In my youth I loved the mountains,
being taken by their confidence,
their brook-no-argument stand on
all things philosophical.
Also an unsulliedness I loved,
An almost sexual perfection
responding to some adolescent longing.
In middle years they lost their hold,
belittled, I believed, by infrastructure.
No sadder sight, I thought, than mystery
unriddled by a chair-lift out of season.
Also too young they were, and impudent,
brazening it out all day against
a might of sky.
These days I see things differently,
a loss of faith, I think, in all that
granite confidence; preferring now
the shifting light on any motley
scene that hides from postcards
and the eager eye.
Plain dull, in fact, this tilth of delta
with its line of trees, its ordinary
farmhouse and its poplar sway.
But I have grown to love its tired
usefulness, its slow canals and
snift of sea, its dykes and eel-nets
and its sullied fields.