Sumer is Icumen in

(Anon 13th Century)

Watch the night-skies lighten then
see them redden, dawns are breaking
warm and early. Crows are waiting.
Searing season’s here again.

Dunes climb fence-posts. Drifts begin
to creep in nearer. Eddies spun
by vagrant whirlwinds dust a sun
that ushers eight-month summer in.

Saltbush sifts the shifting sand.
Upper rungs on tanks ring hollow.
Dust-clouds thicken, rise and follow
sheep on cropped-out stock-routes and

mirages irrigate the roads.
Faded canvas blinds unroll
along verandahs. Dogs dig holes
in corners where the lattice throws

its shortening shadows. Pepper limbs
lift, shake and shudder. Swinging boughs
sweep shallow, fowl-scratched dust-bowls.  Now
our summer’s here and coming in.


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