You can learn things sat concealed
behind a screen of runner beans
twined up bamboo poles and strings.

A hopping robin picks at bits
below the courgette leaves and kale.
Nonchalant, he works closer

till he stops two feet away.
He’s eyeing me with interest – as if
I represent a possibility.

Perhaps he’s been doing this
since the end of the last ice age –
always keeping company with ponderous,

earth-tearing mammals and making
a useful sort of living, off small things
that flit around their antique feet.

For him, I’m not a gardener,
I’m a great, horned forest ox,
a lumbering, trampling aurochs.

From Wandering About: Poems 1994-2004, by Harry Nicholson.


NOTE: The Kindle Edition of Harry’s book is free to download until Sunday 20 November 2022.