Wheat (1975)

Under an April sun
a field of Egyptian wheat
stands in a still phalanx,
slender, straight, motionless,
Nile-rooted in richness.
It harbours a depth of hot
golden drowsy shadow,
vibrant with the living
impulse of the sun.
And after the horizon
has broken the sun’s spears
and the green growing has merged
into the earth’s vague shadow
the slender wheat glows
with a radiant golden spell
throughout the abrupt twilight
until the whole world
of mummy and pyramid
is sunk in warm darkness
under the frosty stars.
When Lazarus awoke
and stripped off the graveclothes
his hunger and aloneness
looked out at his eyes
as he moved among his fellows,
alien and unfamiliar.
Why should the dead trample
the sun-bleached golden treasure
of tall slight Nile-wheat
under an April sun?