Poem of the week The Nickerwinkle

IN the month of Julecember

When the oak worm soaks the sun

And the little chuckleberries

Suck the icicles that come

In the deep dark depths of summer

When the birds sing ‘La, la la!’

And the bear can’t get the honey

For he can’t unscrew the jar.

Then if you were nosy, spying

On the things you should’nt see

You might spot the bumble dancing

With the happy humble bee

And hear all the fairy music

And the golden birds that cry

As they step the waltz together

In the grounds of Brambletye.

Down the scary lanes that wander

Where the badger-rat still roams

And the purple crested fieldlark

Seeks yet still his long lost combs

Where the Ash-tree tells the oak-tree

As he sheds his dull leaves first

That the slimy Nickerwinkle

Still inhabits Paddockhurst

Though he slides the glades at evening

As the purple sun sinks low

His small brain will be frustrated

For he seeks a Man Who Knows

And the Man Who Knows is not born

And may never, ever be

Waves in time the golden cornfield

Who knows what this life may be

Where the singing gilded songbirds

Swirl in the badger-rats wild dance

Who knows what the truth of life is

Who has a good or ill starred chance

In the forest with the muffets

And the silver singing shrees

Where the skyblue Nickerwinckle

Flutes his song along the breeze

It is there that you may find me

Just as English as can be

With my picnic spread before me

With a cake and flask of tea

Sharing with the crested fieldlark

And the badger-rat that roams

Pain of nickerwinckles searching

For their everlasting homes.

Tony Gardner, Turners Hill