Hare Summer leads a chase along the lanes
And scatters torn up sunlight under trees
And on the banks where wild garlic grows
Among the heavy headed grasses.
Your house lies in his path along the marsh
Near where the golden willows burst with leaf
And watch-spring bracken day by day unwinds
Among cow pats and clumps of almond gorse.
Inside the house the afternoon sleeps cool
Behind the dark blue blinds. Above the stove
The honey-coloured cat stirs in his sleep,
The tap drips in the sink and china laid for tea
Waits on the tray.
Beneath the hedge among the unpruned trees
We lie asleep or love-make in the sun.
Sweet paradise of childhood,
Oh, truly happy land,
Where friends in sea and sunshine
Across the golden sand
Of childhood’s endless summers
Go running hand in hand.
At the end of the path
Where the grass grows tall
And the bushes come down
Right over my head,
There’s a small summerhouse
Where often I crawl
To hide from the others
When it’s time for bed.
Frangipani by Aidan Smith
I have, my Love, no flowers for you today,
Small summer flowers from cool green country lanes,
No lilies of the valley which you love,
Sweet peas and honeysuckle, wild dog rose
And ragged robin tied with buttercups.
These things we love and for a time have left
And know instead the burning tropic sun,
The rains upon the palms and warm salt wind.
Take then these poems, their garden is your love,
Your sweetness gives them life, for you they grow.
Seychelles 4th May 1969
Haulms turn brown
In the sun.
Fall with vetch
The shorn lanes
Men with rods
Will pass here
Come under the cherry tree with me
To rest within its moving pools of shade
And listen to the passing summer wind
High in the leaves.
Nearby, within her cot,
The baby sleeps, dreaming of lives unlived
And faces not yet seen. Hers is the time
Of total innocence, of rosebud promise
And of quiet content. Yours is the time,
When after fears and pain, come flooding joy
And peace and renewed motherhood.
14th August 1976