Tuesday 10 December 2019

Tuesday 10th December - Advent Book Club 10

Winter Rain                                                      Memories

Every valley drinks,                                       and suddenly the music from 
        Every dell and hollow:                           'Messiah' is filling my head, as
Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,            Isaiah is one of the other things
        Green of Spring will follow.                   I am reading in Advent

Yet a lapse of weeks                                     As I drive along the lanes to the
        Buds will burst their edges,                  various village schools I visit 
Strip their wool-coats, glue-coats, streaks,     I notice the hedges and trees.
        In the woods and hedges;                                                                                                                                                               
Weave a bower of love                                I look for the first leaves in the   
        For birds to meet each other,                hedges, the first daffodils and 
Weave a canopy above                                primroses. 
        Nest and egg and mother.                    I watch the rooks rebuilding 
                                                                                     their nests, sitting on their eggs
But for fattening rain                                    
        We should have no flowers,                   
Never a bud or leaf again                           And there's a particular chestnut 
        But for soaking showers;                    tree by the road that I look for 
                                                                     to see the leaves explode from  
Never a mated bird                                   the buds, and the candle-flowers
        In the rocking tree-tops,                       growing tall.    
Never indeed a flock or herd
        To graze upon the lea-crops.

Lambs so woolly white,                                                 
        Sheep the sun-bright leas on,                      
They could have no grass to bite                 Today was a grey and dank and
        But for rain in season.                            wet and cold. So I didn't do 
                                                                     any 'nature appreciation'.
We should find no moss                              I had my head tucked into my 
        In the shadiest places,                           collar and my eyes half-closed
Find no waving meadow-grass                     against the horrible weather.   
        Pied with broad-eyed daisies;               I wonder what I missed seeing?

But miles of barren sand,                           When I was a teenager, my
        With never a son or daughter,            parents lived in Indonesia.
Not a lily on the land,                                  I remember the long haul flights
        Or lily on the water.                             (we used to stop in Bahrain back
                                                                    then!) across hours and hours
We should find no moss                              of what seemed like an
        In the shadiest places,                        un-ending desert - brown,
Find no waving meadow-grass                   sandy, red, grey... no greens,
        Pied with broad-eyed daisies;             apparently feature-less; 
                                                                                            nothing but
But miles of barren sand,                                     miles of barren sand
        With never a son or daughter,
Not a lily on the land,
        Or lily on the water.

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