The Dog Days of Dumfriesshire : Jean Atkin

23rd July
A bee flies under
thin weave of grass
where she lies flat, 15.
It disturbs the spiny seedheads
and flies on. It seems
so purposeful.

tall sky        duck-egg blue           scud cloud           winds easing

30th July
The dog sleeps dreamless
by the garden pond.
The life of frogs
is full of luck.
She peers below the marigolds,
uncovers a dim paradise of beetles.

long sky        arsenic green          with mottled cirrus         humid

7th August
Chicken shit and lichens dot
dry concrete flags. Self-seeded
into the cracks, the tender
leaves of columbines.
She paints her toenails
carefully above the dust.

bowl sky       Palnackie blue      cloudless       hot

19th August
Lawn grass too long uncut
is bent, bead-spangled.
A droplet quivers at a tractor
gone burring up the brae -
and then it stills.
There’s no reason to wait around.

cranefly sky     hammered silver        high altitude nimbus      no wind

23rd August
The baler’s stuttered rap
loses ground to the tow
of a warm front spooling
out of the Atlantic. She goes back
to watching a red kite turn
like a thought on a thermal, before storms.

galvanised sky       loss-grey     mares’ tails         heavy rain

Jean Atkin’s new collection How Time is in Fields available from: