Dawn islands dozing

Dawn islands dozing
In golden haze fade to grey
On August evenings.

Red Valerian
On the crumbling granite wall
Tell me of Summer.

25 August 1967

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

Sweet paradise

Sweet paradise of childhood,
Oh, truly happy land,
Where friends in sea and sunshine
Across the golden sand
Of childhood’s endless summers
Go running hand in hand.

Jersey 1980

Morning light

You lie beside me in the morning light
Still held by sleep, your hand beneath your face.
The sky is pale, the day but half begun,
And in the stillness of the morning air
Lies promise of a golden summer day.

Cow Parsley

This year there is a
Splendid crop of cow parsley
In St Peter’s Valley.
I know you think it funny
That I should love this
Tall ungainly flower which
Grows head and leafy shoulders
Over scarlet campion
And ragged robin,
But its clouds of faded white
Are the saving grace
Of many a marshy field.

1968

Le Grand Bois at Bazouges

(Bordered to the south by fields of green maize)

The dawn is still.
No trembling leaf
Betrays the trace
Of passing breeze.
Each blade of maize
In the great field
Before the house
Awaits the sun.

Jerseys All

On summer nights at six o’clock
The cows come slowly down the lane,
Their udders hanging low with milk
And Iris leads them by their ropes.

There’s Daisy, Sue and Goodlands Bess,
Verbena, Violet and Rose,
And Clover out of Marigold
With velvet dewlap, honey brown.

There’s Bijou next, not yet in milk,
And Patience with the broken horn,
And last of all along the lane
Comes champion Primrose, great with calf.
 
They turn into the farmyard gate
Where Beauty greets them with a bark;
Off to the milking sheds they go,
Each to her stall with fresh straw laid.

The fields behind them, closely cropped,
Are left to mists and fairy rings,
While red ball sun behind the trees
Sinks slowly down into the marsh.

The pails are full, the milking done,
The churns are stacked out in the yard,
All in its place the farmyard sleeps
And dreams beneath the milky moon.

 
15th May 1971