Modern nature, Dungeness
Prospero in a djellaba,
on the flint shore
of England’s only desert.
Buckthorn, bugloss, poppy, sedum.
Dolmen, anchors, driftwood sticks.
Fragments shored against his ruin.
Sea-bleached shells along the paths
of mallow, larkspur, columbine.
Dawn floats in like an apparition.
The pale white sun against dark rose.
Woody nightshade, mustard, mayweed.
Rosemary’s proved quite hardy here.
Teasel, thistles and burdocks dying.
Even the willows rattle with drought.
Hawkbit, restharrow, periwinkle –
nothing left for the rain to save.
Scabious, sea-kale, tufted vetch.
Picked white stones breathe in the wind.
The shingle shimmers against the waves.
Only the strongest grasses hold.
© Laura Parker