Lucy

Out of the corner of my eye
I watch my wakeful daughter
In my arms
Afraid to catch her infant glance
As I move
To a slow sleepmaking rhythm
which affects only me.
Her tiny fingers
Move over my face,
Feeling everything,
Nose, mouth and eyes,
with exquisite touch
And quiet squeals of joy,
Intakes of breath
And kicking feet,
So different from the
Howling child I picked up.
At last she sucks her thumb,
Covers her face with a cloth
And I know that sleep is near.
I thought it wouldn’t come tonight,
So long I’ve swayed
And sung and cooed
In the darkened room.
But her head falls back
And pale eyelids close
To shut out my face.
Her limbs hang heavy
In my aching arms.
I lay her in the cot
And like a thief
Steal from the room
And pull the door to,
with fingers crossed
And “Shush”
To my waiting wife.

July 1972

Qui êtes-vous?

Qui êtes-vous qui venez de si loin, par monts et vallées, saluer le Roi?

A Quecha Prayer

Almighty God Condor,
Lord of Air and Sky,
On the flight feathers
Of your out-spread wings,
Lift my fragile spirit
From the Hidden Valley
To the snowy heights.

Peru, April 1998

A song to Loving

Come, greet your day and sing with me
A song to loving, come what may!
Drink in the sunlight with the wine
And our tomorrows live today.

Dawn islands dozing

Dawn islands dozing
In golden haze fade to grey
On August evenings.

Red Valerian
On the crumbling granite wall
Tell me of Summer.

25 August 1967

Il sole del pomeriggio

Sotto il sole del pomeriggio,
Dietro le imposte marrone,
Dormano le case tranquille
Soltanto le lucertole,
Verde come gemme byzantine,
Rimangono al sole.

Assisi – 1993

Under the Limes

My friends, the limes are blooming now
And in their vaults the holy bees
Intone their sacred offices.

Of all high Summer’s sacraments,
This moves me most and with sweet scents
Body and mind intoxicates.

For this brief moment in the year,
Come share the fragrance of the limes
And, like the bees, forget all else.

The two giant limes in the school playground are in full flower. 5.7.92