Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hedge

Brambles hang heavy, sweet with berry temptation on their hedge branches. You drive by; they shout after you: “Pluck me.” You stop; glance back; reverse; stop again and wind down the window. “Fill up your mouth with my round sweetness,” they call and pout. “Roll me over in your warm, wet darkness before you bite and swallow me. Eat me up till your lips blacken and your tongue shrinks from my taste. Wrest me from this thorny green and let me die happy in a shortcrust pie.” You nod. You say: “How much?” They say: “Your lucky day. Today, all day, I’m free.” Honeysuckle too, spindly, pink and cream amid white vine weed and russet hawthorn beads. “Summer,” the hedge says. “Ah summer that was. Gone now. Almost never here. But we shall take comfort in the autumn that is come among us.” Over the hedge, cotton reels and cubes of straw mark the season's shift. Fields worked; already green shoots of rape and wheat haze the ever restless earth. One or two late and golden fields of oats, rustle with embarrassment, still to be standing there, while the wind pushes away the skinny warmth of the day.

21 comments:

Eats Wombats said...

Wonderful!

One of my favourite photos is of my son on my shoulders reaching for some blackberries.

Rob Clack said...

Wonderful, evocative post. I especially like the "skinny warmth of the day." Perfect for late summer, early autumn. Walking back to the car from snorkelling on Saturday, we were guzzling blackberries as fast as we could!

Iota said...

Do you think it is the earth that is "ever restless" though? Or us?

DogLover said...

I live and learn. I thought honeysuckle flowered only in the Spring - mine does - but I see there are late flowering varieties for the summer and even winter flowering varieties. Thanks for the botany lesson, WITN, and for the readable blogs of the last few days!

doglover

Mya said...

Beautiful post. Reminded me a Seamus Heaney for some reason, not sure why. He's more of a mud and muck man.

Mya x

sophie said...

perfectly expressed, and, by contrast, what would there be to see of nature along London's roads - the odd tramp, piece of litter, smog- surely you are feeling warmer towards your new locale?

mutleythedog said...

are you happier now ? Be careful of deadly nightshade by the way - its prolific right now...

wife in the north said...

Re Mutley
Occasionally.
I have just googled deadly nightshade. I think I may have made jam from it. I won't eat it then.

Bobbie said...

Beautiful words, so evocative of fall and plenty. Loved reading it!

Mopsa said...

Many pickings have been had this year - I've never known the blackberries to be so sweet, so juicy. If the rain holds off, there will be another foray this afternoon.

Norman said...

The rural idyll. You have described it perfectly.
Brambles, sloes, raspberries, crab apples, rose-hips... yeah.
Have you tried making bramble/sloe/damson/rosehip gin? Its a Northumbria/Cumbrian speciality. You mix the juice of the compressed fruit 50/50 with gin, bottle it and put in a dark cupboard til Christmas. Then enjoy. Don't forget to save some for Hogmanay!!

Norman said...

PS You only make either Damson gin or sloe gin or whatever as single fruit gin NOT mixed fruit gin!
Oh I dunno. If you do try it, let me know how it comes out. (hic!)

mutleythedog said...

wife in the north said...

Re Mutley
Occasionally.
I have just googled deadly nightshade. I think I may have made jam from it. I won't eat it then.


Cripes!!! I hope not - it loved the wet summer there is tons of the bloody stuff... it does what it says on the tin...

Norman said...

Mutley's right. There is a lot of it (belladonna - aka deadly nightshade) about this year. Although the berries are black they look more like a bilberry than a bramble. Bilberries grow best on grouse moors where you shouldn't find deadly nightshade.
I guess you're safe, WITN, but just be observant.

occasional northerner said...

We walked up the hill yesterday to catch the view out to Holy Island. The hedgerows were beautiful and somehow round bales in fields have become an attractive feature of the late summer landscape.

Dr. James P. Holdren said...

Something in the air, Wifey?

Belladonna said...

You are safe from me, Wifey.

Isobel said...

Lovely - reminded me of Heaney too - and also Gerard Manley Hopkins - specifically a poem called Inversnaid if I remember rightly

Mu Tai Dong said...

Learning all there is to say about your great country via blogs..literature then the literature, so Kipling, Shakespeare, Stephen King!

Celebrations none audible by the waste of the waist..

Daniel said...

Dear Mrs. Wife-in-the-North

I think you should just come out with it and admit it: you like living in the country, after all, don't you?

Now, you are cosmopolitan.

wife in the north said...

Who says?