Gull Loch, late October

Gull Loch, late October


The backlit slope glows and buzzes 

With late gorse-flower visitors 

Fresh yellow on spiky green tips 

fading to brittle grey down stem. 

The air carries its honeyed scent 

in the still, blue, brilliant light.


Silent apart from birdsong and the ever-present 

trickle of water somewhere underground. 

Bracken crunches underfoot, optimistically dead. 


Leaves crisped from a recent storm fall loudly 

between branches in the maple copse 

Little flocks of songbirds cruise around,

And three red squirrels watch from the larches behind the gate.


The ground here is boggy wet 

and full of leaves that have made barricades 

under bushes and made raised puddles. 

The leaves fall and fall, 

dark silhouettes against the sparkling sky and sea. 


Dead wood has dropped making jumps up the steep deer track

Moss begins its march over the points touching the ground

Translucent moths dance above the ferns

occasional fronds highlighted yellow catching the light. 


Larch needles make a deceptive cover over churned mud 

on the top track and almost dead hawthorns 

bear a few berries on lichened sticks. 


The sea is calm and full today, lapping gently 

not sparkling but a dark blue 

and shallower grey brown round Rough Island. 


Exposed larch roots have been grazed, seeping sap 

Bluebell bulbs lie on top of badger scraped soil.


Large oak leaves cover the upward slope,

their autumn glow faded to rich brown 

mixed with vivid yellow cherry leaves 

And tiny cobwebs catch dew drops  

like finely woven leaf skeletons 


In the old loch wood, the fallen trees emerge from the swamp 

half green moss, half glinting branches, 

creeping towards dry land 


It is entirely still here and almost silent 

The ground underneath greener and leafless like a mirage 

A mass of bare limbs, 

pale and tangled reach diagonally upward  

eventually tipped with golden leaves 

that catch the afternoon light


One of the big beeches has fallen by the edge of the loch 

Its small rootball exposed to the light 

perhaps to regrow from this lengthy position

its now branches to become uprights


As usual nothing visible and obvious here 

no bird nor squirrel no sound 

Not even falling leaves …

By the water some distant birdsong high and small 

Tiny lily pads glint in the mirror-still water, 

only disturbed by ripples from insects.


Autumn colour from young bare branches and beech saplings 

frame the loch 

and turning larches pretty warmth enclose

The occasional scratch and trill and plop in the water 

Young silver birch stems shine 

in brown soft stems of woodland 


The mud releases its stagnant vapours as I step down 

Through thousands of tall trunked already bare trees catching 

the setting sun, 

glinting golden and moss green on one side,

dark grey and dappled the other.