Monday, 24 May 2010


The morning sun looks over a green field,
Over a ragged hedgerow then a yellow field,
A hedgerow, then a brown field with a barn,
A hedgerow, then a golden field and a wood high on the hill.

At each field’s southern margin, stunted trees
Scribble the invitation in black line
With here and there the red cliff’s underlining.
For this is where the land ends.
Beyond this limit the deep blue sea
Beckons to a calm horizon under a better sky.

For those who would read it
These margins still spell out their weasel promises,
Promises that have drawn so many sanguine souls
Across big seas in small boats.

The many who ventured forth to fight foreign wars,
The many who ended their days captive in distant ports,
The many who sailed to settle empty lands,
Some to fortune, more to fever,
A few to swing in chains.

This sea has drowned enough of them
Whose bones still wander and wash with the pull of the moon.

Me, I’ll have none of it. I’ll look away
To the wheatfield, gold in the sun,
And the woods high on the hill.

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