The Roost

Brookside Nurseries, Rossendale

Rustic, rust free, underblown –
in the way that woodsmen handle the task –
the roofs aren’t the usual Toblerones
but reflect the heights and habits of plants.

The freehold is owned by Muscovy ducks
and there’s Garden Centre periphery
where the unbilled visitors have to tut
their troubled way through volcanic ferns.

Ah, Pennyroyal’s nice, but it soon dies.
Would you say pansies are right for a him?
And where in pots are the Persil fries
that Nan applies to her rheumatism?

Between the Malay terracotta –
can you see, can you see, white and umber,
one eye a Flanders poppy, one not,
a bird on a break from the mud pool?

Did you know they’re over from Brazil?
They have this yen, folk there, for soybean.
So she can’t roost – habitat if you will.
She’s taken off now to the old Ash tree.

You forget that she has the wing-power.
And they all flew last year. To Baxenden.
Licking their long claws, they returned
with a lad in a pantechnicon.

The Roost won a commendation from The Kent and Sussex Poetry Competition 2009.
Judged by Penelope Shuttle.