Posts Tagged peacock

CONCRETE MYTHS

We have explained about Knossos in the car,
so she is keen to see the palace.
(We have not mentioned the Minotaur
or Daedalus and Icarus). She likes
the cats, the peacock and the cicadas
and appears not disappointed at all
by Arthur Evans’ concrete. Maybe
she knows the concerns of grown-ups are
more illusionary than substantial –
and a young woman, posing like Betty Boop
in high heels and sharp yellow dress
by an amphora, would prove her point.

Knossos is on the edge of Heraklion’s
southern suburbs. Just down the road from here
is a pristine Ottoman aqueduct
built across a narrow, river valley.
Swallows and swifts nest in the post holes.
The dingle is filled with bougainvillea,
jacaranda and pink oleander.
We walk up to a church, open and full
of silver – St Irini’s – and a playground.
She runs to the swings. There is no mention
in any of the guidebooks of the aqueduct
or the saint – never mind the nesting birds
or the valley abounding with flowers
or the safe place to play. Under
an ancient, encompassing olive tree
with labyrinthine branches, she flies high.

 

 

 

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A LONE FROG

The Arctic, after many a summer,

is melting and our magnolia

flowers twice. In more unenlightened times,

a lone frog, even a Common Frog,

appearing at the small water feature

enclosed by ornamental grasses

and bamboo – in a garden frogless

for all the decades we have tended it –

would have been runed with ill omens.

 

We have butterflies – a number of Peacocks,

some Large Tortoiseshells, an occasional

Comma – but cannot recall the last

caterpillar. We bought a pocket book

of butterflies for our granddaughter.

She chose it. We had seen a Purple Hairstreak

at Wisley, fluttering above the Gunnera

Manicata, the uneatable

‘Giant Rhubarb’ from the deforested

mountains of Brazil. She leafs through the pages.

 

How old will she by the time it becomes

a book of remembrance?

 

 

 

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DULCE DOMUM

Built well before the Mahdi sacked Khartoum,

like a ledger or the Church of England

our house is square, accommodating. Swifts,

each May, pronounce their southern benison

on ashlar cornerstones and dead masons…

A butterfly, lost in the wintry cellar,

seems closed as death but wings part knowingly.

O peacock eyes, how you seduce from purpose

and time! Imperial birds cry harshly

in paper gardens… At dusk, in indigo,

swifts dissolve. The house is white, seems solid

as a steamship. Darwin and Marx sent more

than smoke up the funnel.

 

 

 

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