Le Grand Bois at Bazouges

(Bordered to the south by fields of green maize)

The dawn is still.
No trembling leaf
Betrays the trace
Of passing breeze.
Each blade of maize
In the great field
Before the house
Awaits the sun.

Fill my heart

Fill my heart, 0 Lord, with joy!
Let me sing your praises still!
Calm the doubtings of my mind,
Reinforce my failing will.

Every moment of my day
In your service let me do
What your love inspires in me
To create the world anew.

January 1988

Our Sort of Poetry

Poetry in books is fine
But I seek poetry in wine.
We’ll pull a cork to make it flow,
Deep in the glass the verses grow.
Let’s drink a toast to yours and mine,
Three cheers for poetry and wine!

April 1995

Early Days

Some mornings when the sun is up
And Daddy doesn’t go to work,
He comes to fetch me in my cot
And takes me to the double bed
Where Mummy lies, still half asleep.
The bed is downy soft and warm
And all the room is pink and white
And golden with the morning sun.
While Daddy lies and reads his book,
I play with Tick-tock and with things
Which Daddy keeps there just for me.
His watch and cuff-links I like best,
But oh! The glasses on his nose
Are such delight, I put them on
While Daddy watches anxiously,
But Mummy hardly ever stirs.
I tell them when it’s time for food
And off we go for milk and flakes
And toast with Mummy’s marmalade.

Pilgrim

What shrine shall I seek out,
Which pilgrim route pursue,
To find at journey’s end
The Constant and the True?
Which litanies recite,
Which deities invoke
With sacrificial fire
And clouds of incense smoke?
Is there a common point
On which all paths converge,
Or is perspective fake,
A trap where falsehoods merge?
In peering far ahead
Towards some distant goal,
We overlook the steps
Which daily forge the soul.
Today is now in flight,
I reach and touch its stream,
For fear its moments pass
Like some elusive dream.
I am the Here and Now
Through which all meaning flows,
The consecrated land
In which true godhead grows.

5th December 1990

Jerseys All

On summer nights at six o’clock
The cows come slowly down the lane,
Their udders hanging low with milk
And Iris leads them by their ropes.

There’s Daisy, Sue and Goodlands Bess,
Verbena, Violet and Rose,
And Clover out of Marigold
With velvet dewlap, honey brown.

There’s Bijou next, not yet in milk,
And Patience with the broken horn,
And last of all along the lane
Comes champion Primrose, great with calf.
 
They turn into the farmyard gate
Where Beauty greets them with a bark;
Off to the milking sheds they go,
Each to her stall with fresh straw laid.

The fields behind them, closely cropped,
Are left to mists and fairy rings,
While red ball sun behind the trees
Sinks slowly down into the marsh.

The pails are full, the milking done,
The churns are stacked out in the yard,
All in its place the farmyard sleeps
And dreams beneath the milky moon.

 
15th May 1971

Jerseys

At the end of their long chains
The cows lie chewing.
Surrounded by pale circles
Of closely cropped grass,
They slowly regurgitate
The morning’s grazing.
Soft eyelids blink drowsily
Over wet round eyes,
Gazing into grassy voids
Or calling up warm
Visions of stone milking sheds
Bedded with clean straw.