Golden Leo days

Days are hot, storms brew,
the Lion roars forth his energy to seed,
and life turns golden.

lies in fulsome fields
of golden bread.

A farmer keeps making the old rectangular hay bales because, he tells us, they are easy to carry, and to portion, when feeding his ponies.
I love them because they remind me of summer holidays in my childhood, and hay houses.

In sun worship
sunflower faces follow
spirals golden rule.

Day ending,
a golden horizon,
his promise to return.

Les 24 heures du swing : Monségur

There are two passions in the south west of France. One is rugby, and the other jazz.

The first weekend in July, is a time to revel in the latter, as Monségur holds its 26th year of ‘Les 24 heures du swing’ (24 hours of swing). Jazz in all its genres is played in concerts, and on the streets for all to enjoy..

Ragtime barflys play rhythmic tunes
till funky feet tap
and beating hearts Jazz.

Happiness plays as wind
through golden labrosones,
who in accord, one and another,
adds his own harmonic notes,
an air melodic, breezy and gay.

How it all started

Back in 1982, a group of friends declared to each other that their home town was a bit dull. So with enthusiasm they formed an association which aimed to revitalize Monségur. Their first project was to reopen the Odeon cinema. After raising funds, attracting members and volunteers, the cinema was refurbished, and opened to play multilingual films. *

Then they turned their attention to music. It happened that they were serious jazz lovers, and they thought why not organise a jazz festival? And so it was that in July 1990 the first ‘Les 24 heures du Swing’ was manifested. Year by year the festival grew, and attracted the presence of great jazz musicians, such as Ike Turner, Liz McCabe, Didier Lockwood, and this year Maceo Parker.

Still wanting more, they encouraged local schools, and colleges to build jazz into their curriculums. In 2007, Eleanor Provence College of Monségur began to offer jazz workshops, and courses to its young students.Today it is recognised nationally as a College of Jazz, teaching locals, and boarders who long to learn the art in all its forms, its instruments, voice and theatre. These same students participate each year in the festival alongside the great.

Surely, our group of friends, must be happy to know that Jazz has played its magic into the life song of les Monsegurais. *

Today, an association of shopkeepers volunteer their time at the cinema in order to keep costs low, and continue a culture of film appreciation.

Lavender summer : July

Lavender summer has arrived, and how I love to see my favourite visitors. I enjoy watching their excitable activity before gathering flowerheads to make fragrant lavender sachets for my own wardrobe..

The most beautiful of all, is the rare Tiger swallowtail. Sometimes in a couple, often alone, he or she visits our garden especially for lavender nectar.

The Humming bird moth is a beautiful, and skilful flying insect who suckles nectar without landing on the flower. Many spend their summer days flitting from one lavender flower to another.

From beehive to lavender bloom
our Honey bees need not travel far.

And then; small wild bees, blue carpenter bees, orange jacketed , and striped bumble bees! How could we survive without them? And how dull the garden would be.

NB I have difficulty identifying this swallowtail accurately. Possibly it is a Zebra swallowtail.

Summertime at Lake Caumont

At the end of a hot day, we take a walk around the lake. Here it is cool, and calm. We can quieten body and mind, and just watch..

Fingers dip into cool, green water
touching tenderly reflection.

Sitting stillness on a stalk
are wings iridescent midnight
glistening space eyes watching,
then suddenly
erratic darting of dragonfly

Penetrate deep pools
see pondering pikes
wallow in still waters.

A spring rises upstream, and trickles into the dammed lake of Caumont. It was constructed many years ago by a local landowner who wanted to stock fish for fishing. A boat house reminisces on times past when he tied boats for the master. Today it is public domain for walkers, picnickers, and fishermen.