Thursday, 26 December 2013

A topsy-turvy looking world

Dreams of a white Christmas have been washed away for many people this year, as storms have toppled trees on power lines, turned roads to rivers and swollen lakes. We have been lucky; a restless night and cup of tea at 3-am the night before Christmas Eve was the only trouble the storm brought us. Boxing Day morning dawned bright and sunny with an icing of frost. After our traditional post-Christmas-left-overs breakfast it was a delight to escape the beckoning of the sofa and dreary TV, and head out for a stroll in the fresh air. The sunlight slanted through the trees, their branches sparkling and dripping into great rippling puddles. Standing in the middle of these puddles and looking downward, once the wellington-boot-stirred mud and ripples settled, gave the impression of a topsy-turvy world, far larger than should fit in the depth of a puddle, a delightful illusion where trees grow downwards and your feet touch the sky; birds fly below you. The reflections were so vast, and crystal clear, you could appear to be walking on sunshine! 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Winter's Night

It is midday, and still the thick fog hugs close to the window, tinted yellow and gold by the weak sun, leaving all it touches cold and damp. The cloud fell last night, blinding the stars and hanging in the light from orange streetlamps. That is when I wrote my new poem "Winter's Night".

Winter's Night

Shadows dark, spill from headlight beams 
that cut the swirling air. 
The night is cloaked by fading fog, 
greying fog, 
an all pervading, damping smog, 
that dulls the lamplight,
mutes the moon
and smothers the robins evening tune. 
Trees black as shadow puppets stand, 
whilst Winter's chilling creeping hand
it's mist and unseen, 
the frost can act.
Crystalline daggers
that cut, 
the tender stems and
shatter microscopic cracks. 
And so the fog and frost,
under winters icy glare,
complete their deadly pact,
And shadows dark, spill from headlight beams 
that cut the swirling air and
all pervading, freezing, smog.
Copyright Sophie May Lewis 2013

Sunday, 8 December 2013

There's no place like the the land of home: Weald and Downland Museum, Part 1

The South Downs, a place I call home. Nestled between the rolling hills are woodlands ankle deep in golden leaves, and stretching estate-land where sheep graze flint-jewelled fields and cloud-shadows run. Birds wheel over head; jackdaws chattering to roost or greeting the dawn, and from the thick hawthorn hedge a robin softly sings. Within the fields, woods and hedgerows of the Weald and Downland Museum, thatched roofs shed morning showers and within flint or wattle-daub walls, hearths glow with bright embers.

Beasts and Fowl: Weald and Downland Museum, Part 2

Throughout history, people have relied on animals; beasts for burden, fowl for feathers and food. 
Several of these traditional (many now sadly rare) breeds of animals are an integral part of the working farm, and rural historic atmosphere of the Weald and Downland museum in Sussex. 
Shire horses work the land, pulling plough and harrow through flint-studded ground, whilst Tamworth pigs forage in the coppiced woodlands. Light Sussex chickens scratch in the dust beneath the raised granary or pick through the straw that blows across the stable yard cobbles, watched over by the wary eye of their proud cockerel. 

World through a Window: Weald and Downland Museum, Part 3

I have always loved to watch the world through a window. there seems to be something magical about the way the window pane frames a snapshot of the scene beyond. Peering through breath-steamed glass from the outside always makes me feel like a child, eagerly trying to see into the exciting world of a sweet shop, whilst looking out provides a moment of calm contemplation as the world passes by outside, following its trusted daily rhythms.