A Creative Chat in Buxhall

By Dean Parkin
A monochrome print of a view across the Suffolk countryside

Recently, Dean telephoned Steve, in Buxhall, for a bit of a chat about the village and what life was like, living there.

As it happens, Steve is a photographer, so not only was he able to tell Dean about it, but he also shared some of the amazing images he’s taken.

Here are Dean’s poems, together with Steve’s photographs – what a lovely way of sharing views of Suffolk life.

A view across fields with a stormy black sky overhead

BLACK HORIZON

Back end of July
broody day, blustery,
we could see these clouds
there was a little bit of blue sky
and then blackness
underneath, so I said to Anya,
let’s be devils, let’s go out
and see if this will meet us head on.
Between Buxhall and Poy Street Green
at the end of Mitchery Lane
where it joins the Brettenton Road
there’s this back road
and it was there.
Often if there’s a sky like that
it doesn’t amount to anything,
it just passes you by, but this time
it didn’t. Five minutes later
it came down in sheets
and it was blowing a hoolie
we got rather wet
and were so glad we did.

A snowy scene

DEEP WINTER

It’s hard work walking through snow
but Anya and I, we had to go to Rattlesden
to get essentials – milk, butter –
we didn’t want to drive.
It took us three hours,
four or five miles there and back
we were pretty knackered.
When you have snow this deep
it’s the silence that comes with it.
Where we live we can hear the A14,
a very low rumble but when the snow comes
all that’s gone, all you can hear
is what birds there are.
It’s pleasant sensory deprivation.
I love the snow under foot
as we walk, the strangeness of it.
The times we get weather this serious,
it’s rare, minus five/minus six,
that morning everything so sharp.

A photograph of a hare in a cornfield

WHO’S THERE?

When they’re harvesting
I stand and wait
cos that’s when the hares realise
they have to get out of the way.
They avoid me if they know
that I’m around. Though
their eyesight is poor,
their sense of hearing is acute,
so as long as you stay still
and you’re quiet, sometimes
they come closer
they don’t even know you’re there
like this one, until
he heard the shutter go
and that was it, he was off.

A photograph of a Suffolk landscape with corn fields and trees in the distance under a blue cloudy sky

WORLD’S END LANE

Walk along Valley Lane,
past a pair of red brick cottages
and eventually it becomes
World End’s Lane opening into
a vast open expanse of open plains.
You must get howling winds
across that space and after that
the road quits and then
you’re on farm track.
Sometimes people have been known
to drive all the way to the end
and then they’re stymied
there’s a gate across
and you have to
find your own way back.

A monochrome print of a view across the Suffolk countryside

VIEW FROM BUXHALL CROWN

August, September again, crops have been harvested,
tops of the stubble. I’m an incurable romantic
and I put some of that into the images, gently rolling hills,
nothing too steep. You certainly see that when the rivers
and stream are up, because the floods tend to go further.
There’s a bloody great transmission line that runs
right across this photo. It took me an hour and a half
to get rid of it and that’s one thing I enjoy doing.
If there’s something that’s spoiling a picture, I take it out,
especially if it’s manmade. It wasn’t there at one point
but now you can see how it looked before
someone stuck a great big pylon across the view.

A lone pine silhouetted against a golden sunset

SUNSET IN SUFFOLK

There’s a conifer in the village
that stands so straight up and tall
you can see it from Woolpit
travelling off the A14.
It’s not that far from the church
and I could just see the top of that tree
and the colours were glorious
as the sun went down.
I stood in a field watching
the day disappear behind the clouds,
but when the sun was visible it was too bright
but when it got behind the clouds
I could see silhouettes of trees.
It’s all free, I thought,
you don’t have to pay for anything
it’s just nature all around,
10 minute walk from where I live.

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