greentapestry : 'Mad March Days'

Saturday, 14 March 2009

'Mad March Days'


Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir,
Rowing home to haven in sunny Palestine,
With a cargo of ivory,
And apes and peacocks,
Sandalwood, cedarwood, and sweet white wine.

Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus,
Dipping through the Tropics by the palm-green shores,
With a cargo of diamonds,
Emeralds, amythysts,
Topazes, and cinnamon, and gold moidores.

Dirty British coaster with a salt-caked smoke stack,
Butting through the Channel in the mad March days,
With a cargo of Tyne coal,
Road-rails, pig-lead,
Firewood, iron-ware, and cheap tin trays.

- John Masefield, 1878 - 1967

Today has really been one of those mad March days with such a gusty wind blowing. I was hoping to divide some more perennials for the garden club sale. Made a start but when the skies turned from blue to grey I decided to call it a day, apart from nipping out to the greenhouse to sow some beetroot later. I am now enjoying a coffee break whilst the compost warms up. 'Cargoes' is one my favourite poems from my school days and was nearly my choice for March's Garden Bloggers' Muse Day. I can still hear the enthusiasm in our English teacher's voice as he shared this poem with us.


  1. That's a beautiful poem Anna.

    May next week be unseasonally warm!


  2. Thanks for the poem Anna, it's beautiful!
    It seems as if this year, we have more 'mad march days' than normal days.
    (Maart roert zijn staart, we say in Dutch, which is almost impossible to translate, but it means that March is just stubborn, mischievous and impredictable...)
    This morning wasn't that bad, but around noon, there was that drizzle again...

  3. Thanks Rob. The week has certainly started off on a warm note with temperatures above average. Just hoping that it lasts a few days, although I am sure that winter is not completely done and dusted yet !

    I am glad that you enjoyed the poem Anne. I like the Dutch saying about March. It's so accurate :)

  4. Gosh - we had a brilliant day - with no wind and lots of sunshine - and we are not that far away from you!!!
    One of my favorite poems Anna - nice

  5. It's uncanny how the weather can be so different a times Karen within a comparatively short distance away :)

    I quite like blustery too Monica in moderation - this March seems to have had more than its fair share of it :)


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- Anna.