An apple’s soft thump on the grass, somewhen
in this place. What was it? Beauty of Bath.
What was it? Yellow, vermillion, round, big, splendid;
already escaping the edge of itself,
like the mantra of bees,
like the notes of rosemary, tarragon, thyme.
Poppies scumble their colour onto the air,
now and there, here, then and again.
the heart’s impulse to cherish; thus,
a woman petalling paint onto a plate –
cornflower blue –
as the years pressed out her own violet ghost;
that slow brush of vanishing cloud on the sky.
And the dragonfly’s talent for turquoise.
And the goldfish art of the pond.
And the open windows calling the garden in.
This bowl, life, that we fill and fill.
• Written to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Charleston festival www.charleston.org.uk.