Hyde Park, the wood-wind music of a new dawn.
first mellow Blackbird's whistle
heralding the holiday.
Over London roll on the grey clouds.
Earthly fountains, poised and delicate,
Grace naked stone with breeze-blown dew.
Goddesses beside their high cupped shells
sluice christal liquid from their handled flasks
and magic mists like drifting spiders' webs
slant our faces, cleanse tobaccoed throats
and ease the night's restriction in the chest.
A shower joins the fountain in a falling ecstasy.
The wrinkling Serpentine and merry waterfowl,
the daffodils that leap on lawns
the running squirrels and tossing narcissi -
Peter Pan with grace blows lightly on a fairy pipe.
Here may I find the representative moment
water and stone play ludo with the sun,
with visionary gleam the magics come
the desert streams rejoice with sudden flowers.
French boy in Westminster, met by accident,
shares with me the humorous moment
The abbey cluttered with scaffolding bars-
"Le pauvre palais! - the throaty chuckle.
This building "magnifique",
not "pleasant", "nice" or "fine"-
and richer yet the foreign wine's
delight and sudden visionary ray
These pipes and timber struts
these football stands along the streets
purple painted standards and new corrugated 'lats'
London, like a corsetted bride, prepares well the event.
From dust of hutted camps, the heavy guns and Brens,
there grows this brighter moment.
The wave spun stone glows brighter
for the deep sea's touch.
Yet must I look beyond this mild oasis,
the breeze's whisper and the chatter of flags.
Our pennants will fly in other places
an eastern land our foothold.
April 1953 before leaving for Hong Kong during the Korean war.