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

Phlox

This morning I could suddenly smell
The phlox in my grandfather’s garden.
You were lying there beside me, still
Hardly awake and the whole room was
Filled with flowers from before you were born.
We ran down the garden path, looking
For windfalls, my sister and I, and
The pink and white phlox grew over us,
Swarming with brown bees dusty with pollen.
You said “what are you thinking about?”
As I stared at the ceiling. “I can
Smell the phlox in my grandfather’s garden.”
I was thinking of my own deep joy
And the depth of my sister’s sadness.

16 February 1969

Branchage

Potato fields
Are empty;
Haulms turn brown
In the sun.
All along
Country lanes
Sickles cut
Deep into
June grasses.
Red campions
And nettles
Fall with vetch
And yarrow.
The shorn lanes
Are wider
And sadder.
Tomorrow
Men with rods
Will pass here
To measure
The clearance,
Fining each
Landowner
For any
Obstruction.

1971