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Poems - Seasons

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It’s March the First; the weathermen
And women cry, “It’s Spring again!”
Despite the blizzards in the hills
And hardly any daffodils.


The frogs are humping in the pond,
One fern has made a tiny frond,
But not a leaf is on the trees
And walkers hunch against the breeze.


The Sun is barely in the Fish,
Whatever our presenters wish;
The Equinox is weeks away,
Whatever weather pundits say.


The astronomic start of Spring,
Bright catalyst for everything,
Is when our star burns the Equator
In the Ram, the life-creator.


Dishonouring St. David’s Day,
Our sense of time has gone astray.
Disdaining sleep, we raid the night
For hours extravagant with light.


We chill the heat, we heat the cold,
Stay adolescent till we’re old;
Dress up our children to attract
And then get stars and teachers sacked.


Refuse to rest, refuse to die,
Insist we have the right to fly,
To play God with the biosphere
Since we are all that matters here.


Come back, St. David! Help us back
To sanity! We’ve lost the knack
Of simple living, sold our souls
To self-esteem, commercial goals.


I long for unpolluted air,
For bees and beasties everywhere,
I’d like a night alive with stars,
Not nasty neon clubs and bars.


I long for peace, untainted bread,
The pulse of Heaven in my head.
I’d like a weather-girl to say
“It really will be Spring today”





‘Tis a lovely Sunday mornin’ makes me glad to be alive,
‘Tis the kind of misty mornin’ when the scents o’ summer thrive!
O the fish is up an’ the milk is up, an’ the rest they lie abed,
While I’m ridin’ down the seaside with a singin’ in my head!

There’s a little bit o’ cloud about; the sun is peerin’ through,
An’ the lupins an’ the roses are bespeckled with the dew ...
O ... etc!

An’ the swallows are a-flyin’, an’ the seagulls overhead
Are a-wheelin’ and a-cryin’, will I give them bits o’ bread?
O ... etc!

An’ the sun is all for makin’ golden ribbons in the sea,
An’ the silver fish are swimmin’ up the shingle just for me!
O ... etc!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


All is prepared.
The slow white wedding-march of clouds,
Sweeping the late leaves with skirts of rain,
Have spread you a bright carpet in celebration.

See, as you come,
Golden slippers of sun run in the woodland,
Lighting candles amidst the vaulting shade
To make you a church of many aisles and altars.

Listen together;
The wind’s fine fingers fly on the organ.
There are bells in the birds’ full throats for you,
The leaves fall to their own gentle music.

Their light kiss
Upon your hair is of life and death; they speak
With the ancient forest voice whose wisdom flows
In root and seed, fed by the grey rain.

Listen, and learn;
How the brown earth, laced with a veil of leaves,
Makes many weddings; death is a season’s sleep,
Life a recurring dream from that rich bed.

You are consumed
Like leaves, gold in your every changing season,
Dancing through lives and deaths, an immortal vein
Of past selves ripening in the dark

To nurture spring.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Girls with golden hair were
Meant to stand in the flowing corn
Slender as the wheatstalks
They stand among

Between earth and cloud
Pale in the lissom wind their long
Hair showered with finely
Flying seed

To walk in the ripened year
Bearing golden before them a swelling
Legacy of secret
Eyes that saw them

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Having done Spring to death - forever, I thought,
Amen - it poked a mauve nose out of the grass at me,
Winked a gold eye, and Became.
With little eddies of lust awhirl in the March wind
Around the knees, frisking fresh girls out walking
Tip-toe, tongues out they and the sky still
For a taste, for a thrill of snow; cool,
Baby, can’t kick the habit!

Will stick my nose soon into a bud of wet lilac
(We’ll gather lilacs in the Spring again
When your incessant runabout breaks down
Or one of your old, old ladies, waltzing gaily
Out of a doorful of roses,
Trips you with a giggle and sprouting stick)
Oh soon we’ll roll in faggots of crushed lavender,
And go without umbrellas in the rain,

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Spring wind. Fever wind. Wowy round the roof-tops.
Blood coming up for the new year, for next year’s prelude of memories.
As flames shake out fresh with a sound of handkerchiefs
And trees bud birds to race the arriving sky.

Weep over the leavings of last year,
We’re done with pigeon-pie.
This year cry sea-gull, and keep a nipped finger till next March.

The sun starts now, practising for summer.
Surprised by the end of winter, detergent comes with free daffodils,
Opulent ladies begin playing at charities
As February waltzes out in the girls’ Excuse-me
And March comes in late, looking sheepish, with hocus-crocus of mad March babies and royal hair
As Woolworth plies the primrose path to Mother’s day.

Out in the blue air of Sundays, people whistle and wash-leather their cars
With  radios out on the pavement and soapy streams in the gutter
until ...

Lo! More snow (everyone back inside:
Shilling for the gas, homework over hot crumpets and butter)
In March shivers, blowing like sand over the sea-slates
Or winter shook the last crumbs out of his cold cloth
for the visiting sun to peck at

Come on, spring!
Buck up, it’s nearly the silly season!
The trees are all bark, the wind all sarcastic bite
But the almond has pinkened ever since Valentine’s Day
And it won’t be long before sun, wind and trees
make friends in a jolly rape of petals
On weekend anniversaries
Of so many,
So enjoyably
Lost virginities!

- But meantime it’s spring wind, chilly wind,
Draught up the trouserlegs, scarves on rag-day
As the twigs chirrup with perhaps a little frost
Teasing the sap under the tickle of lambing-time,
And it’s a toss-up between
Cold fingers, or resisting the pleasure
Of smoking the kissing-season’s first fresh-air cigarette.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Amid the noise
In millions, clangour of men
Sweating for self-praise;
In the misapprehension of iron, time-lapse, toil,
Germ in the pantry and
Universal hand;
By greenless villa, lock and staring cell
Earth’s plumage plucked,
Treated and trussed,
Fit flesh for biting;
Amid new bulls without horn,
Plant without sap or seed,
Amid the un-flighted cranes
Go they,
The gardeners go
Forth secretly to the beloved gardens.

