After waking up with a bit of a hangover I felt the urge to write about the weather… How very British! I was also pondering on how the collective unconscious affects our perception of nature. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps even relate to it on some level.
As I love the work of Joseph Mallord William Turner, Britain’s most prolific and famous landscape painter, I have used his art to help illustrate my prose.
A British Summer
Heavy grey clouds claim the sky, suffocating hope,
Reflecting the changing moods of the nation,
Temperatures fluctuate; oppressive then cool,
Winnie-the-Pooh’s blustery day is upon us…
Towering trees adorned with lush, verdant leaves,
Shimmer, bend and wave in nature’s breathy puff,
Wild flowers populate meadows and hedgerows,
Colourful petals spread succour for broken hearts
Rays of sun breakthrough, beaming sporadic warmth,
Threat of violent showers always present, looming,
A green and pleasant land supports uncertain steps,
Whether bold or timid; blades of grass in their billions.
Pimms and tennis distract weary, outraged citizens,
Quintessential Hundred Acre Wood of our nation,
Still holds surprises. The worker bees hide not;
Streams babble and burst lowly banks.
Life abounds in forests, fields and flowers,
Towns and cities go about their daily grind,
Forgotten worms thrive in velvety brown sludge,
Birds soar above gardens, manicured or wild.
In times of trouble the land is earthy and stable,
The cycle of death and rebirth ceaseless, reliable.
Gain strength from longer, lighter days, be
Fortified by the season of playfulness and revelry.
History lives on in ancient stone walls,
Land of democracy and freedom decays,
Only to grow back around human drama,
Scenery of ups and downs: metamorphosis.
Lakes and mountains, coasts and cliffs,
Magnificent island refuge to everyday strife,
Spires look upwards over quaint village greens,
Season of vitality to revive cynical souls.
English rose, soft symbol of beauty and summer,
She attracts us with her sweet, heady scent,
Draws blood with her protective, thorny fingers,
But we love her essence and fullness of life.
Is this the summer of our discontent?
Rough winds do shake wounded spirits,
Sprites commit their mischief then sneakily retreat,
But Bacchus’s bounty exists for all who seek it…
By Virginia Burges