Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Requiem for Merton field
Home

Alphabetic index of poems

Thematic index of poems

Biography

Gallery

Contact and links
Now the green places shrivel one by one
And towered technicians nibble at the sun.

My kitchen window looks on Merton field;
Hands in sink and eyes across the green,
I watched the shifting pageant: Michaelmas
Brought the white aitches of rugger posts
To oust the shaven wicket, white-washed screen.
Oh, that long plumy line of changing trees,
Cedar and sequined holly, crimson may,
Deep beech that stripped in winter to reveal
Tree behind tree uphill all the way
To Marston and beyond, where Beckley mast
Threaded its rubies on the dusky night!
But now the snouted bulldozers are out,
Tusking the turf with undisputed might.
The kestrel used to hover here, but soon
Will rise a concrete sky-intruder where
Stern scientists will plot their graphs to prove
Why our wild falcons are become so rare.

Now the green places shrivel one by one
And towered technicians nibble at the sun.



The University's Tinbergen Building (Department of Zoology) was built on part of Merton College playing field.

Oxford Times, 25 November 1966