Rose Blakeley

As the great year quietly wanders by, inspiration often taps on my door. It is then that the voice of creativity gently speaks: sometimes in words, sometimes in pictures. I listen, and always follow its call, for it leads me to a special place - an invisible realm, where my thoughts and visions of all that passes are reflected in art, photos, rhyme and song.

 

It is my writing that leads me with the greatest strength, and as the words manifest they entice me into another world where I become infused with the essence of their meaning. The route to its source is boundless and is never far away.

 

Ripples of Inspiration is a page for some of my reflections, which I will add to as the seasons pass.

A. COLOURED LEAVES & FLOWERS 4. (INVERTED) colour A. COLOURED LEAVES & FLOWERS 4. colour edit

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A. FLOWERS 6. (ROTATED 1a.) The Late Summer Garden - Dragonfly 2. 1a. OX-EYE DAISY 4.

Shades of Winter

 

The horizon tapers into a mottled grey,

And blurs into a pastel, ethereal array.

Its nebulous form, a soft, pink hue

Through jagged trees it filters through.

Our pathway meanders, hedgerows we chase

And mud-filled furrows we slowly trace.

We sludge, but we chortle. Forward we amble

In a frozen wind. Contented we ramble.

But gladly now we welcome the lane.

Oh the ease of its surface! Distance we’ll gain

Whilst primroses stud its quiet, dark banks

And gnarled oaks guard its long, winding flanks.

 

The wide, open fields are sepia, forlorn,

Dappled with the stubble of last harvest’s corn,

Enticing the rooks to gather and feed,

To forage and relish any forsaken seed.

The air is filled with their harsh, coarse cry.

To a newly ploughed field, together they fly

With the thrashing of wings, a blur of black,

As away they vanish, we return to our track.

The afternoon light does gradually fade

As the sky it tumbles into a silver brocade.

The landscape is moody; beautiful and wild,

By its unharnessed spirit, I have been beguiled.

Shades of Winter 1. Shades of Winter 2.

February 2016

The Scarecrow

 

Silent, alone in a crumpled field pleated by the plough,

To the majestic presence of morning, a figure takes a bow.

He gently tips his battered hat, ebony as a raven’s wing,

As the winds of March do softly blow, he welcomes the season of spring.

 

The winter long he’s guarded the grain, stationed at his sturdy stave

And abandoned it only once or twice, to mildly misbehave.

His patched-up clothes the crows do tug, they never seem to scare,

For his pumpkin face embellishes a smile, so the farmer’s land is bare!

 

Round and round the brown hares chase, they box, embrace the day,

As magpies bounce around his feet, their feathers in disarray;

Untidy, tatty, and not unlike, the garb that adorns the guise

Of the scarecrow who watches the russet soil, below the open skies.

March 2016

Hara

 

Quietly she lays and awaits the dusk, in a field now graced with green,

She softly breathes. The catkins stir. Only by the white owl she is seen.

Her eyes are wild and amber, her fur brown and a-glow with red,

Oh how she does enchant me! My mind from me has fled.

 

The wind does bellow and it does blow. The hedgerow along she races,

Into the air she twists and turns as her freedom she embraces,

She crouches in the plough’s deep furrow, transfixed by the moon’s bright ring,

Light and darkness in the balance is held on this equinox of spring.

 

In the silver shadows I watch her pass, but her form does trick my eye,

Her silhouette it leaps and bounds, then vanishes into the sky,

And the dervish whirl of autumn’s fall is all that now remains,

As the scarlet flames of sundown, into darkness slowly wanes.

 

At the birth of a new March dawn, from an oak, the blackbird sings,

And the fair haze of this morning, a figure it now brings,

For in the mist a creature moves; she frolics, frisks through the air.

Along the hedgerow once more does race, the elusive, magical hare.

March 2016

A. COLOURED RACING HARE (SMALL)

The Green Man

 

'Step into the forest, warm and bright,

Drink from the cup of golden light

And deep within you, your instincts will glow,

Whilst through your body, the sweet winds will blow.

Look up to my wild and mottled face,

Where foliage and flowers softly enlace.'

 

I wonder, to me, now, what will befall?

As I stand here alone, I, one so small,

But I hear your words, as the great boughs sway,

Then, in your emerald arms I gently lay.

