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Hardy's Travelling Bird


Flitting across the waves and shallow straits,

With ecstasy she glides in graceful flight,

From lands afar, from royal kingdoms borne

High mystery beyond the common sight.


Heaven’s feathered basket of beak and bone,

Thy size shall never match thy wisdom sought

By restless souls forbidden yet to know

And break the crest of animated thought.  [1969]






Adam’s Brow


Today, my Lord, the moon hangs high above,

And grey cloud smothers hoar the furrowed down

Where peels the farmer late with carefree love

To ply his thick-hide hand and scatter ground.


Lord of bleak, barren fields the scarecrow lurks,

Whistling wastes the wind and breaks aloft

The burly thistled leaves and brushes soft

To strangle, strafe and gouge the farmer’s work.


Warped sickles, shovels, picks and bogwood scythes

To heave and harvest before blind snowdrifts drive,

Alone, one hand rotates till night to free

The fallow fields fret-crossed with straggle-weed.


Fragments of field-dead soldiers churn’d and chopp’d

By the blades of the plough a second death,

They serve to seed in rank an autumn crop,

Ignored unseen a harmless shibboleth.


The potted path is trod, now seas of rain

Sluice slabs of mud and by the clocktower face

Bespatter him, the hero will remain

Apart from Life’s mad rat-infested race.


The aching chores have ceased, the charcoal flue

Burns through the night, the barn owl cries anew,

Perhaps the fallen fields will yield their due,

One hand moulds the landscape’s unhurried hue.   [1982]




Down on the Ones


Here lies the dust of time spent cast

In forms of regulated lives,

Moulded by the mass have past

The ones the mass could not drive,

Rich law courts play – the poor are tried –

If wrong hands hold the gambling dice

Then history will ever lie,

Shields and spears can’st ne’er entice

The free to end their search in vain,

Reward the patient ones with gold,

When dying echoes Life’s refrain

We may one day know or be told.

Here lies the dust of some waif’s dream

They turn their own to mix with strife,

Plagued with sorrow will ever seem

They cannot win the game of Life.   [1981]