It’s late December – day-long dusks and clouds
And lovely open structures of the dying trees,
And railside wastelands earn another grey,
The brambles purple, old-man’s beard delights
With feather baubles long uneven swathes
Of drear embankment. All the puddles full,
All the ditches dark, reflective, cold,
The lives of poplars stark, the pointed pales
Of fences cold as printed tractor marks
Now filled with scraps of sky and dainty crows.
We pass a field of horses, straw strewn out,
And dirty stable-coats upon their backs.
What entertainment can December bring
A horse? What festive cheer a hungry bird –
Related in a theoretic way
To robins on a watercolour card.
But can I say it? These are all my paint –
The pigments that I choose when I return
To dreams, to hopes, to quiet peaceful dreams.
The subtlety of every tree which owns
A unique pattern, never copied twice,
The varied textures of the water’s flat –
Despite the stillness of the air, the grey –
By reading printed painted books, a child,
By walking on the paths of lonely tracks,
I’ve won a little of the painter’s eye,
And with it surety of English truths.
So – I want you now to now my purposing –
The motivation I cannot express
As policy, or aim, or goal. I guess –
I love to try, to leap, to run the course –
Another soul desires to comprehend –
I only want to know.