March Ravens

March Ravens top

A pair of ravens
in synchronised flight
angle, tumble
arc and glide
croak rasped asides
and as silhouettes slide
across the sky
and out of sight.

In nighted garb
with ragged sleeves
he leads their merry dance
until she concedes
then, in the privacy of a
beech tree’s canopy
he walks all over her
until she conceives.

March Ravens bottom

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My Enchanted Lady Alyse

Alyse 1
My queen, serene, my enchanted Lady Alyse
sips chamomile tea from her fine bone china chalice
smiles her crooked smile and whispers in lisps
fiddles with the clasp of the copper bangle on her wrist
offers me more tea and although I lazily resist

she waves away my refusal, demurely insists
then chooses a chocolate finger and one with coffee cream in it
from the saucer founding a cathedral of assorted biscuits.
She then quietly recounts to me her day, of
bicycling to her sisters, of catching her dress in the chain, of

hearing a cuckoo call whilst free-wheeling along Capps Lane, of
delighting in the open face of Poor-Man’s Weather-Vane, of
resting in the candle tree’s quiet relieving shade, of
sunbathing with Sophie and watching the kitten-cats play, of preparing
a salad and picnicking beneath the shadowing pear tree boughs, of

strolling through Moreton Meadows, still brilliant with flowers,
of stopping at Helen’s Pantry in Starlington’s Lamb Parade
for a dainty cake and a glass or two of home made lemonade, of
idling the long way home and laughing arm in arm
by way of Lady Mildmay’s Lane, skirting Aston Farm…

“Oh!” Alyse suddenly exclaims
her hand to her mouth, her crystal eyes aflame…
“I’ve just remembered my last night’s dream!”
Then sounding rather vague, she says
“I guess that I was telling myself I’m on to a very good thing…

I found a shiny sixpence in a weed-bed under a wire fence
and half a crown, tail-up, head-down, beneath a clipped box hedge
a ha’penny then caught my eye and so a bright new penny that did lie
half hiding a shilling which led me to a sovereign
then a silver coin blushing and so on along a line…

till I was miles from home, quite where I did not know
and still dropping coins into my shepherdesses purse
on and on and to and fro, all night long until in a hay meadow
I found that my good fortune had quite suddenly reversed!
Not a penny, not a farthing, not a shilling could I find

in my purse or in my pocket, strewn before me or behind
and it was in my flustered searchings that out the corner of my eye
I saw you by the kissing gate where every evening we kiss goodnight…
and I awoke wanting to be with you, then, and forever more…
be we rich and rudely healthy, be we laid up and church mouse poor!”

Alyse 2

Pain Hill Moor

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High in heavy rain clouds edged with chrome
Spins a carousel of rooks jacks and carrion crows
Too bickeringly quarrelsome to allow their silence to condone
The robin’s melancholic evening air
Over the years the wind has blown
These beech crowns to form a shallow dome
To the top of this natural cathedral has flown
A flock of laughing Fieldfare
Stiff-masted moorland grasses sing long low
Moaning laments when the sharp wind bluster-blows
Such long whines and long wails as if the wind longs to atone
For its desire to scour the moor bare
Ragged upland sheep, all skin and bone
Shelter in the lee of a wall of grey stone
Sadly surveying their Pain Hill Moor home
 In silence, with disconsolate stares

Pain Hill Moor Bottom