Home Thoughts From Home
(… after Browning)
Oh… To be left in England now that June is here…
While you stroll coral shores, dance Carnivale,
eyes alight with scarlet Flamboyante and flaming
Immortelle, almond Frangipani carried on warm winds,
I drag the dogs along the dank railway cut, tiptoe
single-file slippy moss-clung sleepers, the earth
swamp-like after a month of rain, steam rising,
a tentative sun learning, shyly, how to shine again.
But the leaf-dark tunnel opens on to dazzle-white
sky and a sweeping bank of nodding Ox-eye Daisies
takes my breath away, twizzle, twirl, like a gorgeous
throng of lissome girls dancing to a midsummer song.
I stand, mesmerised by their grace, gaze awhile
through tearful eyes. And listen! The bees drone low,
the birds sing high, the Elderflower thrusts its scent
into the breeze. Even the blooming nettles shout – Truce!
Fescue, Sedge, Feathered, Tufted, Velvet, Bearded,
Silver-hair, Silky-bent, Frogspit, knee height, taller
than me, grey-green, yellow-green, blue-green, lilac,
grasses, grasses – the more I look, the more I see.
Ribwort Plantain bee-bodies hover, purple Vetch tendrils
trail through Teasels, fuscia Clover rubs shoulders
with Buttercups, Rose Campions rise amidst drifts
of forget-me-nots and even bluer, the Periwinkles wink.
Glossy Hartstongue ferns adorn Jurassic iron-stone walls,
beetroot Cranesbill blossoms In dark cracks and fissures,
dainty lemon Lady’s slippers peep through Maidenhair,
and everywhere the blushing rose twines its sinuous limbs.
The dogs return, rain-slick, backs sprinkled with stars –
a million diminutive pearl-white sticky-weed flowers,
so tiny you’d miss them if you blinked and they shake,
sending them scattering all along the fern-splayed path.
We walk back home, spirits lifted as high as the sun
we can almost glimpse through this misty morning sky.
You can keep your attention seeking O’Keefe exotica…
I have my quiet, innocent, Browning England, my dear.