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

New Potatoes

Four tight little rows
Planted in wandering lines,
Two before the house
And two behind,
A signal to the weeds
That we are here to stay,
A gesture of possession
Buried two inches down
In a soil which had not seen
A crop for years.
In the warm spring air
They came up unsure of themselves
With gaps in the winding rows,
The young shoots black-green,
Dark as the crumbled seaweed
On the surface of the soil.
Slowly with each shower of rain,
They bushed and grew
And hid the earth
Which we had banked
Around them.
The winds blew in April,
Turning the leaves brown;
We watched over them
Like sick children.
Came the time for digging
The potatoes lay newborn
On the upturned earth.
My son carried them lovingly
One by one, to place them in the basket.
For him at two years
It was his first crop
But so it was for us!
Soon the kitchen smelt of mint
And we ate our first fruits
Bathed in butter.

July 1972

From Scotland’s purple mountains

From Scotland’s purple mountains
Come blessings great and small,
Like whiskey, haggis, porridge,
Dundee cake, shortbread and all.

But of mighty Scotia’s bounty
The best of all to me
Is a wee round Highland oatcake,
Dunked in my English tea!

For Liz and Roddie