If we could visit now, would you come with me?
Take my hand, let me lead you up the pea gravel path –
tread carefully if you are wearing sandals,
I have learnt this the hard way, in summers past.
Come. Here are two striped cats that bask
and unfurl, in the dappled sap-light. Now, through the orchard,
where Norfolk Pippin, Cox’s Orange, Victoria and William,
reach and recline, limber limbs to the waiting sun.
We can always return here. Boundaried by beeches
that hide clamouring hives, through the stable door.
Here is the cool flagged kitchen, where flowers, foraged
from hedgerows rest in chipped crystal – fit for the fae!
Celandines, daisies, Jack by the Hedge.
Here on a scrubbed wooden table, Mason Cash bowls
perform daily alchemy, from base grains to tempting treasures.
Tins rinsed in the old Belfast sink, then dried with Irish linen.
Sit for a moment, here with me in the midday calm,
pull up the Hepplewhite chair. Somewhere deeper within
arpeggio practise goes on , sung through a well-worn cello,
lifting into bird song and bell chimes. We can always begin again.
Alison Jones is a teacher, and writer with work published in a variety of places, from Poetry Ireland Review, Proletarian Poetry and The Interpreter’s House, to The Green Parent Magazine and The Guardian. She has a particular interest in the role of nature in literature and is a champion of contemporary poetry in the secondary school classroom. Her pamphlet, ‘Heartwood’ was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018, with a second pamphlet. ‘Omega’, and a full collection forthcoming in 2020.