April: spinach
May: spring onions, coriander

Cycling over
18th century Chertsey bridge;
tree tops beyond float
in meadows of mist.

The lower lock.
‘Hullo’ to the heron.
Hanging green reflections,
agitated geese and sleeping swans.

May: spring onions, coriander
June: fennel and kohlrabi

Cut through the park
up-hill, tree roots, grass, the parakeets.
and a final race to be in
the farm gate at seven in the morning.

Red sun rising.
Out in the truck with
Poles, here for the money.
Laughs: our shared language.

June: fennel and kohlrabi
September: sweet corn

Yellow jackets
for the dew and cut
of thwacking leaves
or at least long sleeves.

Meat hook hanging
from belt dragging
empty fertilizer sacks
we plunge between lofty plants.

Paid per bag;
hefting forward
fifteen sacks of seventy cobs
in each double row.

Then loading up;
the sun now burning
as shoulder high we coordinate
with chugging tractor and trailer.

We sit aloft.
A pause… before unloading,
selecting, rejecting, counting,
packing, stacking, wrapping.

You’d always pick
a couple extra to bite
not because you were hungry:
just for the sweet taste.

Two good in eight,
the others dry and spare
years of choking dust
in throat and stinging eyes.

April: spinach
May: spring onions, coriander
June: fennel and kohlrabi
September: sweet corn

© Charles Olsen, 09.2009



taken with digital pinhole-camera © Charles Olsen


Kimono Rojo

Y ella puso una aguada
pálida, translúcida,
sobre las figuras,
como una capa de tiempo,
mientras detrás, a través de
la puerta abierta, de pie la observaba.

¿Cómo los ojos japoneses podrían
transformar el instante irrecuperable,
cuando el papel blanco y la línea
se vuelven celebración de una montaña,
un pájaro, las nubes, una rama en flor,
polillas alrededor de un farol solitario?

Gira hacía la luz y con
sus manos delicadas que bailan
me invita a ver la pintura, pero
hace mucho tiempo que me fui.
Quizá mañana vuelva a estos
momentos que duran para siempre.