Friday, August 06, 2021

Is it all a front


Through my rainy windscreen
the sun flickers for a moment 
on that black 2019 Transporter
It's time to get the bike down
The weather doesn't look great
wipe the seat with the rag
grab the pump and I'm away
but the seat still feels claggy
down the cycle path and under the bypass
crunching over green cobnuts 
while a squirrel races me along the fence.

Bike racks outside the library
There's market stalls today: whelks,
monk, a tray of samphire; a butcher
piles chops, and "Somerset Nibbler"
stands out among the cheeses. 
I feel comfortable, the realness, the accents,
though there's nothing here I'd buy,
it's like a gone past,
not even the veg, which isn't organic.

The post office isn't open yet, so I'm 
straight into Costa for a large soya latte
to charge the phone and read C.J.L Almqvist. 
They're talking about fish, about
feeding the fish while changing the filter,
the snails that died, and other ways of
getting rid of green algae.

You've got a name use it
You can choose your friends but
you can't choose your family
It's a very true saying
people take on a different persona
Is it all a front you know
What she puts on Facebook 
I'm not going to speak ill of anyone
It isn't in my nature 
I've got to be civil, but there's things
that will always stick in my head
Always will
It's like he's still there
Yes it is
But seeing the coffin
Yes of course
It's lovely to talk to you Peter
You're a good person
I try I try

Pictures: a basically sterile bramble thicket, near Beckington (Somerset). John Norton (on the Facebook Brambles Group) told me that it's in Section Corylifolii of Rubus fructicosus agg (Brambles, Blackberries).... I suppose the name means that the leaves -- or rather, leaflets -- have a certain resemblance to hazel leaves; these ones definitely do. Other names in the myriad world of brambles include Rubus ulmifolius (i.e. like elm leaves: this is the most common species, and it's also the only one that reproduces sexually) and Section Glandulosus Series Rhamnifolii (which I assume means that the leaflets look like buckthorn leaves). 

John's website is an inspiring and helpful guide to this world:

There are over 350 named species of bramble in the UK alone. Even so, names are only allocated when the same species can be recognized in several different places. Many local bramble forms are not assigned to a species, and that's particularly the case in Section Corylifolii, which are thought to originate as hybrids of Dewberry (Rubus caesius) with brambles (Rubus fructicosus agg.). 

Section Corylifolii are known for their poor fruit production, though my plant seems quite extreme in that respect. 

Words I learnt:

The individual segments of a blackberry are called "drupelets". 

Leaflets that overlap each other are described as "imbricate", a word deriving from roof tiles (this is a distinctive feature of the Corylifolii). 


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