Variations        

 
When riding to the sulphur springs

In California as a boy,

I used to pick an orange from

A tree beside the road.

 

Near Jericho, when older, I

Drove past, I think, an orange grove

On going to that palace where

Arab mosaics were.

 

At Holkham Hall the orangery

Stands sheltered from the North Sea air,

But oranges do not appear

Between the windows there.

 

I like the orange trees that bloom

At Christmas, with dwarf orange fruit,

Which look like Chinese jewels of jade

Too beautiful to touch.

 

Cointreau, an eau de vie infused

With orange, has no orange hue,

Yet, colourless, preserves its taste -

Orange gone crystalline.

 

At breakfast now they wait on view,

Halved oranges from Palestine,

Which glow the same as those that grew

Below Matilaja.

 

I do not think that I can say

Much more, on this grey winter day,

Of oranges - except that they

Seem brought from Paradise.