On the Green


They stand in solemn little groups, the men

With large white hats upon their heads, and nurse

Their wooden piccaninnies in their hands,

Gazing across the shaven green, and then

One crouches low and urges on its course

A small black bowl, and back, surveying, stands

Ere sending down his wood with acumen

To place it cheek by jowl – there’s nothing worse

Than leaving gaps to creep in; then commands

Of  “Round peg !”   “Finger bias !”  till again,

With end completed, one the jack will throw,

And all will try to lay their woods just right.

Do they, these warriors, recall the might

Of Spain’s sea-conquerors on Plymouth Hoe?


Weekly Times     2.9.60