Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Blackberry time
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Along the lanes by Wood Eaton and Noke
We pluck wild harvest; why do brambles grow
Mingled with teasels, nettle, burdocks, all
The stinging, clinging things that snatch us, so
Our hands are stained with blood as well as fruit?
Yet this intensifies the sweet day’s pleasure:
Like Sleeping Beauty’s prince we are the more
Triumphant in our shining hard-won treasure.

How lovely are these fields now summer’s done:
A clapping pigeon startled in the wood,
A spangle of goldfinches on thistle-tops,
And poplars flashing silver in the sun.
The chequered magpie flickers from the oak,
Twittering martins hawk and dance on high,
Drawing our eyes to where the splendid clouds
March wind-embattled on the Otmoor sky. 


Oxford Times, 25 September 1964
The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983