This Kind Garden

(With thanks and apologies to Dylan Thomas)

As when I was young and sappy under the apple boughs
About the happy house and rosy as the grass was green
(When sky in turn was blue or starry)
Now though I’m past my prime
Miracles appear before my eyes;
And honoured among jackals biding here in the heart of town
And shown by Museful synchronicities how Time reprieves
Glimpse I a heaven balmy
In the rivers of the gentle light.

So, though I am old and careworn (famous among the bards
For dark prophetic songs about Jerusalem that’s home),
In this Garden when still and lonely
Time lets me pray and be
Wholesome in the mercy of his means;
And green and golden I am springtide and autumn, the larks
Sing to the dawn, the jackals in the thorns choir clear and bold
And my Soul revolves slowly
In the ocean of the Holy beams.

Then buffeted by traffic I cycle to my frail house
(Under a diesel cloud) where battered as the day is long
By the row born over and over
Of man’s deaf heedless ways
My senses race from the Godless fray,
And greatly I fear as the magic fades lest Time allow
Not in this overturning so dear and such morning songs
Within the Garden green and golden
Given me out of Grace.

Nothing I’d care in these whitelight rays if Time would take me
Up in a prayer breath’s wake from my shadow which expands
With the Fall that without’s arising,
Save that Death would so reap
Life’s most precious ties and their high yields
And wrest me from wife’s and children’s,
 Yea all my beloved’s, hands.
Oh whilst this kind Garden safeguards in the mercy of her means
The jackals lean and crying
I should leave off my pain like a tree.

Jerusalem
21 October 2009