Neptune, open-mouthed, discredited,

Spouts from the fountain on our rosy wall.

This August evening air is equable.

I fetch a bottle from our earthy shed

By swags of grapes that hang in green and red,

And from our complex wrought-iron chairs we call

The talkative cat, watch campanile-tall

Hollyhocks nodding to us from their bed

Then pick some berries. How can I begin

To thank you for all you give and understand?

Icebergs have shrunk to icecubes, topped with gin.

House martins sew the sky. A bumblebee

Goes stumbling round the blue hibiscus tree,

Coated in pollen like a boy in sand.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 1, on page 25
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