The poems for March, April, May, June and July in this sequence were posted on 24 February 2014, 21 March, 20 April, 24 May and 20 June.
The hay is baled; the blackbird’s liquid call
Moistens the meadows; like earthenware the sky
Projects raw heat and soused with dust the tall
Hollyhock totters, though the thistle, sly,
Shrugs defiance, flaunting its purple bonnet.
Blackspot swarms on the rose leaves; lavender
Protests with scent like a sumptuous sonnet,
But among roots slugs gorge juicy provender.
Ruthless, the sky blackens – cats go to ground;
Thunder like granite cracking, lightning stark
As judgement, scourge with rain-hard wind the drowned
Buddleia, gangling in the abandoned park.
Later, squirrels daredevil in the high trees
Seeking berries. Breakneck growth has reached stasis;
Pale, reluctant men are squeamish to seize
The year’s last chance for some anabasis.
Instead, the harvest. Combines clatter in the fields
Engulfing barley and rapeseed. Rabbits
Squat, stupefied by the heat-dust which builds
Over the slaughter, shroud to man’s habits.
After the heat, the evening silence is long;
Jigsaw pieces of pigeon-grey cloud drift
Breathlessly. A nervy spider’s web among
Tight-leaved privets displays a jackdaw’s gift –
A feather. Fireweed strips its seed heads to husk,
Purple in sidings in the humid slow dusk.
© August 2012