Coddiwomple

No. 4 in the ‘Colloquy’ series

We coddiwompled in the mud
up at Barcombe Mills
all eight of us together
amidst the Sussex hills

The rain held off but underfoot
the mud was thick and wet
but we all had the best of times
so never cause to fret

The Anchor Inn was closed
but we really didn't mind
as this was just the perfect walk
coddiwompling here to find

©Jemverse

Photo – “The Beans at Barcombe – December 2022” – Jempics

[In the ‘Colloquy’ series, I’m exploring some the of English language’s more obscure words. Some little used, some no longer used but all recondite. ‘Coddiwomple’ is slang for travelling in a purposeful way towards a vague destination]

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Of sheep, walking and winter revisited

3 of 12 in ‘The of…’ series from Jemverse 2022

The sheep were in the upper field
I could see them on the hill
meandering whilst grazing
whilst winter grips us still
and though there is a part of me
with wanderlust that yearns
to tread those hills and join them
another part adjourns

The part with child of summer
in its heart for sunshine's call
when I will gladly wander
with the summer standing tall
But now whilst still in Winter's grip
I'll watch here with resistance
the sheep there in the upper field
replete here from a distance

©Jemverse

Series pic – Jempics

[Of sheep, walking & winter was first posted to Jemverse in March this year]

Over the years I have titled several poems with the preposition ‘of’ – so this last Jemverse mini-series of 2022 pulls some of those back together again

Wander for the day

Planned a walk, it was quite far
but the views would be spectacular
so there was little here to mar
our wander for the day

Yes, we'll be out for several hours
so hoping for some sun not showers
to claim the day and make it ours
in every single way

The cliffs are tall and will be steep
with valleys in between quite deep
all forging memories to keep
which will for all time stay

So we our best foot forward will
forge right ahead in winter chill
as it's just seven days until
our wander for the day

©Jemverse

Photo – the South Downs Way in Sussex over ‘The Seven Sisters’ – approaching Birling Gap – Jempics

Ticking the box

Walked a circle round the airport
the rain was in the air
and it was fairly windy
but we loved being there
The three of us and Wolfgang
ten thousand steps then home for tea
is always going to tick the box
in Shoreham by the sea

©Jemverse

Photo – Shoreham from the Airport floodbank – Jempics

I’ll not hang my boots

Never will I hang my boots
at least not yet a while
for there's plenty more out there
I know to bring a smile
and whilst my best foot forward
is still something I can
I'll ride on Shanksey's Pony*
at least that's now the plan

Being out there on the hills
or walking on the beach
is something that I love to do
with both in easy reach
So it's really a no-brainer
and if truth be told
I'd be out there every day
in wind and rain and cold

Sometimes though the hardy
in me simply isn't there
so on those days I'll write instead
and of my walking share
For whether I am there outside
or within with poet's voice
there's plenty in this land to see
and in that fact rejoice



©Jemverse

Photo – Sally Croucher [Dog – Wolfgang]

*Shanksey’s Pony – is an old-English colloquialism (derived from the name for the lower part of the leg of a horse) used to refer to one’s own legs and the action of walking as a means of conveyance

Walking

Seven Sisters, South Downs Way
high up on Short Brow
looking back to Cuckmere Haven
the sun before me now
Perfect walks were made for this 
and breathing deep the air
I laughed aloud with thankfulness
for simply being there

©Jemverse

Photo – the view of the Cuckmere Haven river valley from the top of Short Brow, Seven Sisters, South Downs Way, Sussex – Jempics

October Snooze

Down from fourteen acre pond
in the valley by the Ouse
I sat and had a sandwich
and a sherbert and a snooze
And yes, it's late October
but you'd never credit that
as the warmth in this fine meadow
feels like summer for a fact
There's no-one else around me
save for sheep in the next field
so I'm quite within my element
in the heart of Sussex Weald

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

Time for a wander

It's been a while since I wandered out in the land
that Sussex affords in its landscape so grand
so today in my boots with my compass in hand
I ventured out there again

The sunshine was warm in an Autumn blue sky
with occasional clouds floating lazily by
so with inclemency low and good weather high
I ventured out there again

And the time that I had on the meadow and hill
did my heart proud and will stay with me still
pending the moment I'll again need to fill
when I venture out there again

©Jemverse

Photo – Sally Croucher

In the autumn now

October shadow, Obi's field
in the heart of Sussex Weald
barely was the warmth concealed
in the autumn now

Walked a mile around the place
felt again familiar grace
with the sunshine on my face
in the autumn now

Obi ran, he always does
round in circles there because
this is how he gets his buzz
in the autumn now

Spent up there our usual hour
underneath the oaken bower
turning trees above us tower
in the autumn now

©Jemverse

Photo – Jempics

This Sussex I admire

Ah, these temperate moments
when, up on the South Downs Way
I look up to the paths I've trod
on a fine autumnal day

Yes, the warmth of ambiance that
summer brings may just
have passed its swansong now
to the fading days in trust

But a vestige of its spirit clings
and sets my soul on fire
full of the joy this vista gives
this Sussex I admire

©Jemverse

Photo – the start of the ‘Seven Sisters’ from Cuckmere Haven beach, East Sussex – Jempics

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