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

On the dunes today

I wish you had been
With me on the dunes today.
We would have rested
Among the white moss roses,
And watched the grasses flow
Before the warm wind
Like fields of ancient corn.
The sea hung misty
Between sky and blowing sand
And the larks were still.

12 June 1968

February walk

The shrill two note song
Of the skylark insisted
Spring had come early,
But I knew that the
Blue of the sea and the sky
were today’s only.

9 February 1968

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

Summer chase

Hare Summer leads a chase along the lanes
And scatters torn up sunlight under trees
And on the banks where wild garlic grows
Among the heavy headed grasses.
Your house lies in his path along the marsh
Near where the golden willows burst with leaf
And watch-spring bracken day by day unwinds
Among cow pats and clumps of almond gorse.
Inside the house the afternoon sleeps cool
Behind the dark blue blinds. Above the stove
The honey-coloured cat stirs in his sleep,
The tap drips in the sink and china laid for tea
Waits on the tray.
Beneath the hedge among the unpruned trees
We lie asleep or love-make in the sun.

May 1968