The Long Lane Down


Late summer woods, blackberries unripened.
Tinged leaves curled against the heat of a Saturday bake.
N’ westerly breezes breathe cool evening out onto the tired landscape of August hedgerows.
Seedpods, black, already scattering messages for next Spring’s busy schedule.
Crunch…snap…. pop pop!
Snowy bunched cow parsley, laced and bondaged
wink seduction to passers by.
Brittled by hot sun and winds out of season, tall grasses lie strewn, snapped in a fervour of summer’s abundance.
Would the massing clouds race us to the clifftop?

Our upward saunter through this winding woodpath, past stunted oaks
draped and dripping in shadow cloaks
led us out onto a huge sky.
Always a shock after enclosure.
A sky that brought an intake of breath, where sea and sky, were belting out brilliance!
Sea, a solid expanse of granite blue – and then – we saw – the sudden appearance of the Moon
wearing surprise eyebrows
fast poking her head up over the straight-ruled horizon.
She flamed with the fires of that searing setting sun!
We snapped and clicked, caught her laughing face face in our hands!
Rise, and shine, she did; spitting out light across the wide Bay, rolling out a red carpet
from ship to shore.

With evening drifting by.
Bats swooped,zipped and played dimpsey tricks with our eyes.
The long lane down, dark down beneath blackened trees shapes.
Papermoths dazzled by our torches, ziggzagged through the dense undergrowth
of nettle, sorrel, pink sweet mallow, tangled with knots of bindweed.
Moonlight, torchlight, exchanged with sealight and starlight on a midnight stage.
Giving us a grand theatre of possibilities
– as we lay on the wet sand.

 – written by Hazel Brown


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