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

Giant Tortoises

Was this the one that carried on its back
The elements of the Earth and caused to break,
By each seismic step, the bulging crust
And fire to flow along the widening cracks?
Was this the one that sightless Aesop knew,
Which furnished fables to a later sage,
And served as tutor to the Roman troop,
Their corporate armour modelled on its shell?

The sun burns down and drifting sand blows through
The whitened carapace but legends live.

Seychelles 1969