Writing me Down

Friday, June 30, 2006


I was picking daffodils when
I noticed the thrush.
A strand of couch grass
showed me her nest
in the hawthorne
by the fence.
Over its rim her white throat
speckled chest
two dark eyes
I left the gardening ‘till later
so as not to disturb her.

I missed her journeys
to and fro -
went to check,
found the nest
Glancing down I saw
her baby
on its back
throat stretched
thin, transparent
tiny beak pointing north.

I saw her again
gathering leaves
dropping them
clattering off
into the trees.

A few weeks later
I heard her song
fluting into the evening air
and something in her music
healed me.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Tea with the Queen

The day my Gran met the Queen for tea
she didn’t shake the royal hand.
It was my Grandad who'd been invited.
There were cucumber sandwiches,
china cups with tea,
small cakes,
icecream and jelly.
Yes, really!

The day my Gran met the Queen for tea
she didn’t see the royal face
but – oh! – the Queen looked lovely
even from so far away.
It was in the gardens, Gran told me,
with everyone in Sunday best
smartly dressed with gloves on,
even though it was sunny.

June morning

Trousers damp at knees and ankles,
thigh high young green stalks of wheat,
path of cracked clay slick with dew-grass,
swallows chatter on overhead wires,
a squadron of swifts scream overhead,
two bare trees groan with starling-fruit,
poppies gleam vermilion silk,
purple flags the proud iris,
roses ramble round the porch,
the air thickens with mock orange,
on Church Street corner a small brown deer
greyhound-size just standing there,
ponies and donkey lie in buttercups,
a skylark bubbles its song through the air.