Changing of the Seasons
Spring and Summer, and Autumn…
Inspiration often comes at the change of seasons…. as it does when a loved one leaves, or returns, or we up sticks from our sofa and encounter something, someone, someplace different.
The first two are from this year and those below from last year.
The downy seeds of aspen drift,
Dancing across the evening sun on
The wind from silvery shivering-leaved poplars,
Threaten to clog my mind full
From now till summer’s final winds
Sweep them out:
Stuck in the simple act of observation
Listening to Spring
Dandelions in little city lawns,
Until the mower docks them
Days before they can scatter parachutes,
Lend life to tidy tulips in brown soil
Of city border floral designs,
Screaming the spring in spattered gold
As loudly as frog-full vernal pools,
As eloquently as the yellow-eyed
Blackbird that would defy the traffic
As if in silent rural evening.
Leaves flash delicate green on trees,
Catching each twig like licking fire,
Requiring only light and sky for life,
Sun settles on skin like a mother’s touch,
Leaving one watching, lingering,
Wishing this was all life relied on,
As if the roads meant little to us either;
Bringing back a faith in the seasons,
In the circle, once again,
Making us believe in the idea of eternity.
Scenes of an Indian Summer
A breeze called Botxorno brings warm weather north
For those September solstice days of sun.
Swifts gather in the village, lining the electricity wires,
Awaiting a change in the wind:
The timeless timely call.
Meanwhile, we watch them screaming and
Feeding, filling up on flies
That swarm in a final frenzy
To settle eggs before the first frost covers them all.
Dragonflies also take to the chase as
Ants send forth a flood of queens,
The lizards linger: suddenly more
Than we’d seen all summer, skittering
On a single stone wall.
And we are just as reluctant to leave:
Observing each open wing
Soaking the last of summer’s rays,
Wanting to stay as long as remain these days;
Past them, when the bats replace the birds
In catching flies, and beyond
Until we see the last one fall.
Monday Morning in the Sun
September sounds like all the meanings
We associate with it: mostly summer’s end.
The new beginning, the shoulder to the wheel
Does not apply this year, it seems
As I sit in the sun above a mist-veiled valley.
Lizards lie upon the stone, late from their retreats,
Knowing their days are shortening,
But as yet unwilling to accept the inevitable dark,
And I agree: why scurry when it’s winter that will hurry?
So soon shall it all end, in golden leaf-shed and evening chill,
But until then, we can watch,
Glad of our privileged place upon the hill.
The poem below is also published in Houseboat…
Do the Narcissi Still Bloom?
My old legs hardly make it to the garden, but I get there.
The tulips are beautiful, the honeysuckle sweet as my youth.
The view from the window would show the mountains
Past the monkey-puzzle tree, if I could but stretch straight
As tall as I once was. But I love to linger by the roses and
Remember the walks we would take through the hills…
Tell me, do the narcissi still bloom below the oak boughs
On the slope down from the crest of Saint Blaise?
These flowers tended by careful men with secateurs,
Are mere catkins to the brilliance of those delicate
Blossoms, that bedeck my mind, be as it may
My memory mere chaff to the grain of those days.
The Paradox of Trees
Why now, when they are apparently dying,
Their leaves turn the colour of the trunk,
Twist in the chill wind, twirling down to the
Ground, leaving bark exposed to the cold,
Do I feel the life vibrate from the trees, to me?
Perhaps because when they are bathed in green,
Their attention is turned inward, to themselves.