25 APRIL 1992, Page 29

The Bonfire

More than the sum of its parts grass cuttings, other rubbish the bonfire keeps burning.

All week we feed it, spring-cleaning flowerbeds and paths, and pruning the worst of the shrubs with a saw.

Barrowloads we've upended on top — forkfuls of weeds and clods of earth — impossibly matted — and it works its way through the lot, with us hardly intervening at all, just heaping the stuff back on top from time to time. This morning, after that rain in the night, we look dully out weighed down by the clouds, but a twist of irrepressible smoke lifts me like one of your jokes.

Michael Laskey