Went for a walk in the park this beautiful afternoon. Tropical kind of summer day. A happy memory and a jolt of joy came when I saw the sunbathing park people – towels spread, shirts off, love and laughter in the gentle wind. I was thinking about “home” and all that word calls to mind. My conclusion: home is where your heart is rested and also where your feet are planted.
Reminded me of a poem from my Mindfield collection, after I had been in England one summer.
THE GRASS IS GREENER
I will remember England fondly,
Miss my friends dearly, but it is
Not the nightclubs of Birmingham
That hold me like a swain,
Or galleries, parks, and theatres
Which make me want to remain.
It is a cow, lying on the countryside,
Ruminating memories of my childhood pastures.
It is the grey of houses, caught in days dull
As the mist pressing down on the spirit of
Childless streets, marking time to winter pain,
Stomping feet to hasten the homeward train.
I did not always like the flowers of snow
Showers, sometimes envied the blooms of spring,
But it is not the gloom of early nightfall
That drives me nostalgic, or friendless faces
In a downpour which make me homesick.
It is the stark greenery of summer, when
The kingdom blossoms, and bares bodies
Etiolated, when nude skies mate
With towel-terraced lawns, groping at
The fleeting sexuality of a sun, which
Comes so rarely here, but is commonplace at
Home, where years are sold unquartered.
Only once, in summer, I heard the laugher
Of England, a familiar clatter of pots echoing
Round my village hills, saw time’s cosmetic surgeon
Unpeel layers of coldness, shed grimness, a nation
Made over for a period so brief, to reveal
People; a clutter of men, rollicking, moments
Round a rosebush. I want to tell them of
My island, where there is always a blue sky
Powdered with puffs of white clouds,
And the horizon’s pub close at hand
To reach for a drink and expand in warmth,
Soaking in the beauty of a sunset;
That of need, we live in foreign lands
For rejuvenation; when the mind stalls,
We rev off to Englands for a dip in the
El Dorado of the other side; and return.