Here are two of my poems. The first written was in the garden at Stourhead in 2011 – I had just learned, from an exhibition in the house, that it is only in autumn that one sees the true colour of leaves. The second is more recent.
Stourhead, on All Hallows’ Eve
Now Autumn’s chill brings Truth before the eyes
When Summer’s verdant chlorophyll decays,
When still grey light on dappled water lies,
When darkness steals the better part of days—
Now Nature shows her colours in the raw,
Her ochre, midnight purple, green of grass,
Her umber, orange, earthen red, all soar
In joyous discourse, riotous as brass.
And now, O wind, destroy this brittle Truth,
And now, O rain, its brightness wash away;
Lock in the pungent moisture of the earth
The stark irradiance of this Autumn day,
Lest in its dazzling honesty it glows
All golden as the burnished yellow rose.
A Small Thing
My hope is a small round thing,
Worn smooth with the beating of the years, and shaped to fit
Snug in the palm of a woman’s small hand.
My hope lies quiet on the sand,
Surrounded by the pebbles which have borne it company
Till it cannot be told apart from them.
But today the sun caught it
Just for a moment, without a reason,
And it stirred and remembered,
Then settled to wait.