PICTURE POSTCARD

by Robin Boothroyd

When the sun sets on Beachy Head the majority of the light disappears over the horizon leaving the downland in shadow. However certain rays still bend over the contours to pick out the light colours – the whites, yellows and violets. I had intended to write about the sunset for ‘Fathom’ and, luckily, today’s triggered the following lines.

***

‘Picture Postcard’

Wish you were here:
the cloud-bank
follows the curve
of the coastline
and the sunset,
like a stagehand,
dims the grassland
and picks out
the orchid,
the toadflax,
the cowslip,
the silvery wingtip
of the chalkhill blue.

***

The flowers mentioned towards the end of the poem all prosper on the South Downs. The chalkhill blue, pictured above, is a rare butterfly that flutters across them for a few weeks in late summer.

Read more sections from ‘Fathom’, my ongoing project about Sussex by the sea, here.

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