in cloud-light (with thanks to Les Murray)


Overcast, cloudy, a good day to pick gooseberries (as John did), and then to sit in the cool kitchen to top and tail enough for jam, for a fool. (Every pun intended.) To pick broad beans and to sit (as I did) to shell them and inhale that earthy odour. Those, with a head of garlic and some kale, will be dinner tonight, with a small steak on the barbecue, and maybe even the first tomatoes, 3 Black Plums, that have ripened on the upper deck. These are the days. They go on for months, vegetables ripening, berries ready to pick, the failures forgotten as you reach into the bean plants to find yet another big pod filled with silken beans.

…beans upright like lecturing, outstretched like blessing fingers
in the incident light, and more still, oblique to your notice
that the noon glare or cloud-light or afternoon slants will uncover

till you ask yourself Could I have overlooked so many, or
do they form in an hour? unfolding into reality
like templates for subtly broad grins, like unique caught expressions,

like edible meanings, each sealed around with a string
and affixed to its moment, an unceasing colloquial assembly,
the portly, the stiff, and those lolling in pointed green slippers …

—from “The Broad Bean Sermon”, by Les Murray

kale and garlic

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