Class Outing

Hare's Tails
 

I made my way down
Through the long grass and hares’ tails
To the eroding dunes which
Hold back the water.
The children were lost
Waist high in the cow parsley,
And pale puffs of pollen and
Dandelion seed
Floated around them.
You were not with me
And the still, hot afternoon
was slow in passing.

for Judy
5th July 1968, Jersey

The Fort on the Beach

We built a fort of seaweed
Against the rising tide,
We made it round and solid
And then all climbed inside.

The waves splashed up against it
Till we were wet with spray,
Our fort began to crumble
And seaweed float away.

“Quick, quick, the walls are giving!
Build up the broken gate!
Let’s reinforce the ramparts
Before it is too late!”

In spite of all our efforts
To stop the rushing tide,
Our castle sank beneath the waves
And water came inside.

“Abandon ship” my Daddy cried,
“Let’s leave it to the sea!”
We scrambled up the beach to Mum
And went back home for tea.

26 August 1979

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