Among dog-daisies
And wild rose,
Treading over the long fought-for silence
Of grass imperishable
They give their good-days,
They go forgotten ways,
They bend, and disappear.

They open the long-locked ear
Of Time within;
And all the ages gone when the sun shone
Straight from eye to eye
Subtly take possession of their mind.
Bramble and woodbine,
Spurge, owled oak, and willow
Welcome homeward the slow dreamer, the old fellow.

His one friend sits by him and sings.
Mole, hole and hedgerow watch with a noonday eye
For the unwanted things.
Few come here to learn economy.
He, root-bent, researching the earth,
Tends to the only immortality.
It will receive him;
And shall give rebirth

To dog-daisies,
Bramble and woodbine,
Spurge, owled oak, willow
And wild rose,
To moth, fireweed, nettle and nightingale
Amid the noise.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Here are the people waiting
Against the flowing sea
Down the banks of shingle
The sun is circled with fog
We swim in the idle tide
The children fidget and argue
They balance along the ropes
The ropes that loosed the lifeboat
Washed away in the mist
To the lonely mooing at sea

The people read their papers
They sleep in the Sunday sun
A ship is lost in limbo
The fog is heavy with souls
Here are the people waiting
On the blond and shimmering shingle
A little too cold to swim
In the blue and tinsel sea
The women are thinking of lunch
And the boat has not come back

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



I shall, calm-eyed,
Shake out my blankets in the sun
And sheets out like flags
Until bearing.

The many flowers
Race to grow faster than my melon-
Belly, round and ripe as a
Pink cantaloupe.

I shall
Lily and Amaranth
Plant among my hair and
Golden feet.

The thrush’s song
Shall await my shout before
Giving tongue to war
Over the world’s edge.

I shall give
A new priest to the sea:
Our kind is growing, who never
Blaspheme her beauty.

Our race,
Gentle as wave or wind,
Will help poor God to soothe
The hot world.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Maiden Kent in her first blush of blossom
Led in the Maytime to an orchard bridal
Uphill and downland black gorse put to the torch
Takes the coin of the sun and scatters it
In the path of wayfarers amid weddings
Who weave among reed-beds bittern and weed
To water-sheets

In the deep woodland waits
A reflected heaven
All the trees breathing a blue gas
Drift in a lake of altered consciousness
And all the bells are birds

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The wind whines in the gratings. It is a mean cur
Leaping and baying at the last of the trees.
This night it pulls on a leash, still
By some harsh hand held between towering seas

And we pray again, as we prayed under a Scorpio Moon
(Piteously, in vain) the tyrant fist
Of air not follow its hound to scythe and flail
In seven howling hours seven counties' forest.

Felled trees flake into humus; rooftops wrenched
Break into powder and shard, a thin seam
Laid down, pointing the future's history.
Will fear come up on the spade? Will their seers dream?

Blood was not the storm's quarry but only our sleep,
Only our sleep, Lord; an amazing Hand
Held our houses safe from cedar and oak.
Only a few died, leaving a shattered land

To greet us in the morning under the grinning sun,
A lone light, and all our power gone.
Powerless, we who had tamed the lightning.
Stripped of all we had built our silly lives upon.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Breeze-blown fairy filaments arriving on the wind
     Dance carelessly
Lightly floating on the breath around the lips
     And brush them ...
Bowling soft and airily through coltsfot stems and grass
     And hovering
Catch on flying hair and whisper on the ears
     Like kisses
Blown from one white tower on a hilltop far away
     A tiny speck
In the autumn haze of trees beyond the town ...
     From your lips...?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Rose-breasted, bobbing bird on the pathway,
Slate-blue back in the sun flashing steel,
Picking and hopping,
And stopping;
White rump-splash bobbing,
And robbing
Small, hidden, crevice-grown weeds
Of seeds -
Where have you been?
Why before have I never seen
Handfuls of sky-blown rose-flame,
Twig-bending plumply
In the sun-flecked mazes -
A steel-winged,
Like you?

* * * * * * * * *


The tree-snakes have been frozen in mid-strike.
Each Medusa-head froze at the stare of her image in ice
When the sky splintered in the frightful blizzard of mirrors.
Golden pheasants walk immortal in the fields, the angels of this whited sepulchre;
The sun blared out like a trumpet once amid the muffled drums -
Their muted throbbing has died in the whole land.
People sit with dead eyes in the snow-caves, the last flutes play under the ice-cliffs,
The country lies wrapped in her winding-sheet.
The tears of the wind lie like funeral flowers on her lips
And cover her still face with the blossoms of the snow.
The shadow of God's sleep lies over the land.
When will the eye of Heaven look on the land?
When will the long and painful healing begin?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


The moths and the white winter spiders have won -
All over the land their matted webs are spun.

They have trapped liquid time in ice at last.
Nothing goes or grows in the frozen froth of grass.

Space to one clouded crystal distilled,
With the glittering sediment of suspended time filled.

See these frost-fountains? Once, life
In the poplar skyward flowed. This was a stream, this knife.

The only time, space, un-silence is
What we can drive between the killing traceries.

Rails running through cloud. Grey travelling.
One harsh frightening bray, and doom unravelling.



Is this then where it all ends?
In this flashing maniac of a train?
And the fast dark dancing with mad white light?
The rails alive with rainbows?
The spiteful brilliance spits against my window
And shows things flickering like a crazy film;
And presently, in mile-high horrible letters,
Will THE END explode our ears and everything