(For Ruth Fainlight)
Noon sun burns high, retracting
shadows; colours are bled,
and the landscape becalmed.
Later, the slant discriminates,
perspective filters,and green
rebalances the sea.
Threadbare and curly, hillsides
are bulls' hides.Mountains
conspire under camouflage.
Terraces are neatly knitted.
Bushes stand in ermine rows
like nipples on a prunt cup.
Man plants his own stars -
crooked cruciforms, clumsy
on tiptoe, that seem to semaphore
against the clock and agitate the air
like beating wings, throbbing
the land with urban discontent.
Published in 'East of Auden', an anthology, in 2003