Otherworlds - Cadences by F. S. Flint (London: The Poetry Bookshop, 1920)
- Elm trees
- and the leaf the boy in me hated
- long ago --
- rough and sandy.
- and their leaves,
- tender, smooth to the fingers,
- and a secret in their smell
- I have forgotten.
- and forest glades,
- heart aching with wonder, fear:
- their bitter mast.
- and the scented beetle
- we put in our handkerchiefs;
- and the roots of one
- that spread into a river:
- nakedness, water and joy.
- white and odorous with blossom,
- framing the quiet fields,
- and swaying flowers and grasses,
- and the hum of bees.
- Oh, these are the things that are with me now,
- in the town;
- and I am grateful
- for this minute of my manhood.
- Frail beauty,
- green, gold and incandescent whiteness,
- narcissi, daffodils,
- you have brought me Spring and longing,
- in your irradiance.
- Therefore, I sit here
- among the people,
- and my heart arches
- with all the hawthorn blossom,
- the bees humming,
- the light wind upon the poplars,
- and your warmth and your love
- and your eyes . . .
- they smile and know me.
- Evening and quiet:
- a bird trills in the poplar trees
- behind the house with the dark green door
- across the road.
- Into the sky,
- the red earthenware and the galvanised iron chimneys
- thrust their cowls.
- The hoot of the steamers on the Thames is plain.
- No wind;
- the trees merge, green with green;
- a car whirs by;
- footsteps and voices take their pitch
- in the key of dusk,
- far-off and near, subdued.
- Solid and square to the world
- the houses stand,
- their windows blocked with venetian blinds.
- Nothing will move them.
- On black bare trees a stale cream moon
- hangs dead, and sours the unborn buds.
- Two gaunt old hacks, knees bent, heads low,
- tug, tired and spent, an old horse tram.
- Damp smoke, rank mist fill the dark square;
- and round the bend six bullocks come.
- A hobbling, dirt-grimed drover guides
- their clattering feet to death and shame.
First published 1920.
Contributed by Robert Clark.