This sweep of sky lit now by gold-white clouds,
Rounded and full, maternal breasts leant over
The young brown furrows, promising
Their slopes with sweetest rain to cover,
Burst on me with one soul-awakening shock
Of glad surprise. my eyes
Blinded by beauty after the long dark
Of inward-downward looking.
Gnarled old vines
March down the slope in ordered lines,
Each trunk withered and brown as weathered rock.
Theresa the Yugoslav who works beside me
Chides at my idleness:
“You do not care for money then? You mark
My words, you better hurry …” But I stand,
Wet golden leaves beneath my hand,
And reap the silver distance, the immense
Gold arch of sky as spirit’s recompense.
Nancy Cato (1917 – 2000) was an Australian writer who published more than twenty historical novels, biographies and volumes of poetry.