Guest Poem by Merryn Williams

Merryn Williams spent the lockdown period collecting some of the best Covid poems, published by Shoestring Press as Poems for the Year 2020: Eighty Poets on the Pandemic. A new collection, probably called After Hastings, should be published also by Shoestring in 2023.

Red White and Blue

When I drive past an elder in full flower
on June roads, on some national holiday,
I yearn for its distinctive scent and colour.
There was a poet who saw cow parsley

not as a weed, but a luxuriant
drift of pure colour, white as you need to get.
The wayside is alive; red is a field of
poppies, and blue is vivid alkanet.

Tatty bunting obscures the war memorial,
and through the road signs, grass has overgrown.
I look elsewhere – these flags do not concern me –
prefer frail flora and enduring stone.