Keith Parker


I sit in my garden reading,
It is the hottest day of the year.
The bells of the cathedral faint in the distance.
They toll for a `Saints Day` I can`t quite remember.
A woodpigeon beats its evening prayer as I pour some wine,
take in the scent of rose and buddleia and lilac,
poppy and astrantia flicker on the edge of vision.
Above me swallows and swifts plough the air for insects,
while blackbirds squabble in the apple tree.

The hot wind I enjoy on this English evening
has come from Spain and France passed on from Africa.
The cathedral was designed by Frenchmen using
Roman and Arabic designs. The woodpigeon sits
in the apple tree, first cultivated in Kazakhstan.
A man passes in a T shirt made in Hong Kong.
That`s why the blackbird who has recently flown in
from Russia is squawking, as he sits on my
trellised fence made in Poland. I watch him, amused,
sitting in my German chair, sipping  my Italian
pinot grigio, recalling that this is indeed
the feast day of St Barnabus the Apostle, a Cypriot Jew.
I breath in again the scent of flowers Roses from Asia,
Buddleia from the Caribbean, lilacs from the Balkans.
I close my book, second hand from  a District Library in Michigan.
The swallows and swifts drift away above me in the cooling air
migrants from south of the Sahara who have come here to breed



  1. Excellent observation about migration and what we take for granted. I remember a programme that did DNA tests on people who were sure they were through and through British, with surprising results. They weren’t as British as they thought.


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