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.
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:
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:
Snowdust on the mountain;
weft of cirrus; along the bridle path,
a twist of lamb’s wool, bramble-caught.
Against a spring-blue sky
the twitch and loop of flickering wings
Outside open windows
blossom clouds the orchard;
my dustpan is full of pollen.
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.