First published in 2000, revised 2003

A collection of 84 poems offering a series of philosophical musings on the natural world.

Available from Brambleby Books

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Blue Skies in Tuscany

Anthology

By turns moving and wryly humorous, personal and universal, this collection of 84 poems offers a series of philosophical musings on the natural world, and touching on numerous aspects: friendship, love, loss - including the threat to the countryside, - animals, plants, the weather, the stars...indeed all creation. Hugh Loxdale writes for those who revere the natural world and aspire to understand its mysteries.

Poems

Thrips, Halley’s Comet (December, 1985), The Cat, The Belles of Westoning, When Charm Turns Sour, Impassioned Love, Possession, Let’s Not All Get Killed, Was My Love for You, Rings Beyond His Feet, Homeward Bound, A Perfect English Rose, Security, Small Boy on the Rocks, Railway Elegy, What We Are And Might Become, Love’s Last Embers, The Meeting, It Is Not the Same, What Wonderful Things Are Trees, A Face So Fresh And Young, November, Man and Woman, The Big Surprise!, Below Chepstow Castle’s Towering Walls, Homage to the Grave of Gilbert White, The Task, The Wasp, The Cold, Greater Knapweed, Lesser Burdock, Sweet Chestnuts, What the Fuchsia Holds, Wales, The Castle, Unknown Heroes, The Known Bird, The Stone, Litter Bug, Fly Past, Here Is This Time, Save for the Passing of Time, Autumn Days, Future Growth, For the Birds, Hartland Point, Peregrine, The Beachcomber, The Lynx, Chestnuts of Apple Tree Field, The Jogger, Comet Hale‑Bopp, March 1997, Nischi, Hush, Let Us Not Weep, Andechs, Hummingbirds, Blue Skies in Tuscany, The Wait, A Meadow in Tuscany, When shall we return to Tucson?, Don’t Shoot the Coot, Orange Hibiscus, Family Portraits, The Garden at Utting, Red and Green Apples, Orange Moon, The White Flat, The Marten, Hummingbird Hawk Moth, Across This Land, Commuting Angel, Black or White?, Bat Moths, They May Believe, The Huntress, Bird Words?, Blackcap, The View from Cades Bay, Mobile Phone, Mosquito Wars, The Sloth, Spring’s Motive, PC, Who Knows What the Weather Will Do

What People Say

"I have enjoyed this book tremendously." Sir Trevor McDonald, OBE (formerly news presented with ITN for many years and poetry aficionado)


 "Entomology and poetry are not subjects that are normally associated; they each fall on either side of that great chasm C. P. Snow saw as separating the two cultures of art and science. This volume is a collection of some 84 poems penned over a period of 15 years by the entomologist-poet, Dr Hugh Loxdale. As a volume of creative verse undertaken by an actively engaged professional research scientist they can be seen as a bridge between the two cultures signifying that the creative act is a common theme to both endeavours." Dr. Keith G. Davies, PhD, scientist and poet, Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, UK


 "Hugh Loxdale…has produced an anthology of thought-provoking poems… His work is diverse, ranging from the humorous to the emotional – the personal to the universal, with an emphasis on the natural world…  Loxdale is acutely observant of those around him. He undoubtedly has the ability to conjure up a detailed scene in the reader’s mind, adding a great deal of atmosphere with rhyme and rhythm." Clair Weaver, St. Albans Observer

Selected Poems

The Jogger

The Jogger jogs on through the rain,

Despite the anguish, or her pain,  

Through the park with autumn tints,  

Ever onward, she tireless sprints… 

Every step, a milestone trod,  

In her trainers, new fashion shod;

Her bright blue top quite wet and thin, 

Clinging cold against her skin; 

Along and down between tall trees,

She rushes past, as if she flees, 

Pursued by all the demons known, 

As the leaves about her blown 

Settle onto the muddy path… 

Past the Yaffles and their laugh; 

On towards Hatching Green,

Where the Jackdaws caw and preen

Upon the plushest, sweeping lawn, 

On she goes and then is gone…

Lost amidst the houses fine, 

Where rich folk live and sometimes dine. 

A fleeting beauty of muscular form, 

Far above the aching norm…

Her name unknown, her route inferred,

Her pulsing breath…her only word.

Blue Skies in Tuscany

Blue skies in Tuscany,  

Distant curving hills, 

Cypresses and olive groves 

And flower strewn rills.  


Villas and oak trees, 

Old and evergreen,  

Swallowtails that dance the hours; 

Small lizards rarely seen.  


The Oriole’s lone recital  

From a shaded bough;  

Soft, warm breezes  

That waft the cloudlets slow. 


Lilac and yellow broom, 

A splash of brightest hue; 

Large, dark metallic bees  

That visit swift and true.  


Hot Sun and strong scents; 

The grasshopper that rasps its joy

Amidst the lilting grasses

That beckon and alloy.  


A scene indeed so tranquil, 

As if it were but dreams; 

Here where the senses mingle

To prove all is what it seems.

Across This Land

Across this land,

Ever dear, 

Pretty England, 

The great scar proceeds; 

The slug trail of cement 

And ashen grey, 

Relentless in its needs; 

Across little rivulets, 

Clear and quiet, 

Thick, lush meadows

Where golden cows 

Munch their fill, 

Only to be made ill 

With leaden hay; 

Across dulcet woods 

Where fragile trees 

Stretch in adoration  

To the sky 

And protect 

The bluebells 

And wood anemones

Far below 

That can never 

Struggle up and grow, 

But die 

As mighty juggernauts

And endless hordes

Of cars 

Pass this way;

Across dales, downs

And valleys rich,

Where not now a single 

Stitch of herbage 

Can close withstand

Long the wild wind and noise

Of traffic; 

Sears the tender tendrils 

And young green shoots

Of England; 

Her ancient birth right; 

Solid oak and stone,

Parish church, pub, 

And where old, sacred 

Yews once stood; 

Where bronzed men In smocks 

Bit hard against clay pipes,

And recounted proud 

Tales of battles long ago

And peace; 

Where children skipped 

And played around May poles fair; 

And women cried In labour and in cheer, 

As church bells 

Sang loud their peals 

Of happy union; 

Of grief;  

Or accursed war, 

And its atonement…

Past gravestones, 

Lichen clad,

High above, 

Where skylarks 

Now never dare 

To fly, 

As torrid lorries, 

Thunder by; 

The butterflies 

And bumblebees 

That could thrive,

That may have flourished

Were the fields alive 

With orchids,

Buttercups and bugle 

Bright; 

Of calm mushrooms 

That glisten 

Amidst the cool light 

Of many a moonlit 

Autumn night; 

Waft by the silken 

Wings of moth and owl, 

Above the badger’s angry growl. 

If this great gift 

Did once prevail 

And might still, 

Let it be cherished 

Or become a memory

Lost…as dulcimer threads 

Carried on the winds of time…  

That no one ever knew…

Existed.