In Mile End Park the daffodils
explode again and he’s beside me
telling how they’re good as any
fringed the edge of Ullswater.
He talks about the beautiful,
the way it is inseparable
from the brutal. Think, he says,
the ghostly language of the earth:
its cresting waves: such majesty –
and threat. Its mountain peaks – reminders
of our frailty. And yet –
this splendid, fluttering host!
the splendid, serried ranks that roared
at Nuremberg and prophesied
the bones and blitzmuck of this bombsite
underneath our feet. But yes,
they’re beautiful and good as any
trimmed the banks of Windermere
that spring that year. Or any year,
whatever bad our futures bring.