Saturday, April 20, 2019

old tune

The dipping sun behind those skinny trees,
The ones I came through just now, when I found
the hill all gone in shadow, just the one
last copper shoulder where the ridge swings round;
I ran like crazy into this plot of sun
   and fell upon my knees
in wintry tussocks, streaks of green and buff.
The sun's gone now but still the grass is dry
in this unwonted, heated February,
though evening dew, night frost, come soon enough.

“All the live murmur of a summer's day”...
Indeed, one bumblebee sailed in and out
of the hedgerow's tracery; no leaves as yet,
nor flowers, except near the Meads roundabout
yellow narcissi, purple croci, set
    along Great Western Way,
bathe in false summer, Mediterranean spring...
And lemon mahonia in business parks;
in gardens thin-twigged winter cherry marks
warm hours with a rosier smattering.

The strollers and their dogs are on the hill,
where three weeks past, on snow, toboggans ran;
the girls now pushing pushchairs, and the boys
flitting in furtive bands, from which you can
smell weed emitting, low laughter and noise.
     Everyone's here to chill,
in the last rays of a half-term afternoon;
the swings and slides full of the children's cries
and yellow alder catkins and spilled fries
on walkways, which the lights will shine on soon.

And on this tarmac fallen leaves lie flattened
by many feet, so crushed the stones show through;
the leaves becoming spectral, mere remains
of form and fibre; though their shapes stay true
no urgency of sap burns in their veins --
        and yet this fading, patterned
carpet makes the shade of homeward glow,
so tranquil and so open is this dark.
and still, threading Shaw Ridge to Lydiard Park,
comes many a runner from the homes below.


At 7:46 pm, Blogger Vincent said...

Love it, started off thinking it was Wordsworth's Prelude but now I see it as something infinitely precious, a fragment of Now, uniquely preserved

At 10:41 pm, Blogger Michael Peverett said...

Thank you Vincent! The "tune" comes from Matthew Arnold's Scholar Gypsy. I find it very difficult to write rhyming verse but it's fun to try it now and then.


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