10 June 2018

Here’s a poem inspired by camping in the back garden with one of the kids….


Up at a tentish sort of time, still a lag behind barber shop birds.
A claggy dampness;
skin the texture of a peeled seed potato.
Pull on clothes the flavour of used fire;
emerge into a chill
still cool enough for misted breath
in which last night’s watering forms a stubborn shadow
beneath stems of tender veg.
Observe, atop the fence, handbags at dawn
between meddlesome squirrel and grumpy corvid,
while below, the handles of an upturned
wheelbarrow reach
like drowning arms from a tempest
of bindweed and bramble.
Each apple bough is a road into a heartland;
each budding fruit a settlement blossoming after the
early work of bees.

Stepping over the wilting memories of footballs,
we start to chart this parallel universe.

And we hear the long sigh of a plane,
the young tide of traffic. You notice on bilberries
the dewed webs lying in wait for froghoppers
emerging from their spumous nurseries,
and new growth, as promised, is
through the igneous wound
of scorched heather.

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