Diary of the Plague Year: Day 39 23 April 2020: Biodiversity on Long Strand

Had a chat with my neighbour, Anthony, over the wall.  I have been mowing the grass like a demon today. It turns out that he has been involved in a rewilding project with UCD. He has been grazing his horses on fields by the beach on the long strand. This is to keep down the marram grass which tends to take over. Having the horses grazing has opened up the grassland and the horse manure has created an area of much greater biodiversity.  It is interesting that changing one little thing in the landscape can make such a difference.  I said I was trying to do the same thing by keeping the grass down and encouraging wild flowers. I must say it would be much easier with a horse. It’s very frustrating as I would love to go down there to have a look at the horses grazing.

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 39 23 April 2020: Gypsy Songs

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Reading David Morley’s poems – the volume was given to me by my sister – some of which are based on the Romany language, made me remember this book I bought when I was living in Hungary.  The songs are very vivid and make me wish I was musical as we also have the music.

Spill water on the flower,
So that it won’t dry up,
So that it won’t dry up
The poor one’s heart won’t dry up.

“Danube, Danube,
[Give life to the song, Lolo!]
There is a little bridge over it,
Don’t go there Frima,
You may fall into it.”

“I don’t fall, I don’t fall
Into the deep water,
I’d rather fall,
Boja, in love with you.”

Spill water on the flower,
So that it won’t dry up,
So that it won’t dry up
The poor one’s heart won’t dry up.

And still I leave
This great world
I won’t stay in Slovakia,
I won’t stay with this wretched woman.

 

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 39 23 April 2020: Quotidian Poetry David Morley (1964 -)

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BEARS

PawPaw and Paprika, two great bears of the Egyptians
of Lancashire, the Witches’ County, Chohawniskey Tem

who, when our camp plucked its tents and pulled out its maps,
walked steadily with the wagons, ambling, always ambling,

all across the open pages of wet England, footing
as far as Pappin-eskey Tem, the flat Duck County,

crossing to Curo-mengreskey Gav, the Boxers’ Town;
padded on to Paub-pawnugo Tem, Apple-Water County

as good for bears as for their Gypsy masters, although
who is master is moot after much apple-water;

then to bide by Bokra-mengreskey Tem, Shepherds’ County,
for their collies are trained not to bark at bears, but slyly, gently,
slink big-eyed as children behind their shepherd’s greeting.

 

Ambling, bears, always ambling … mooching to Mi-develeskey Tem,
My God’s Town, the God for all bears too,

God of pays and padding, of Polar, Kodiak and Koala;
Sniffing superiorly through Dinelo Tem, the Fools’ County;

circling with our circus to Shammin-engreskey Gav, Chairmakers’ Town,
nosing north through Lil-engreskey Gav, a Town Made of Readers,

then paws over eyes for Kaulo Gav, The Black Town;
joy at Jinney-mengreskey Gav, the Sharpers’ Town;

to Lancashire as it was then, wider country of white witches,
to the clean camps, to the great brown bears of the Egyptians.

To PawPaw and Paprika, backwards in time they go, pad pad. Goodbye.

 

The bears’ route: Lancashire to Lincolnshire to Nottingham to Herefordshire to Susses to Canterbury through Suffolk to Windsor through Oxford to Birmingham to Manchester and Lancashire.