While, at the last outpost of its empire,

a blackbird sounds reveille and, next door,

red admirals repose in buddleia,

something of summer, caught in the early air

and gathered, a lightness, perfumed, bold,

is touching narrow, walled-in gardens

where, high over houses epochs old,

wood pigeons flute in maples and a thrush,

lost in the snows of a pear tree, cuts notes

like glass. Neglected blossom lights

along the chipped and blackened bricks, a rush

of scent from satiny blooms, while clovered

lawns are striving for grass.



Note: The poem has subsequently been published at


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  1. #1 by John Chapman - May 25th, 2011 at 18:34

    Our garden is now filled with the fragrances from compressed seasons’ blossoms of Rose, Honeysuckle, Peony and Mock Orange.
    We brush past Thyme, Lavender, Mint and Lemon Balm
    and inhale the smell of Box released by the heat of the May sunshine. The newly fledged Blackbirds and Starlings fight for the currants to which they will become addicted and bathe querulously in the bath we fill twice each day.

  2. #2 by Jessica Stephenson - May 20th, 2012 at 16:33

    This is absolutely lovely! I enjoy your meter. The images are felt within me as I read. Thank you for sharing this on Third Sunday Blog Carnival –!

  3. #3 by Dawn Napier - May 21st, 2012 at 02:11

    Very nice. Brilliant, sharp imagery.

  4. #4 by Alina Cathasach - May 22nd, 2012 at 02:51

    What a lovely piece. I adore the visuals it induces.

(will not be published)