Shafts of sun flood through new lime leaves,

Which shimmer and dance as the treetop heaves

And the air is dense with blossom’s scent,

All beings living are quiet and content.

Moved and moulded by this mysterious hold,

I am taken and enlightened by an energy of old;

Its music drifts sweetly, through a pale haze of blue

And its notes are a calling for the chosen few.

 

'The wonder of the forest is an untamed dream

And nature has taken you into its realm.

You are free now from the world you know,

Feel me as the very seasons grow.

Now, you can fly into a world serene,

Never lose touch with my spirit of green!''

May 2016

The Scarecrow

Call of the Wild

 

The creamy lace of hawthorn yields to the deepening leaves of June,

Whilst the delicate warmth of summer’s breeze, it carries a distant tune…

The cuckoo calls, not once, but twice and allures from a secret place,

A beckoning from another realm; in my heart, it, oh I embrace!

 

I face an open meadow, speckled with buttercups bright,

Muzzy with downy dandelion clocks and the ox-eye daisy white,

But my gaze it lays beyond the line of where the hedgerow grows,

Where the foxgloves guard the blushing pink of the rampant, wild dog rose.

 

Cuckoo, cuckoo! Again it calls before a glorious, golden sun,

Pure, quite clear. I yearn to go. To the old wood I must run

And through its boundary then I pass, to its kingdom, safe, serene;

Its energy echoes as the canopy sings and shimmers with a radiant green.

 

I search for ‘that’ which beckons; now all else is left behind,

I crave to reach that quiet domain where I can leave my mortal mind

And I feel remote amongst the trees, yet it’s here that I belong,

Then, with myself, I am alone, and all twilight reflections, gone.

 

So, lost am I to all I know; here is all I see

As before the caller now I stand in perfect tranquillity,

For here in the wild I perceive myself in a radiant light anew

And I smile with joy as I hear the sound of a single, distant cuckoo.

June 2016

The Skylark

 

The breath of July does gently sigh

As eternal blue beckons from my kingdom of sky

And lofty clouds amble their carefree day through,

So from my paling post I say adieu!

 

Freedom it takes me; high, high above I ascend

To an exhilarating height, beyond view I transcend

And elated I sing with such joy and delight,

As the land, I behold, from my hovering flight.

 

My eyes chase the tracks where the traveller does walk,

Endless, dusty pathways, engraved in the chalk

And it traces the slopes of deep, verdant flanks,

Freckled with grasses and orchid filled banks.

 

The sun now it scorches. The hills laze in a haze,

But cool is the woodland, which fringes the maize

As slowly it tints to a pale, flaxen hue.

It hushes and whispers as a warm breeze blows through.

 

Soft, scarlet poppies elegantly sway

And encircle the Ridgeway with their exquisite array,

Whilst bright, auburn fritillaries over hedgerows do rush,

Over willowherbs and the elder flowers’ ivory flush.

 

Two walkers, close friends, I watch follow the Way

Of the ancient South Downs on this fair summer’s day,

So I sing a fine song. They stop. Me, they see,

Their faces of joy, oh it fills me with glee!

 

I drop with the wind as the fast swifts they swoop

Way over my head, with the swallows they loop,

So to my old, faithful post, for a while, I’ll return,

Till for my cerulean domain, once more I will yearn.

July 2016

The Skylark 1. The Skylark 2. The Skylark 3. The Skylark 4.

September Dusk

 

Golden eyes, two, open wide, ignite an ebony face,

Into the shadows she softly treads, then vanishes without a trace.

I stand, awaiting her return, seduced by the cool, damp air,

Excitement races through my veins as into the dusk I stare.

The seasoned smell of drifting smoke, to my senses it does find,

Childhood memories whisper: call from the echoes of my mind.

Still, I hear the laughter of two sisters long ago,

Racing the wind, wild and free whilst their rosy cheeks did glow

And the wind, forever it does blow; the apple trees shiver & cling,

Onto their leaves of ochre yellow. The fruits are gathered in.

 

Daisies fold in the waning light, but the hydrangea makes its stand,

Its lacy caps of rusting cream in clusters look so grand.

Playful are the silent moths, who across the garden fly,

Whilst the jagged silhouettes of bats merrily flitter by

And I watch them dance into a sky of dappled, oyster grey,

With a central reminisce of blue over where the dark clouds lay.

