First published in 1988, revised 2003

A celebration of nature in poetry reflecting the beauty, dynamics and transience of the natural world.

Available from Brambleby Books

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The Eternal Quest: A Celebration of Nature in Poetry


This collection of 55 poems represents the first published work by the author, covering many diverse themes about the natural world ...and reflecting its beauty, dynamics and transience, including human attraction and love.


Dragonfly, Reluctant Spring, Swifts, Winter Visitors, The Marble Cone, Pipistrelles, At the Threshold of Spring, Late Autumn, The British Weather, Seagulls, Sunset Over Oxfordshire, The Lake, The Wren, Song Thrush Song, Fat Wood-Pigeons, Bumblebees, Blackbird’s Song, Sunday Morning at the Manor, April Sunshine, Little Tern, Knott Wood in May, The Bullfinch, The Hoverfly, May, Already the Year Moves On, Deadly Nightshade, At the Edge of the City, Park, Rain, Dawn Chorus, The Peacock, In Emma’s Flat, Autumn Gales, Magpies, Fallen Autumn Leaves, Hawthorn Berries, The Swan, The Beige Stallion, Dippers, Fair Jacqueline, The Express Train, Winter Aconite, And What of the Creatures of the Night?, Sad Rose, Ghost of a Cat?, When Summer has Reached its Drowsiest State, The Underground, Small Boys and a Girl Fishing, Upon the River’s Winding Way, Time, Starlings, Where Love Resides, A Dog’s Life, North Wind in May, Wild Violets, Green Mood Bird and the Herald of Spring.

What People Say

“What a delight to read, absorb and enjoy. Written with a sensitivity that only years of careful observation bring, this book of poems uplifts and renews a wonderment for nature.” Christine Walkden, Author, broadcaster and professional horticulturist  

“The 'Bumblebee' poem is one of my all-time favourite poems.” Dr. Samantha Cook, PhD, Insect Ecologist, Senior Research Scientist, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, Herts. , UK

About Dragonfly: ‘Dragonfly’ - also a beautiful piece of poesy from the pen of Hugh D. Loxdale from his 1988 published poetry collection ‘The Eternal Quest - a celebration of nature in poetry.’ In a few lines, Loxdale compresses millions of years of evolutionary history almost to a marginal note, whose power is already revealed at the very first reading of this poem as an effective stage element of his tribute to the beauty of the creature. Almost unintentionally one finds oneself at the side of the author and shares this awe ‒ it was a real challenge to sound these words appropriately.’ Michael A. Schnase,  composer, musician and leader of the contemporary German rock band ‘Radio Mellingtone.’

Selected Poems


The unhurried summer replays a scene 

Timeless as a remembered dream, 

Of gauzy wings in fading light, 

A dragonfly in darting flight. 

As if from unknown, ancient skies, 

With deadly skill and emerald eyes, 

The dragonfly primeval wends,

To stricken prey, it nothing lends.  

What graceful shadows, if shadows cast 

Such living forms from aeons past; 

What lineage from a Coal-Age stock –

Swift blue image of that lost epoch.

From dawn to dusk by stream or pool, 

Between rival combats over aerial rule, 

This slender insect of impressive size

Hawks to and fro for lesser flies.  

Only when, with enfeebled Sun,

Summer’s course is nearly run, 

Dread hunter of the watery plains, 

It wanders loose and resplendent wanes.


Under the hot August Sun 

Ruling a cloudless sky, 

Bumblebees, both big and small, 

Fly from their nests 

To the Lavender bush 

Grown by a south-facing wall. 

Here, upward the scented

Spikes they climb, 

Clambering madly in the rush, 

Or with a low-pitched hum, 

Buzzing from flower to flower

As they eagerly gather 

Nectar and pollen

Until fully loaded, 

Their tiny brains are overcome 

With the prime notion 

To return home; 

An ancient power

Driving them back, then forth ‒ 

They know not why –

Beyond the immediacy of their chores; 

Round, furry, clockwork creatures 

Working every daylight hour

For the common cause. 

Never goaded. 

A thing they do most willingly, 

Without teachers, 



Or applause.

The Marble Cone

As the grey winter weeks press on, 

Indoors, upon a shelf,

A large shell endures unchanging; 

Still-life in chequered elegance;

A prize won from a tropic sea;

Its arresting, seductive beauty 

Enticing, always, a memory 

Of harsh heat and light,

Blue water and unruly foam

Crashing, just heard, 

On the distant reef beyond;

An unsafe retreat,

That sometime land,

Lent by the fickle tides 

And rarely trod by men or birds 

Save when, amongst the coral sticks,

They search hard for Nature's truths 

Or, more often, her jewels,

Cast off at a vast ocean’s edge