The warm flowering, this spring


Unprepared;
           again, as always,
to feel such green, be so light,
           holding the just-unfolding ragged rowan leaf:
its soft fist, our fingers,
           opening out of the memory of winter.
Agreed, that was hard.
Close down, defend, huddle and hoard:
the weathered strategies slam shut
           because ... because ...
           except that all is giving, all left behind –

and the flimsy boundaries of skin
warm and thrill and thin
when scarred and limb-lopped oaks
extend their tender truth -
           in leaves, tiny, green-tea clear:
we’re coming through.
We are: through the rites of cracking open;
           through birth within edges that probe and yield …
           and merge and chafe...
come the vowels and fricatives that express 'I am' –
the hinge in the gate of meaning.

If spring allows for meaning.
The silver birch just shine,
           their sheaths like the bodices of ballerinas ....
Dance, my pretties, dance!
Flourish your shimmering limbs,
           exult in the turn we're never safe from:
           the urge to reach out, be caught and whirled;
           to dive into the flowering fragrance,
           be blown out and scattered ... because ...
because spring ignites such prayer.
And prayer is the long fuse of ‘yes’.

Soon enough it'll all negate; get clamped
by winter's grief-stained teeth –
over which our lips draw tight.
Until word leaks out ...
          and dawn teases trills to a squabbling tumult
          and the land, enraptured, bleeds raw colours
          and we break out happy and careless again....
So I widen, softly – beyond account,
where there's no need to repeat and no-one to repent;
just spring, father of joy and laceration,
          breathing us in and breathing us out.


Posted: Mon 20 Jul, 2020