    :down, great big
Blaw’n o’er by the wind last January                                               :blown over
It’s roots exposed to the winter rains we get in June
An’ a’ it’s branches ripped aff in the fa’.                                        :off, fall

It spans frae bank tae bank o’ the wee mickle burn                     :small
That feeds the Rotten Ca’der,                                                              :Rotten Calder
That meets the Clyde at Redlawood,
Rins through the great City of Glesga                                               :runs, Glasgow
And oot through the Firth tae the wide Atlantic Ocean.             :out, to

D’ye think a’ they sticks I drapped in the watter                         :dropped, water
Will wan day wash up on some foreign shore – France,
Spain, Portugal? Mibbies e’en America?                                        :perhaps even

If ye fun wan o’ them please send it hame.                                  :find one, home
It’ll hae ma name oan it.                                                                     :have, on
And the Saltire Cross.                                                          :Scotland’s national flag

Fairy Dell

160914-calderglen-01

…or, Spot the Elves!

Out of this wood do not desire to go:
Thou shalt remain here, whether thou wilt or no.
I am a spirit of no common rate;
The summer still doth tend upon my state;
And I do love thee: therefore, go with me;
I’ll give thee fairies to attend on thee,
And they shall fetch thee jewels from the deep,
And sing while thou on pressed flowers dost sleep;
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so
That thou shalt like an airy spirit go.
Peaseblossom! Cobweb! Moth! and Mustardseed!

Acrylics on canvas, 51x76cm.