For Ian Sowton at 90
Some saints were farmers
like Serenus the gardener who shares your day, dear Ian.
They ploughed the land like billy-o
scattering the seed where fall it will
and harvesting the growth, if any,
in due season, tares and all.
And some moved kings and potentates,
and prelates too, as did bird-preaching Frances,
pushing Sultans, Popes, and a priest or two
to grant his brothers space; their kingdoms peace;
their people just a crêche or two
to see the mystery unfold.