The Derwent’s not in any rush. Green surf
Of trees, the rocky crests of peaks now still
Enough to watch their sister wind downhill
And salve exploited wounds of quarried earth.
She hems a patchwork blanket as she goes,
A stone-crossed field’s crumpled edges smoothed
Where verdant hillside’s bashful bow is soothed
And onwards her unflinching water flows.
The river doesn’t notice how the tree
Boughs bend to soften in her waters clear,
How flowers line her banks in reverence,
And as she passes by she hushes me:
My soles sprout roots, my body anchors here.
The trees – my brothers now in deference.
I know that you want something to happen
but I have to warn you that, here, no blood is
spilled, and though there is coffee,
there is no coffee spilled either. There is
no love or loss or he-said-she-said.
No failing marriages. Here
there is only gold; molten and
oozing through the slats in the blind and though
I cannot say there is birdsong, there
is honesty; the softest, kindest
honesty, and where the birds would be
are the sing-song voices of next-door’s
children, making the most of the cool
morning sun before they are called in
for hats and sunscreen.
It’s November so it’s Christmas now
and as we got older we realised
that the lights and the songs
and the carbohydrates
were for coping
When the sun is out we drink it
down like an oasis
Other than these brief intermissions
we keep our hoods up ‘til spring
and hope we don’t fasten
our scarves too tight