Soon the clouds pass on their way, and before the last pale light,

Like chariots across the heavens race, proclaiming the coming of night,

Then, from the shadows a familiar form, warm and soft does creep,

Golden eyes, two, open wide has now come home to sleep.

 

 

September 2016

WILLOW

 

The Ridgeway

 

The ageless hill stands tenebrous, but proud

As the great sun sinks, casting a radiant shroud

Over cumulus clouds; in the sky they unfold:

Magnificently sculptured with bright arcs of gold.

Spiky hawthorns along the ridgeway align;

Dark, unclad branches tangle: entwine

And bend in the wind; they toss and unfurl

As old, fallen leaves around them do swirl.

 

The stillness of the mound: it beckons: it calls;

To go to it, I yearn; I am lost in its thrall

And to climb it I urge: its solitude to share.

I thirst to breathe its fresh, pure air.

In my mind I stand on its vast, open crest.

The echoes and cries of the ages I ingest.

Time is inert, yet lost to it am I

As past and future before me do lie.

 

Silently a barn owl swoops from its post;

It hovers in the shadows like an enigmatic ghost,

Then with feathers so soft, away it does fly

For the hour of gloaming it is nigh.

But lest I’ll lose sight of that glorious crest:

A haven close by, where time it does rest.

I imagine those clouds, sailing gently through skies

Of bright, new dawns where the sun does rise.

 

February 2017

1a. OX-EYE DAISY 5. A. FLOWERS 6. (ROTATED) 1a. OX-EYE DAISY 2. 1a. OX-EYE DAISY 6.

The Enchantment of May

 

Shadows dance in a pure, pale light through a viridescent haze.

The depths of the woodland, warm and still, welcome spring’s early days.

May now drifts on a scented breeze in a myriad of green;

Deep amidst the ancient trees. All is quiet. Ethereal. Serene.

I follow a brimstone’s delicate flight, along a pathway winding through

Pungent ramsons, which densely merge with perfumed bells of blue.

Way above from the arching boughs of a hawthorn’s magnificent height,

A shower of petals cascades down in a wonderful whirl of white.

 

Its open branches touch. Entwine with the leaves of oak and beech;

The emerald palms of a sycamore, its furthest tips do reach.

Silence is broken. A bright-eyed blackbird fills the air with song.

The fusion of fragrance from the wood is sweet. Spellbinding. Exquisite. Strong.

Feathery ferns they pave my way. A sunlit glade now lies ahead.

Lacy cow parsleys escort me out, with bright campions of red.

The spell of May has enfolded me; I am lost to its allure.

Before summer’s arrival, I shall return. That I will ensure.

 

May 2017

The Enchantment of May 1.

Lord of the Trees

Herne WS

Inspired by

Herne the Hunter from Robin of Sherwood.

Created by Richard Carpenter.

May 2017

A. COLOURED RACING HARE (SMALL) (INVERTED)

The Rollright Stones

 

Over the Cotswold Hills marched an ancient king;

Across its prehistoric Ridgeway an army he did bring

Till halted abruptly were they by a crone:

Mother Shipton, as by some she was known.

The monarch she challenged with these words of few,

Giving clear instructions of what he must do:

'Seven long strides shalt thou take and if Long Compton thou canst see,

King of England thou shalt be.'

Off swaggered the king: counting each stride

But on the seventh, behind a mound the village did hide

And away in the wind his bragging was thrown

For said he: 'Stick, stock, stone, as King of England I shall be known.'

Coarsely the witch oh she did chortle!

Then defined the fate of this regal mortal:

'As Long Compton thou canst not see

King of England thou shalt not be.

Rise up stick and stand still stone

For King of England thou shalt be none;

Thou and thy men hoar stones shall be

And I myself an eldern tree.'

Instantly to him befell her wicked aim

For he and his men, standing stones they became.

And still they stand, embedded in chalk

In a timeless place where travellers walk

In the hope that one day, the magic will be shaken

Thence an ancient king and his army will awaken.

The Rollright Stones

August 2017

Barn Own (The Ridgeway) Barn Owl (The Ridgeway - reversed) Call of the Wild

In the Winds of October

 

Noisy rooks gather; their cries suffuse the air.

