Poem of the week

Sarah Maguire's new collection, The Pomegranates of Kandahar (Chatto, £9), contains precisely observed and sensual poems that travel the devastated and troubled world we live in. Here she brings us home to her garden, but evokes perfectly the chill in the early spring air. She appears at StAnza poetry festival later this month speaking about poetry and conflict.

Field Capacity

The plump loam easy with wetness –

late March, the unwrung sponge of soil

balanced by a long winter's rain,

then opened with thaw.

I take the springy lawn in my stride,

an ash sapling tucked under each arm.

A circle described in the turf, the grassy lid

lifted, then dig –

and the packed earth comes nicely,

fresh on the spade. Fed, then watered in darkness,

the rootball unwinds, as the young tree

shivers in the wet spring air.

You can borrow The Pomegranates of Kandahar from the Scottish Poetry Library, which also lends by post. Tel: 0131 557 2876, e-mail reception@spl.org.uk or visit www.spl.org.uk

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