Days of May 1985
In the village street a stained-glass artist
Is trawling the shops for Brunswick Black
On a morning when my head is taken up with light
And light effects on silver halides

Or in Russells on a bleary Wednesday
Clients push in chafing and shooting their cuffs
Signalling pints but “spirits out first please”
Such are the limits of a year’s horizons

This week brought Paul Durcan’ s postcard
With news of Robert Frost and mention of Mt Lafayette
A catalogue of timber in New Hampshire
And yesterday my wife sailed in from Paris

To find me dressed again in campaign summer gear
Which doesn’t differ much in truth from winter’s
The addition or the stripping of a layer plus decorations
For my regimental Thursdays in the mad house

Being thus torpedoed I must have my story straight
And in my ley-lines find a bill of credence
Pick up on Leeson Street where I was born –
In the Appian Way my bones of childhood mock me

Yet these May mornings toiling to the Nursery
I sense my father’s ghost in the wheeling migrant birds
And soon I can accept the electric invitation
Of my amazing son to the breathless world of cherry flowers