previously published in Landfall (1950), Strangers or Beasts (Caxton, 1954), and Moontalk: Poems New and Selected (AUP, 1993)
The 'Ishumata' fields are kitchen farms,
Where men have made themselves at home so long,
Drawing the city's milk from the green teats
Of the nursing grass, that even the bulls seem tame.
The windmills, neat and tinier than toys,
Bring a foreign peace to islands where the hills
Speak louder than mankind, finding it deep
In the world's inside, where they drink beneath the sea
In streams that never heard the rain, and suck
Their skyless waters up to be stained by the air.
O there, the larks, matching their throats in the fields
Of wind, O mating on a branch of light,
And nesting their quavers in the cradling clouds!
Here men have even made the air like Home.
These cows within their lucerne hedges, walls
Of stone, know no Antipodes, but speak
With English voices on the polished hill
And sense no past in its monumental lines.