A shock of green. Not quite a rhapsody
perhaps – the pain of strolling up the lane
on unfamiliar muscles does for that –
But a pastoral nonetheless, picture perfect
almost to the point of parody.
The scene across the fields gallery-still
and, in close-up, swaying leaves nearly as real
as on a high definition screen.
The shock is obscene. Here, just beyond
the reach of belief, and out of range,
People act out a way of life on a stage
of spattered soil and heather, and tilling toil,
and weather-forecasts that matter.Breathe it all in.
Your aching office chair-shaped back
and sandwich pack insist that weekend time
is time you mustn’t lose.
Deeper than fun, here’s the real deal:
cost-free, guilt-free and, most unlikely, sans booze.
But at the top of the hill,
Even in the moderate modulations
of England’s lukewarm wilderness
under a rare sun, a cold can grip and protest:
The spineshiver of the human ant
all alone inside a distance; and the inescapable need
to run back to the nest.