I think children gather an appreciation of nature and landscape in a way, and at a rate that is foreign to adults. They don’t appear to dwell on the moment; they don’t seem to have to declare to themselves that a place or a moment is beautiful. The appreciation seems to slip in while they’re busying themselves with something else; yet it gets in and lodges in their subconscious. Later in life it’s still there, a richness in their appreciation of life around them. I wonder how much they pick up when they appear to be otherwise engaged.
Anyway, this poem recalls lazy childhood days and the awareness of all that’s stirring in the garden.
SUMMER ORCHARD EVENING.
On an evening
when apple was eating the worm,
tree grating the sun
with some clouds, dusty birds;
the green cloth
was spread to the orchard wall.
I watched bees collecting post
while cat was a tea cosy
with dozey trip-wire eyes.
Suddenly dog alarm in the hedge
comes bursting from the undergrowth:
big game hunter
and cat gone steeplejack.
Then dog winks
and we stretch out,
and I go back to being a microscope
eyeball deep in daisies.
This poem was originally included in an anthology called Real Cool - Poems to grow up with, edited by Niall MacMonagle (Martello 1994).