spring again – again

It was a dull day in the park yesterday, but amid the grey there were a couple of brighter images: there were a few pools of daffodil yellow and the willows along by the river were gauzy with green, waiting for day or two of sunshine to turn them into a mass of caterpillar catkins.

Willow trees in spring time

There was also this magnificent flower which I think must be a Helleborus Orientalis hybrid, perhaps a Red Lady. I presume from the fact today is Palm Sunday it can be classified as a Lenten Rose:

pink-red hellebore

Today is also the first day of spring, but although it’s not actually raining there’s very little spring-like about it. So let’s have a seasonal poem written a few years ago on a day when the weather was even more unpleasant than today:
 

M1 Northbound, March 2011

It could be autumn. A lone hawk
hunches in a tree. Bare branches stretch
to scrape a solid sky, and greasy rain
streaks the coach windows. Black against
the shrouding opalescence, a slow rook
flaps homeward; twigs straggle from its beak.

 
That was heading north from London, but this piece is firmly set in the capital itself:
 

Towards High Barnet

We’re moled and burrowing
through London’s longest stretch
of tunnelling dark, until East Finchley
where sudden sunlight dazzles us.
A shock of daffodils tousels the embankment.
Ivy-drab drapes a dull brick wall
beyond which, an old man digs for victory
against perennial weeds in his allotment.

 
When I lived in Spain, I longed for the English seasons, but now I’m back almost permanently, I am finding it hard to adapt to the lack of sunshine and blue skies. At least I have my poetry to remind me of what it might be like. These pieces are all taken from Poems from the pueblo: Haiku and assorted fragments and the photos are from Spanish springtime:

snowy mountains

 

White
Snowdust on the mountain;
weft of cirrus; along the bridle path,
a twist of lamb’s wool, bramble-caught.

 

spring sky

 

Against a spring-blue sky
the twitch and loop of flickering wings
says: pipistrelle!

 

cherry blossom

 

Spring cleaning
Outside open windows
blossom clouds the orchard;
my dustpan is full of pollen.

 

Laundry day
Spring blossoms scent the air;
the kitchen smells
of Marseilles soap and ironing.

 
Those last two remind me that I really ought to go and put the washing machine on and do some cleaning. Sadly, I will not be throwing wide all the windows to let the sunshine in.
 

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

3 thoughts on “spring again – again”

  1. I can understand how you can get lonesome without the sun, but your beautiful images and lovely poetry will hold you through….not much longer now {well, only a couple of months for us in the Pacific NW USA, I’m assuming it’s similar for you, yes?} :-)

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    1. Where you are I think you have far more winter than we usually do in central England, and maybe you get real summers, too. But here in the UK, there’s always a possibility that there won’t be a summer at all. Certainly in recent years the four seasons of my childhood simply don’t exist: the year merges into twelve sprawling damp months with occasional bright spells. The question is, of course, did they ever exist? Or did I only see what I expected to see having read the idealised seasons of fiction? (In which case, as you realise, I should be able to recreate them for myself any time I want.)

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      1. I see – yes, we reliably have summer start on July 4 through about mid-September, then back to the drizzle ;-) Looking for bright spots can totally help!

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