Thalictrum Simplex



Field lying fallow, on the cant somehow
and freckled over by meadow-rue down there
where the somnambulant stream snuffled and stank.

In a spinney at the top end, warriors mustered --
neighbours, blood-brothers, somebody's second-cousin --
armed to the teeth with sheath-knives, catapults
and bad intentions, with designs on all stray cats
(saving tortoise-shells), partridges and rabbits.

Rallied against fierce Ostrogoth cohorts,
evacuees and numerous Blinko Brothers from
Tradescant Avenue. These to be avoided at the cost
of all but honour and a bloodied nose.

Yellow, was it, or purple rue? Can't quite
call the hue to mind. It's gone with fizzy Tizer,
gone with George Blinko (smithereened by a doodle-bug),
with the straight-backed proud young idlers
who mastered the yo-yo's art during Glenister's lock-out.

Of one thing I'm sure: that rancid stream. You might
throw a stick at it, launch a paper boat, but oh
if you should dip a careless hand in it,
you'd never want to eat with it again.




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