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 wavesAnd 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 sipsThe 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