Balanced on a stained green canvas folding stool
half on a dandelion and clover covered stony path,
half on the yielding damp soil of a soft fruit bed,
I bury my head and shoulders in the green leaf forest
of blackcurrant bushes’ tangles of drooping branches,
heavy with hidden dark purple ripe fruit
in the sweaty heat of a late June afternoon,
thunderclouds piling up vapour towers
filling the western sky as the wind starts to rise:
I bump into bumble bees seeking nectar,
swat flies dive bombing my ears and nose,
my hands burning from sharp nettle scalds
while my back aches from bending forward,
over-reaching to grasp and pick
the juiciest most distant berries.
Roger was born in London and has lived in the North East of England in the Tyne Valley for well over 40 years. He retired in 2012 from a working life in health care and environmental consultancy among various other odd occupations that demanded mainly dry as dust reports and proposals. Now, getting on a bit, he is finding deep pleasure in writing odd bits of flash fiction, short stories and the occasional poem. He’s trying to learn what words can really do, find a consistent voice. About six years ago, he acquired an allotment and passionately wishes he had done that years ago.