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Stoneland Harvest

Of my father’s vast estates I,
being the least promising of his sons,
inherited the land of the goat,
the cypress and the windy carob-tree.
The stone field yields anaemic barley,
Scarcely enough for the year’s soggy bread.
In my head I dream of transformation,
though I know the land’s stubbornness and
mine. Chameleon-like, my thought
puts on the pre-dawn greyness of stone,
its sundown glow, its starlit gloom.
Rockrose, purple thornbush bloom
and beady asphodel provide protection
against too much frugality. Also,
a poppy flush amid the barley stalks
and spike-leafed gorse in its pride,
the great bluffs seaward face
hung with pink-studded caper pelts.
I gather some in a basket
walk to the village to visit friends
and see my brothers. They’re polite enough,
sound grateful. But walking back
by the splendid symmetry of their plenty,
the lushness of orchard and field, I know
that my gift will never grace their table.
On my doorstep, between sunset and dark,
I sit and dream of transformation,
Living from Spring to Spring

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