A Slow Spring

A Slow Spring


A slow spring:

Coiled and ready

Pressed down hard

Contained and compact

Energy building like a storm

Tingling with life.

A slow spring:

Buds swelling and greening

Twigs quivering with anticipation

And the quickening feet of sparrows

Making them bend and shake;

Soft breezes, not harsh gales.

A slow spring

Fields still bare, brown

Mud becoming fertile chocolate

Laid in stripes across land

Seeded and prepared

And poised to explode.

A slow spring:

Bird song rising to crescendo

Drowning the rush of melt-water

And the creak of old trees

Shaking with surging sap and age

A slow spring:

Rushing rampant

Wanton in warmth

Catching up lost time

Hurtling recklessly forward

Into a swift, welcome summer.


I noticed yesterday on my walk that though the daytime temperatures have not risen much above five degrees yet, the bird song is all spring songs and the quality of the light has changed quite distinctly.

I wrote the following poem a few years back after a rather haunting dream of being stalked by a polar bear….



The fields of endless white

Spread further than the eye can see,

Grim mountains of jagged grey,

Still clad in silken swathes of snow,

The air so crisp it tastes of glass

And fills my mouth with blood.

A scent of stones fills the air,

Old and cold as passing time.

The crunch of paws though ice,

Breath like steaming clouds,

A stench of passing death,

The brush of icy whiskers

As Winter’s bear retreats.

I stand alone on the snowfield,

The trickle of the starting thaw

A quiet chuckle at the passing

Of the season’s snow bear

And the merriment of the new.


Spring is…?

Spring is…?


Spring is a lamb shorn far too soon,

Ready too early for the warmer days.

We wrap our tender plants in fleece,

Encase our bodies in woollen layers

Swathed in scarves, snug in gloves

We stand against the blast of wind.

Spring is a lad blowing hot and then cold,

An immature suitor unsure of his charms:
Today the strong and silent type,

Macho and frosty as a December night.

Tomorrow he’s the Latin lover,

All passion and heat and sunlit smiles.

Spring is a puzzle that challenges each year,

Demanding that we solve it this time.

We dress for the worst, hope for the best,

And just when we think we have it sussed,

It changes the rules and snows in May.


Urban Springtime

Urban Springtime


Petals and broken glass

Line the festal way.

Accidental emeralds gleam

Amid silken pink blossom

Trodden underfoot,

Sodden and sad:

Softness and sharpness

Mingling in the fallen trash.

Ten green bottles

Smashed against my wall,

Ten green bottles

Didn’t accidentally fall.

Drifts of pink petals

Candyfloss coloured

                   Blow lazily in hot wind

Drying to nothingness

In a few days, gone.

Some rubbish I can live with.


New Brickyard Lane

Over at Pilgrim’s blog  http://ekta57.blogspot.com  a story was posted that suggests how much we miss in everyday life.

The following poem needs a tiny bit of context explanation to be fully understood. When we first moved to our previous house in the Midlands, we were so busy moving in and getting settled a good deal of the things I like to do during the Spring got missed and so the following year, I bought a guide book to walks in the area around our village to give me an idea of what routes to take. One of the walks took in a rough track going out of the village and this lane, New Brickyard Lane was where according to the guide book one was most likely to see grass snakes in the Spring. Since I am very fond of snakes, I went for a wander up this ancient trackway (the brickyard was built in the seventeenth century and has long since vanished; the lane is littered with the remains of broken bricks.) 

New Brickyard Lane

No snakes today;
Just eggshells, dead magpies
And fragments of ancient bricks
Returning to the red clay.
The wind in a million leaves
Sounds like the summer sea
Whispering how deep it is.
On the way back
I gathered pine-cones
Till pockets and hands
Could hold no more.
I saw hundreds more in the gutter
Crushed from perfection to powder
By the relentless wheels
And I thought:
We have too much
That we can let such treasures lie

For Sandie, a poem

For Sandie, a poem.
Spring came in the back door;
Tendrils of green sweetness,
Damp earth and cut grass
Flowing in on a cool breeze.
I'd expected Winter still;
Braced for the blast
Of frosty, sterile air,
I stood and sniffed.
Few signs were there;
The trees stood naked,
Twigs bare and hard,
No swelling of their buds.
But I could smell Spring,
Hear her in the birdsong,
Feel her in the moving sky
Where pink and blue mingled
With rain-soaked grey.
Winter, go home now:
The battle is lost
And Spring is winning.
I wrote the poem above for my friend Sandie, who lives in Detroit, and who finds winter as depressing as I do!!