10 May – Cold front cold shoulder

Go away cold front!
You’re not welcome here.
Stop pelting Spring’s bright flowers
with your little rocks of fear.
This is the weather
for April or March –
leave May alone!
Blow away! Quick march!
We’re tired of your hail
and single figure degrees.
Leave us alone now!
Give Spring some peace!
We’re ready for coatless days
and fine firepit nights…
let us have our sunshine –
give up your fight!

9 May – The bluebell manifesto

More than half the world’s bluebells grow in the UK
so don’t ever miss out on enjoying them in May.
Make sure you set aside at least one day
to walk among their fabulous, fragrant array.

You’ll find them growing wild in all our ancient woods
but why not plant their bulbs in every built-up neighbourhood?
Then they can do each citizen the power of good –
transforming the mundane with exquisite Wedgwood.

The world is much improved by well placed petal power,
uplifting the lonely and brightening the dour;
dousing the dull in heady flower showers,
making every minute feel like golden hour.

9 May - Bluebell manifesto

8 May – Forest bathing

I’m putting off any more procrastination
and booking myself onto a woodland vacation
where I can dose up on a free prescription
of health-boosting benefits beyond description.
I’m ready to breathe in my fill of phytoncides
while adrenaline and cortisol quietly subside.
I’ll happily let the green enhance my white blood cells
and relax in all its beauty while my immunity swells.
This is the science of ‘shinrin-yoku’ –
I hope you will explore its wonders too.

7 May – Treasure hunt

Searching for clues
written in spraint,
stealing down to the river
ready to wait…
Deposits on rocks
give it away;
the otters are back
on our stretch again!
This, for me,
is a wild weekend night –
staying up late
to catch a rare sight
of a run and dive
or brief bobbing head;
a rippling splash
already past the next bend.

5 May – The demon in the conservatory

There’s a demon in the conservatory
with two tiny green horns.
I don’t trust him at all
despite his frail, diminutive form.
It won’t be too long now
till his true colours gleam
and hints of his fiery powers
will be unmistakably seen.
They’ll grow in devilish points
all over his strengthening frame –
threatening savage burns,
matching his diabolical name.

4 May – Wisteria hysteria

Wisteria hysteria seizes me every time.
I can’t help acting as if its trailing blooms are mine;
leaning over gates and walls without neighbours’ consent –
desperate for a hit of its heavenly, heady scent.
Its heavy hanging flowers have me utterly enthralled,
there’s a Briar-Rose-enchanted-castle-sense about it all.
Oh, to grow a bower of cascades in my bedroom,
and sleep among their blue rain falls till late each afternoon.
But until I can live out Aurora’s daytime dreams,
I’ll have to keep inhaling this fragrance by illicit means.

3 May – Breakfast in the woods

You bring the blanket,
I’ll bring the tea,
come and have breakfast
in the woods with me.
The light will be dappling
every forest glade,
magicking the morning
with sun-kissed shade.
And the floor will be covered
with a billion bluebells,
their heady fragrance balanced
by petrichor smells.
Let’s catch the final bars
of the bird’s dawn opus
and give their wild melodies
our full, devoted focus.
Let’s hold this perfect hour
for as long as it can last,
and share all our secrets
while the day ambles past.

2 May – The great exchange

I’m searching the skies for the first few swifts,
even as the geese conclude their northward drifts.
Strange to think if I lived in Norway or Sweden
such different birds would herald my Spring season.
Stranger still to think about the whole great exchange
and how so many avian species know how to arrange
their jaw-dropping migrations around our vast planet –
to imagine myself inside the minds of cuckoos or gannets.
Migration is a marvel we are only starting to unravel
as we investigate the routes each different bird travels.
People used to believe swallows hibernated in dirt
before it was discovered just how far they traversed.
And still no one has charted where house martins go –
for now that is a mystery we must keep waiting to know.
We think that many birds can read magnetic forces
and orientate directions from the sun and stars’ courses.
We know some find their way without first being shown,
the route somehow understood before being known.
Millions race back home, hundreds of kilometres a day,
only pausing intermittently for short breaks on the way.
The distances they fly are astounding for their size –
a bi-annual Olympics played out before distracted eyes.
For all that we achieve with our advanced technology,
this great exchange holds an even greater awe for me.
I will never tire of learning about these brave explorers’ routes
and their in-built natural navigator system attributes.

1 May - The great exchange