Over ploughed fields they swoop: dark wings flitter and flare

As a tempestuous breath, across the valley it drones,

Along sparse, ochre hedgerows it blusters and moans.

 

It thunders through my soul. Across greensward I race,

As an amber light dances upon the old forest face;

Into its depths I then bound. To my realm I return:

To the sanctuary of its canopy, for it how I yearn!

In the mists of my mind, from royal blood I have fled,

From the threat of the bow, in the chase I then sped

And from untold captures, myself, I have freed:

My prodigious power. Unabating speed.

Haughty I stand: a stag of magnificent red.

Imposing, branched antlers sit high on my head.

Now I am king. Stately. Supreme.

Wild. Irrepressible. My crown is agleam.

I am the life force: the whisper in the trees,  

Which echoes and calls from a timeless breeze.

I am the heart of all those who see.

Ageless. Impenetrable. Here I am free.

 

On the flailing tree tops, pale-faced corvids alight

As the mahogany land, the sun does ignite:

Casting great shadows across the valley below

As the unrelenting wind does bellow and blow.

October 2017

STAG (NEW)

The Artful Reynard

 

Over the Yorkshire Dales a peregrine flies high;

Upon the rough, icy wind it soars across the sky,

Then with broad, barred wings of cream and black,

It stoops and plummets for a lightning attack.

Suddenly there’s a sound: the blare of a horn.

Serenity is threatened; from the wild it is torn.

The raptor gives warning. Clearly it calls,

Whilst below it a thundering pursuit now befalls.

 

An explosion of aggressive movement betides

As a master huntsman in a scarlet coat rides,

With many behind: Charging. Tearing

On galloping horses, with nostrils a-flaring,

Whilst unbearable barking resounds from a pack

Of big, bated hounds, hurtling along the track

And as the horrifying hunt initiates its fun,

A frightened creature ahead of them does run.

 

But this beast is resourceful; he relies on his guile

And plans to outwit this gaggle most vile,

So with a rigid, wry smile he masters his fear

As into a thicket he hastens, then the wood he does clear.

But behind him still echos the braying and the whips:

The thudding of hooves as across the gnarled wood he slips.

The horn it still blasts. How his heart it does pound!

He pelts across a field as a plough turns the ground.

 

He races on. He rests. Low on his belly he lies.

Then concealed, he watches with sharp, amber eyes,

But already the ploughman, the hunters have passed.

To outsmart his enemies he’ll have to think fast!

Well, he’s cunning and astute. He knows his domain

And thinks of the river, beyond the hedge-lined lane,

So hidden from view, swiftly he proceeds

To reach its flank quickly; to evade them he speeds.

 

He sidles down the bank: slippery and steep.

Into the water he launches; it’s treacherous. Deep,

But he’s strong and determined: a beast in his prime

And in no time at all, on the other verge, out he does climb.

His thick winter coat he shakes in the sun.

Across the gelid expanse he sees those he’s outrun:

Disgruntled and foolish, for catch him they did not

So now with his tail lashing, away he does trot.

The Artful Reynard

February 2018

1. Leaves - Edited from Herne (reversed) Harvest Moon The Green Man

June 2018

Solstice at the Long Man

1. Today I walk the South Downs Way

With my childhood hand-in-hand,

For memories through my mind do sway

Of those summers long ago;

Still, bright flowers adorn the grass:

The daisy and buttercup bold,

Which pave the pathway as I pass,

With the tiny speedwell swaddled.

 

2. The exquisite orchid quietly speckles

Steep slopes and shady banks:

A delicate purple with crimson freckles,

Scattered sparsely below butterflies of blue.

Skippers dither with the marbled white

And the joyful fritillary,

Whilst a dragonfly swoops with all his might

As busy bees tumble and hum.

Solstice at the Long Man

3. High above a twittering lark

Celebrates the gift of flight,

With an explosion of song he makes his mark

Below a scorching sun.

The horizon runs to a distant sea,

Kissed by a cloudless sky

And eternity’s landscape is given to me

From the Ridgeway’s endless track.

 

4. And so upon this solstice day

The chalk giant guards the hill,

From his verdant realm along the Way,

Above the corn and poppy red.

Now I watch the blushed sun splash

My view with dusk’s bright splendour,

As chattering swifts, they chase and dash

Up into the evening wind.