Holy Island

I came at last to Lindisfarne
And walked the shore that Aidan trod,
And felt in rain and salty wind
The presence of his Celtic god.

What came we out to seek, to find?
What vestiges of youthful faith
To resurrect from grass and sand,
Upon the bleak Northumbrian heath?

Dear, gentle saint, whose Irish name
Means ‘Little Fire’, ignite in me,
Across the intervening years,
The furnace of your charity.

July 1993 with Judy and Lucy
On our way to Edinburgh

Summer Kitchen

La Croute RoadsideEarly tomatoes
On the window ledge
Slowly turning red
In summer sunshine.
Fresh mint and parsley
Waiting for potatoes
Steaming and buttered
In the willow dish.
Full-blown Peace petals
Fall on the table
Near raspberries fresh
Picked for jam making.
Gingham curtains blow
Sunshine and shadows
While wasps explore
The scraps saved for Puss.
Grandfather spreads out
His morning paper,
Puts on his glasses
And starts his day.

The Holidays

My suitcase is ready,
I’m off to the sea,
I’ve packed all the treasures
I’m taking with me.

I’ve put in my spade
And inflatable ring,
My swimsuit and penknife,
Fishhooks and some string.

I’ve packed all my soldiers,
They won’t want to stay,
I’m taking my Teddy
And Panda to play.

Mum says it’s too early,
I mustn’t forget
That before we leave home
There are weeks to go yet.

It’s true – time goes slowly
Especially for me
With my suitcase all ready
To go to the sea.

For Helier, who had his suitcase packed at least two months early! Summer 1977