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June Almanac

This is my response to a project proposed to Bath Writers and Artists by Ann Cullis for the month of June 2019. The daily word limit was a maximum of 30 — no minimum — and we were asked to avoid figurative language and the use of the first person. None of these daily entries is a haiku, but my many  years of writing haiku and little else were a good preparation for this exercise.

June almanac                                                                                                     Ama Bolton

  1. close overhead a crow and a gull chase each other back and forth with fierce cries
  2. bisected by a finger of cloud the rising sun seems to bulge above it and below
  3. yesterday’s rosebuds have opened clear pink
  4. at 4.02am the blackbird sings for exactly half an hour
  5. crescent moon in a clear sky after much rain
  6. sunlit under black clouds the trees are unearthly green
  7. in steady rain a heron flies over the vegetable patch
  8. dark-winged damselflies between the riverbank and the ripening wheat **
  9. beside the rhyne/ green willow/ yellow flag iris
  10. between showers the blackbird’s song
  11. rising wind heaves a long sigh through the sycamores
  12. a swan runs on the water/ fails to lift off/ busily preens his wings
  13. plastic wrappers saved for eco-bricks flap wetly on the washing line
  14. a near-full moon illuminates the night clouds
  15. all day the sound of the water-butt overflowing/ at dusk a noisy flight of jackdaws
  16. by torchlight six fat snails making lace of amaryllis leaves
  17. sunshine at last/ the blackcurrants are ripening
  18. a Polish van-driver delivers kindness too
  19. mother-of-pearl evening sky/ two gulls fly purposefully from north to south
  20. reflections on the moat at dusk/ two swans and a tower
  21. the source of rustling from a shopping-bag turns out to be a big iridescent green beetle *
  22. a bumble bee too burly to reach the nectar cuts a hole in a comfrey flower
  23. hogweed shoulder-high on the old railway track
  24. dub-dub-dub heartbeat of a single-cylinder motorcycle
  25. Les Pompiers de Marseille dopplering past the airport bus
  26. “That Handel anthem,” she says, “Zaphod the Priest”.
  27. at Passport Control travellers trickle through a labyrinth of parallel barriers
  28. the loneliness of a lost glove on the road
  29. the cab window wide open/ the driver’s sunburnt arm
  30. a June Drop of apples on the grass/ swifts pass high over the garden

Green beetle
*Rose chafer, Cetonia aurata

female 2
**Beautiful demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, female

Male 4
**Beautiful demoiselle, Calopteryx virgo, male

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