Monday, 21 November 2016

Spring and Meaning

This is in blank verse rhyming ABCB etc. and using half-rhymes. A much earlier attempt to capture something of spring is my free verse poem, "Before Spring," posted on 22 March 2012 and linked here.


A morning walk before the daily prayer,
Desk said, that words might purify to meaning:
The peak time traffic on the major road
This January day, spray wet, is streaming
Workwards urgently, grumblingly subpoenaed.
Across the road after a wind-taut night
Of slicing rain, opaque as cataract,
The common dazzles green, primed from that nought
Of winter’s mud-dull monochrome to freshen
Apprehension, hinting to creatures that
Strenuous pioneering calls them springward.
Swamping with crumpled shot-silk cloths the flat
Beside-road land, a rain lake, stippled languidly
By black-head gulls, theatrically shivers
Beneath a backhand cuff of wind. Above,
Astoundingly, a mighty vortex hovers,
Drifting around a core-hard eye of sun,
Gone grossly orange, lodged on the low horizon.
That iris, moist and flexing like a lens,
Alternately arranged its damask-blossom
Flounces of cloud with ribbons, lapis-blue,
Of the high sky. Time-slow in a staid motion,
It edged across the landscape, calming air
To lotions upon skin as if some Titian
Tawny-watered cloud scene, eirenic but           
Imbued with barely-leashed ferocity,
Had been transposed, stiffly to oversee
The purple bud-bulge poxing bush and tree
So that the whey-barked rowans, puddling in
The glossy rain swamps, or the piling wreckage
Of brambles, gauntly-limbed and cindered like
A burnt-out car, might, urged by the crow’s savage
Delight, embodied in its gear-jam scream,
For fruit and fledglings, mesh themselves once more
In the north-striding sun’s largesse of heat
And, leaping into leafage, haste to bear
Flower and seed. Then winter’s remnant creatures –
The starveling finch, the cold-eyed pouncing squirrel –
And panting homecomers like the screech swift,
One-mindedly build in a fecund quarrel,
Pupping, fledging, taking tooth to vermin,
And spring and summer in their busy doing,
By ligament and instinct thus become
The teeming sun-hot revelry of being.

Surely those cursing, short-fused motorists,
Racketing through spume, tight-necked at the wheel,
Brittle and drained as winter’s worn out husks,
Might cheer themselves by thought of the sun’s ball
Powering to intensity and largeness
Each passing deadpan day. And I, with sight
Of that light-pure funnel, spring’s blazon, in
The sky, turn to my desk indoors, that fraught
Plateau of struggle with guerrilla words
Which dash for camouflage within the gate
Of horn, hence finally to win a meaning
For which expression might be adequate.

© February 2014


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