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Estuary: black, white, green

  • Posted on July 17, 2019 at 11:47 pm

The spittled olive river is walking
its weed rafts to the sea.
Soon it will be running,
the leisurely dredging swans
becoming sailors, fleet-black paddles
lifted from green to steerboard.

Reeds, still to their throats in bed
strain silt, rise, slow-coated.
Waiters at sharp attention, egrets
shirted white and boat-eyed, are
becoming fishers in the cracks
for the failed retreaters.

At the next turn, tidy coots
will walk among the swans.
Black, nodding suits, railing stilts,
chipping in the emptying gorge
on steady flapping feet
where salt is washed twice daily.

But for now the river is walking,
quiet and still and green. Then
a rare punctuation, sudden plunge
s-bent neck of cormorant rising,
shock wave to the shaggy banks
and mad long splash to climb the air.

Calm is quick to return, as turning
the swans’ state-procession begins.
Prowed with gold the royal line
never admits to following the moon;
it is as if they are taking the stream
by force of their silent pageantry.

2018 © Andie Davidson

These books of ours

  • Posted on July 17, 2019 at 11:34 pm
picture from a book of hours

A reflection on family photo albums left behind You are the mother of my children in the photos with them where I am not – and which I do not have. They still ours these days long since the great divide of all things that pressed images between leaves. Those books of hours testaments of devotion of our middle ages, fully illustrated by the faith once shared. And I? I am part of ‘ours’ post-reformation spared the assembly of you and they and those testaments. 2019 © Andie Davidson


  • Posted on July 17, 2019 at 11:14 pm

Write me a letter I can wait for.
Let me find you on the mat
lean you against my teapot
warm your thoughtful words.
Send me an envelope to open.
Let me slip a blade carefully
in the gap above the tongue
where you licked it closed.
Choose a special stamp.
First or second is fine, but
so I can spend a moment
on its miniature design.
Spread your words over pages.
Unfolding them, turning,
uncovering you at leisure,
I will bring you quietly home.
We could email, message, text.
I could open, read and answer
in a moment in a thought
it could all be said and sudden.
But we would be in a crowd.
In the clutter of chatter and
comment, appeals, spam – and
I would rush not to lose you.
So send me a letter I can wait for.
Give me time to expect you,
joy to discover you, patience
with simplicity – and tea.

2018 © Andie Davidson


  • Posted on February 24, 2019 at 9:42 pm

You know, when someone is dying, but they can rally for a day, seem strong and lucid, and it seems a sign, not of recovery but an inevitability. I passed someone on a late autumn day that was like summer, and we exchanged our ‘good day’s. Was it? After new records this year, is it falling apart?


It is a good day – she stands as complete
as yesterday five years ago
gathered together from her bed
making sense and in command
with fragments in a sentence
that is still real.

Yes, it is a good day.

It is a good day – as the summer extends
into a reluctant autumn
floods recede from hurricanes
matchwood lies after typhoons
expense of fires and high seas
seem unreal.

Yes, it is a good day.

It is a good day – the sun is warm if low
a container ship has sailed
an easy north-west passage
and harvests were shorter too
drowned villages dried
stood real.

It is still a good day.

Today she left us – the leaves are red
we had known all year, kept
the good days to protect us
as everything slowly changed
as darkness dawned
became real.

It is still.

A ship has sailed – ice          fragments
make sense          shorten
it is a good day          for change
we move          inland          leave villages
and coast          gather
it is real.

It is.


© 2018 Andie Davidson

Autumn clothes

  • Posted on February 24, 2019 at 9:23 pm

worn sparingly
a low sun and still too much

twelve years
ago I was 50, a tipping point
in understanding mortality

twelve years ago
you were in school, gatherings
in our world of your friends

twelve years ago you were
calling me a hippie – we both were green
by degrees in my garden

twelve years, two degrees,
two is the difference between a frost
and a frosty day

two is a third of
the difference between Brighton and
Yorkshire in summer

two degrees
are the difference between a heatwave
and a heatwave

one is nothing
the other is forever, neither small,
yet far too big

it is everything
everywhere and all of us, nothing else,
now numbered

today is our tipping point unseen
a day of silence

Autumn leaves
unsparing in a low sun, still
too much

The day after publication, October 2018, of the IPCC Special Report that gave a 12 year window to avoid 2 degrees global warming.

2019 © Andie Davidson