Owen Robin Davies p.2

Ashes

My Mother Lies Here

Ashes

A car drove by the barn the other day;
quietly, and parked secretly by the dell
where the woods begin, now in their autumn glow,
just by the place where ringing cowslips dwell.

I asked their business here where no one usually strays.
Three people is a crowd in this wood,
and they looked accomplished in reverent sorts of ways.
"The man who was born in that house has died,
we've just scattered his ashes here in this copse."
A field then, when he was a mitching boy
wild amongst the oxslips and the bee orchids.

The house they point to over my shoulder is mine,
shared now with this man who lies where he used to lay
eighty years ago, dreaming in the flora of his youth.
In the field above the wood my dogs play
their lives away, living in a factor of seven.
And but a hurried heartbeat away of a colossal time
I see a man and woman enter his field below, lovers,
surrounded by a veil of summer pollen, entwined,
fertile in the hot August sun.
She in her thin, blue summer dress,
he white and strong in labourer's linen shirt.
Led by her on an ancestral journey
to the ashes of their son who lies there now.

I walk by today, my feet rustling in the leaves and see,
My own belonging, enhanced by his presence.
I, a newcomer, he a generation giant
driven by the heedless memory of his youth
striding over the years, reaching out to me.

Copyright © 2011 Owen Robin Davies
Ashes read by Owen Robin Davies
My Mother Lies Here

My mother lies here, high up in the downs.
Just on the down side of up she rests,
in woods, amongst ransome and wild chives.
Beyond the trees, fields of Hampshire sheep
slope down to the sea, green and deep.
Next to ransome, wild thyme proclaims
as a nosegay; and golden celandines,
there where she lies, calling in spring
for the wild primrose to bloom and join in.

Later, tender, wild strawberries ripen
and hallow her life, just here in the trees;
sharing her patience, proclaiming the peace
of this place with warm, soft, wooded hills
tumbling down to the sea with it's naval wills.
She knew all these ways, born, schooled
on the parade ground of the setting sun.
She set out to ensure her ways were our hope,
my sister and I, wrapped secure in her cope.

She showed us the way, one which was good,
we're alone now to fend with our instincts.
If you were to sweep the leaves just here
with your shoe, you might feel what I feel.
The sounds of the trees ring in a peal;
not of bells, but a soft spring shower
with sunlight to flicker and dance on her bower.
No noise save for the splashing of rain
on a welkin fit for a chatelaine.

No one knows she rests there amidst things;
special treasures for those who can see.
Try harder to witness that which we brook,
my sister and I, now lords of the dance.
Look now, observe us as if in a trance,
driven by our mother, whose life force still rings.
The trickery of shadows brings forth a smile
when life's irony pokes us until
we see she is with us at odd times still.

Copyright © 2011 Owen Robin Davies
My Mother Lies Here read by Owen Robin Davies

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