In curls and ringlets, dark
yet vividly expressed like broken brushstrokes
it bends and stretches out
across a piece of sky
that blotched in turquoise, purple, pink and orange
bids the day: “goodbye”;
this oak tree, curled as if asleep already
and yet stretched out too
as if it’s waking, stretching, yawning,
anticipating dawns that shall be coming.
The heavy, humid feeling of something approaching
yet not yet near enough to bring release.
The pressure of the atmosphere, the heat, the irritation
and the claustrophobia of the moment.
You wait and wait and wait.
But thunder comes whenever it wants –
And you can’t make amends.
The pressure in the air is full of birdsong.
The heat declares its presence everywhere.
The faintest smell of apple blossoms and of grass
comes greeting through the window on the swell.
The cooling breeze comes to caress my hair,
to lighten up the air and tensions ease.
We’re waiting for the thunderstorm’s approach;
it let’s us wait – uncaring for reproach.
There are smoldering trees on the hill tonight
and faint silhouettes of birds in flight
but there’s no sign of you
and there’s no heat to thaw the frost
that cover grass and quiet trees,
just this: The sun’s last, fading rays
that smears its blood across the skies,
abandoning me to freeze
Come and remove this crown from my head;
a laurel crown whose leaves are dead
and replace it with a circle of flowerets
with spring’s brightest colours and shapeliest shapes
which your timeworn hands over my hair shall drape –
a life-reaffirming Spring-coronet
Let’s go out together through the forest green,
pluck the prettiest flowers human eyes have seen –
daisies, cornflowers, buttercups –
while we take in the birdsong greeting us through
the twigs over our heads, the Spring-birds will woo
us till our hearts burst, soaring to the highest tops
And let’s dance there together under the trees
to the sound of the birds’ soulful melodies –
it is Springtime, how life-reaffirming the word,
let us praise it together in song and dance
with an air of unmistaken romance
aided by sweet-smelling flowers and a wooing bird
And when the long, joyful day comes to an end
we’ll gather the flowers we plucked and descend
from our private Heaven to a humbler abode
with the coronet glowing with pride on my hair
waving in the warm, sweet-scented Spring air
as the sky darkens, and the birds now sing in Aeolian mode
The light has faded over our days of victory
and in my hands I hold the only remnant left to see:
My well-beloved, faded Spring-coronet
wrought with loving hands by someone dear,
and placed on my head with a joy so sheer
on the day we danced. Oh, sweet flowerets!
My hands grasp it tightly, then suddenly let go
and watch as the coronet above the world flows,
then I lay myself down in the grass
and breathe a breath of pain, then of relief,
at last relieved of hope, fear, happiness and grief,
and in the church they light the candles for the
Warble birds your sweet, sweet song.
Never stop. Go on. Go on.
My heart’s heavy, my song’s spent.
My head’s heavy, earthward bent.
Sing a song of sweet delight,
send it upwards to the light
while I wander in the shade
waiting for my song to fade.
Warble birds – it’s soothing balm,
warble and instill some calm
to the evening I pass by
from your hiding in the sky.
But don’t ask for sing-along,
I have lost all joy in song;
My song’s spent, my head hangs low –
My love went; where did she go?