Was I too happy that year, waking to God
in spring greenness, while in camps across the channel
Green was the backdrop to foulness, carrying no comfort.?
Was I too happy, writing Calvary poems in college quiet
born of doctrine not experience, while in war-torn lands
the cross was written in blood and tears?
Now fifty years on, with diminishing powers,
with aches and stiffness, I see, not feel,
spring’s emerging beauties, heart’s uplift deadened.
Is it a long-delayed compensation
for shelter from the storm, indifference of islanded youth?
Or my small part of Christ’s sufferings,
time-bomb ticking away harmlessly over decades?
Now exploding piecemeal in increasing lassitude,
mind less decadent than body or senses
else how could I write this?