When I wake early to a summer’s morn
My spirits, leap.
Turning, I watch your chest gently rising and falling
And I am glad, so glad that you will be here
To share this day.
The dawn has broken and the birds flit from bush to tree
Finding a perch high up from which
To announce their presence and welcome
The fact that they are alive.
My territory they announce; my family; my food.
I cannot blame them, for them,
Not to fight for the right
To survive; means certain death.
I watched last year how the blue-tit parents failed to provide
And all nine chicks lost their lives.
But I am human and English and comfortable
And on Saturday mornings the whole world is mine
For an hour or maybe two.
Quietly I slip from the bed and into a gown,
Creeping downstairs to boil the kettle
And look out at the garden which has grown while I was not looking.
Sitting at the table next to the patio door
I luxuriate in the pale dawn light;
the bird song and the peace
And the fact that there is not yet traffic.
A woody scent emanates from the earth
As the dew evaporates with the growing warmth.
I hear a plop as a frog returns to the tiny pond next to the pear tree.
And I think of England – as did Shelley- except I am here already.
I have another forty-five minutes, surely.
The sun rises and the bird song diminishes on my little patch of paradise
And still I think of England, my early morning England.
But as the noise of planes and traffic increases,
So does the dust in the air which becomes city dry
Taking on that acrid brightness that is brittle;
And though the heat is increasing, I pull my gown closer and shiver
At the prospect of a Saturday in England, in the twenty-first century.
My tea is cool now in the mug.
One neighbour has decided to spray insecticide early,
While it is cool and he thinks no one will notice.
At the back, the children have woken and wail in an argument over an iPad.
And then the DIYers…….and the traffic!
The cacophony of what is England now, today.
England – fair England – eaten up by diesel fumes and thoughtlessness,
I hear you stir.
And I am so glad that you will be here with me,
To calm and shield me in the chaos that is life;
My constant in a changing and polluting world that
I would hold dear, but fear cannot survive this way.
I will take you up a cup of tea.
Photo and words copyright Englepip©