Saffron headlands

Saffron headlands, sweet
Almond smelling, alive with
Bees pollinating;
Blue glass water on shingle
Lapping, time lapping on me.

Oh that you could feel
This sun, breathe in this heavy
Air and see with me
The gorse afire on Beauport,
Golden in silence.

Jersey, 1966/1967

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

Fields I know

I come again to fields I know
And laugh and cry that every tree
And gate seems so familiar.
The turnings in the country lanes
Hold no surprise, no hidden threat,
And tides, twice daily, flow and ebb,
And sunshine follows after rain
With rhythms, smells and sequences
From ages set. All this I love!

Started on the boat to Jersey,
finished in hospital in Brussels.