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Tag Archives birds foot trefoil


for Elise Oliver


If, when I grow even older than I am

now and were, perhaps, too old to make poems,

I would become a sower of wildflowers.


Each year, I would begin with the Narrows,

an ancient path where our street ends –

where children are walked to school, commuters

walk to work, and revellers sway home

caterwauling. Each spring and summer

in the unkempt verges there would be the sight

and scent of Bird’s-foot Trefoil,



Walking – toward the town – down Henlys Lane,

its low, lichen covered dry stone walls

adorned with bird’s-foot trefoil, its borders

with cow parsley and, where run-off

gathers from Baron’s Hill, red campion,

we note ahead, amongst the cattle,

the usual, large flock of herring gulls,

facing south in the low-lying marshy field.

All as we have come to know and like.

But, today, we hear an explosion – loud

enough but too workaday to be thunder.

We stop and look beyond the library,



‘Even if I could have done when I was young what I’m doing now –
and it is what I dreamed of then – I wouldn’t have dared.’  Henri Matisse


In his early eighties – a magician
in colours with his (genuinely)
lovely assistant, Lydia – Matisse
creates a canvas, twenty five foot
by eleven, of pinned-on then glued-on
painted paper cut-outs of fronds and fruits,
in many colours, and a profound blue
parakeet and a profound blue mermaid –
seductive, tropical and teeming…
his Oceania revisited,