Archives for category: Spring

Spring is fading –

Against the tumbledown house

Wisteria weeps.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem:  a carpet of purple

And here are the two haiku I wrote for the Carpe Diem kukai back in March before the wisteria came into bloom here in the UK.

Bare and twisted,

Amid crowds of crocuses,

Wisteria waits.


March wisteria –

On old, twisted branches hangs



(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

A quill-shaped cloud

Pen poised over blank page

What to write?


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: Cloud

The area of Eastbourne at the foot of Beachy Head is called Holywell. The name comes from a spring that seeps through the cliffs and emerges underneath a chalk outcrop known as Pinnacle Point. Most of the springwater is now collected at a pumping station next to the point, and only a trickle comes out on the beach at a little grotto.

Holywell is pronounced “Hollywell”, so no one knows if people once thought the site was holy or if the well was simply near a holly tree. But it certainly feels magical, far removed in time from the town’s apartments and ice-cream kiosks. When I was out walking there a couple of days ago, there was a guy playing an alpine horn (one of those horns that’s so long the base rests on the ground) in front of the grotto, which was unexpected! Even more surprising, there were flowers growing on the cliff face, including several of these blue spikes. I believe they’re Viper’s Bugloss or Echium Vulgare.

Photo 23-05-2015 16 12 25

I was particularly struck by this one pointing towards the pinnacle.

pinnacle point

Well’s miracle,

Chalk towers flowering blue,

Pinnacle points.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

Linked to Carpe Diem: A lovely name. Holywell and Pinnacle Point are certainly both lovely names but none of the Echium’s many names do it justice – it’s also called blueweed, adderwort, blue devil and snake flower, among other things.

Blue-eyed daisies –

Sun seekers from a far land,

Gazing out to sea.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

In honour of the lovely display of osteospermum (also known as the African daisy, Cape daisy or blue-eyed daisy) on Eastbourne’s seafront this year. I’ll post a photo another time.

High on a chalk ridge

Too few to weave a garland –

Ophelia’s orchid.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: On a mountain path

We found a few of these flowers on the South Downs Way today between Eastbourne and Jevington and believe they are the Early-Purple Orchid or the “Long Purple” as described by Gertrude in Hamlet:

There is a willow grows askant the brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream.
Therewith fantastic garlands did she make
Of crowflowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead-men’s-fingers call them.
There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke,
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide,
And mermaid-like awhile they bore her up;
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes,
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element. But long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pulled the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

And here is Ophelia, as painted by Millais.

Sir John Everett Millais, Bt ‘Ophelia’, 1851–2

The wind stills –

A snowstorm suspended

On white cherry trees.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: White Blossoms

Censer-swinging priests

Go – I have wind-shaken trees

Spilling their blossoms.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

In response to Carpe Diem: Priest and morning glory.

I had to look this up but the censer or incense burner swung by Catholic priests is called a thurible. Not very poetic alas.

Far from the still pond,

Iris shivers in delight

In the sea wind.

P1010882        P1010878

(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For my intrepid sister-in-law, Iris.

Downland drizzle –

Behind his shower curtain,

Does the Long Man sing?


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin


For Carpe Diem: Misty Showers

The watercolour is by Eric Ravilious.

Blown from the tree

A pair of cherry blossoms

Falls together.


(c) Jackie Le Poidevin

For Carpe Diem: Weatherbeaten