Blooming in Oxfordshire
Photo by Candia Dixon-Stuart
You know, Carrie, it is great living in Suttonford as you can get everything
you need without having to drive to supermarkets. You might pay more in
the Express store, but you save on fuel, I commented to my friend, as we sat
outside Costamuchamoulah cafe in some sun.
What about when you lived in Wintoncester? Did you go to Sainsbury’s
before Waitrose arrived?
I did go to Sainsbury’s, but as a walk from a friend’s house. I’ll describe it
to you by letting you read this poem that I re-discovered in my cellar when
I was clearing out this week.
There is a way to go to Sainsbury’s
at Badger Farm. I must not take my car;
should study pyramid orchids, flurries
of paired Red Admirals; look afar
to St. Catherine’s Hill and ignore the gash
in the chalk. Shawford Church spire and village
stand like decoupage. I am not to dash,
but idly tramp under green foliaged
tunnels of gnarled branches, whose russet floors
will mute motorway hum. The sharp wheet
of nightingales and sweet skylark song pours
from the dense trees and herding bullocks greet
me with nonchalance, while a pink dog rose
profusely spreads its blooms against a sky
of madonna blue. The barley crop grows
silken tassels below thyme slopes which try
to outpurple hollyhocks. I choose jars
of such herbs from the supermarket shelf.
Normally, I’d buy in bulk; load my car
and not have time to walk and still myself.
Today white campion has more import
than stockpiling stuff I don’t really need.
I turn my back on the tarmac forecourt,
enjoy my walk and mortify my greed.