Where ash and bullfinch,
kicking the curl dust-desiccated floor
bedding conkers, to collect,
and learn why candelabra die,
the seasons passing, marking dance?
Tell the mistle from the song,
know more than robin’s easy blush,
the finches beak from starling stab,
enjoy the dripping on the crust
before we shared the fatty stub;
now thistles gone, greyed decking sum,
concrete for rims, wheel mowing lines.
Bruised reeds, unbroken, layabout,
minnows, a jam jar, string around,
tadpoles, toads and newts nearby,
seen thread or clump, we gathered spawn
to grail the jellied specks with awe.
We early reckoned death with us,
fashioned cross where goldfish earthed,
more celebrated brought to birth.
That what early learning meant,
reading lines thought heaven sent,
dandled, dawdling, driven less,
halcyon, raft calming seas.
Used by permission of the author.