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

Il sole del pomeriggio

Sotto il sole del pomeriggio,
Dietro le imposte marrone,
Dormano le case tranquille
Soltanto le lucertole,
Verde come gemme byzantine,
Rimangono al sole.

Assisi – 1993

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

Somewhere in France

After the picnic
By a cherry tree,
We climbed to the top
Of a chalky hill
And over the brow
To cornfields beyond.
There, in sun and wind
We walked and unwound,
Rarest of moments
Completely alone,
Save for a skylark
Ascending above.
I longed to bed you
In ripening corn
But held back, restrained
By foolish taboos
And by our children
Waiting back there
Under the tree.
The thought of it
Fed my mind and body
For hours afterwards.

26 July 1986
 

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

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