THIS YEAR

This year
mixes spring and summer here,
a sharp wind chasing baking heat.
Hawthorn hangs like snow in clusters
with gorse and last year’s bracken at its feet,
turning the whole cliff into an in-between season.

Beyond the hills
lie great fields of daffodils
balancing organic gold against a leaden sky.
These the farmers grow
instead of food.
This they are paid to do
to keep abundance low
and prices high.

Below the cliff at Tregantle
another kind of fruit appears at low tide;
mines sown half a century ago,
relics of an earlier generation’s
resistance to invasion.
Someone has been blowing them up
with great enthusiasm.
At each explosion,
the gulls and jackdaws scream and fret
(and, having screamed, forget.)

But I remember.

These bombs were planted
in your father’s time and mine,
as they struggled to survive
a rising tide which, win or lose,
derailed their lives
and shadowed ours
with clouds that have retreated
to a new horizon
(but will not go away).

 

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