I left the old man grumbling in the hospital
Hopped upon my bike and cycled through the town
Turned my handlebars to long-remembered paths
Crossed the river, heading to the countryside

I’m glad I came this way
A woodpecker haunting in the trees
Poppy lanterns glowing deep within the crop
Doves and waxwings clapping over ancient graves


Maybe it’s an excuse, these visits to my dad
For afternoon excursions along country lanes
Quietness and solitude have a place in life
Wistful and exquisite is the quickening day
And always there and back again
Through windows of familiar trains
The softening of the English night
That bathes the world with green-gold light