Back to work this week

Leave: Paid and Unpaid


I have moved through summer

on the dream that summer

will last forever: how good it is

to open the curtains to the sun,

to get onto my knees to scrub

the floor, to stretch my arms up

to pin sheets to the line, to tie

back my hair and get on with

painting the fence; repairing things;

mending winter’s rents and tears.


The nasturtiums are covered

in little black upstanding eggs that

as time goes by, turn to caterpillars,

grow and shed their skins five times,

eat leaves to lacy skeletons, then

to stubs of stem, like amputations.


Things grow in random places, ferns

climb the wall; mullein spike through

stones; something starred with dark blue

and yolky yellow flowers, creeps through

the hedge and up the bird feeder.

Horse radish in the lawn, trees planted

by birds in the flower beds, buddleia

blown by the wind to stony crevices

to root, blossom; as once they followed

the railway lines, using the pull of air

from trains to escape from the big houses,

make their way across the countryside.

So it is that exotics become weeds; I read

of a couple who become lost amongst

the rhododendrons and have to be rescued

from that foreign forest on home ground.


I don’t feel out of place, just a little con-

fused. Time isn’t what it used to and some

times I hear its winged chariot revving up.

Best is when I’m just afloat, drifting with

the hours – I get plenty done, or nothing.




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