Wednesday, 23 December 2015

On A Hot August Day

The woods are bright with oaks’ new lammas growth,
   Cheering the swart, tight-fingered yew;
Wood wasps hover in soaks of sun like broth, 
   And tapping trunks for grubs the back-blue 
Nuthatch whistles. Tall ash sway in the breeze,  
Their crowns threshing like wrack on the sky’s seas;
   Dust bakes in the heat, tart as rue.

Beyond, the meadow barley blondly waves
   And the yoke-yellow trefoil glows;  
Woodchip crickets raspingly toil at lathes
   Danced at by cabbage-whites which pose
Like paint on the purple vetch. At the lake
Phosphorus dragonflies flash like light’s flake  
   Scorned by a heron in a doze. 

In eden-truce a pirate magpie sips
   The mud-thick water; cuckoos high 
In a copse pant meekly; a starling flips
   Path dust to cool its wings: a cry
From a child snubbed the muse on this hot day; 
Tooth and claw belied, the birds, it seemed to say, 
   Were heat-absolved like you and I.

© September 2013


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