This for the end of a year
from a chorus of short-tongued alpine bees
Let us give thanks for the flushes and zones of colour
in the herb-field, for the alpine genera,
the wire rush and the tangle fern, the sheep sorrel
and the cats-ear, the gentians and the astelias and everything
that grows under the edge of a melting snow-bank.
Let us give thanks for the cranesbill geranium and
the mouse ear myositis, for the ranunculus (little frog mouth,
little friend), for the feathered myrrh of the nival zone,
for the bog moss in the tarn,
for all that is and all that has been and all that is to come.
It is for us to keep our courage firm,
to nurse our appointed pain,
to await ‘that which springs ablaze of itself. ’
(first published under a different title in Life & Customs VUP 2013)