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published in Equinox, 2005 



Wild Garden


I watch the grasses sway and stir

as the lavender croons a sharp song

to the visiting bees.

A brown-edged butterfly

condescends to the cabbage whites.


A dove coos in the distance,

all peaceful here.

Only the blood red of poppies

rustles a whisper of conflict..



Rest After Hunting


Old bones lie here,

under grass, clover, thyme, elder flower

beneath the neat paths and towering trees,

near the vanished stable yard

of the proud old Duke.

Now his hunters

lie underground and with daybreak

their ghostly whinny

echoes with the hunting horn

where now the children of the fox he hounded

lie cosy, homely under the bushes.





Amidst the ballet of the grasses

butterflies swoop and dive


the Billy Elliots of the show.


Val Doyle



Note:  The organic garden at Finglesham in Kent was the site of the Duke of Wellington's stables when he was Warden of the Cinque Ports.

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