Carpe Diem in Suburban London

When I wake and the sun is shining
My spirits leap.
Turning,  I watch your chest gently rising and falling
And I am glad, so glad that you will be here
To share this precious day. 


The dawn has broken and the birds flit from bush to tree
Finding a perch high up from which
To announce their presence and welcome
The fact that they are alive. 
“My territory,” they announce, “My family; my food.”
I cannot blame them,
Where not to fight for the right to survive
Means certain death. 
I watched last year how the new blue-tit parents
Failed to provide 
And all nine chicks lost their lives. 


But I am human and English and comfortable 
And on Saturday mornings the whole world is mine 
For an hour or maybe more. 
Quietly I slip from the bed and into a gown,
Creeping downstairs to boil the kettle
And look out on the garden,
Which has grown while I was not looking. 
Sitting at the table next to the garden door,
I luxuriate in the early gentle sunlight
And the bird song and the peace
And the fact that there is not yet traffic. 
A woody scent emanates from the earth
As the dew evaporates with the growing warmth. 
I hear a plop and a frog returns to the
Tiny kidney-shaped pond next to the pear tree. 
And I think of England – as did Shelley- except I am here.


I have another 45 minutes, surely. 
As the sun rises and the bird song diminishes
On my little patch of paradise
I still think of England. 
I think of my early morning England. 
But the noise of traffic increases as does the dust in the air
And it becomes city dry 
Taking on that acrid brightness that is city.
My vision freezes and becomes another England. 
The heat is increasing but I pull my gown closer
And shiver at the prospect,
My tea now cool in the mug. 
One neighbour has decided to spray insecticide
Early, while it is cool – and another to trim the edges. 
At the back, the children have woken
They wail in an argument over the iPad. 
The cacophony of what is England now 
Breaks on my consciousness. 
England – fair England –
Eaten up by diesel fumes and thoughtlessness. 


I hear you stir.
I am so glad you will be here with me,
For a while longer.
The one constant in a changing and polluting world
That I still want to hold dear. 


I will take you up a morning cuppa. 

Photo and poem copyright Englepip©

I apologise if you have read this before under a different name. I have made revisions and the title has changed as has the photo.

Shelley, this is England

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When I wake early to a summer’s morn

My spirits, leap.

Turning,  I watch your chest gently rising and falling

And I am glad, so glad that you will be here

To share this day.

The dawn has broken and the birds flit from bush to tree

Finding a perch high up from which

To announce their presence and welcome

The fact that they are alive.

My territory they announce; my family; my food.

I cannot blame them, for them,

Not to fight for the right

To survive; means certain death.

I watched last year how the  blue-tit parents failed to provide

And all nine chicks lost their lives.

But I am human and English and comfortable

And on Saturday mornings the whole world is mine

For an hour or maybe two.

Quietly I slip from the bed and into a gown,

Creeping downstairs to boil the kettle

And look out at the garden which has grown while I was not looking.

Sitting at the table next to the patio door

I luxuriate in the pale dawn light; 

the bird song and the peace

And the fact that there is not yet traffic.

A woody scent emanates from the earth

As the dew evaporates with the growing warmth.

I hear a plop as a frog returns to the tiny  pond next to the pear tree.

And I think of England – as did Shelley- except I am here already.

I have another forty-five minutes, surely.

The sun rises and the bird song diminishes on my little patch of paradise

And still I think of England, my early morning England.

But as the noise of planes and traffic increases,

So does the dust in the air which becomes city dry

Taking on that acrid brightness that is brittle;

And though the heat is increasing,  I pull my gown closer and shiver

At the prospect of  a Saturday in England, in the twenty-first century.

My tea is cool now in the mug.

One neighbour has decided to spray insecticide early,

While it is cool and he thinks no one will notice.

 At the back, the children have woken and wail in an argument over an iPad.

And then the DIYers…….and the traffic!

The cacophony of what is England now, today.

England – fair England – eaten up by diesel fumes and thoughtlessness,

I hear you stir.

And I am so glad that you will be here with me,

To calm and shield me in the chaos that is life;

My constant in a changing and polluting world that

I would hold dear,  but fear cannot survive this way.

I will take you up a cup of tea.

Photo and words copyright Englepip©