back ~ home ~ up ~ next


The Armada Hedge (1588)


Grey Court, King's Sutton


This is the tallest hedge in England, planted

near the house to celebrate

the victory.  It's this grey rain, wind-slanted,

that grew it green and straight:


The English clouds, like damp artillery,

are waging today the same campaign

that drove the hedge's green ascendancy—

raking the lawn with rain.


If I rest I rust, the sundial says:

in rain the hours disappear.

Sometimes—rarely—a watery sun displays

time as a shadow here.


The grass here is as green as Spain is dry;

the hedge, as green as blood would be

if blood were green.  No evergreen can try

the grey hegemony


of fleeting time—the same prevailing rain

that routs both slow and nimble, with a breath

as cold as the Protestant Wind that harried Spain

and catholic as death.


Deborah Warren



(c) 2000; originally printed in Blue Unicorn.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Outer table background
by Barracuda

back ~ home ~ up ~ next