What’s the point of having a blog if you don’t allow yourself a little self-indulgence occasionally?

The poem included below was written over twenty years ago; I think it was published last century in Roundhouse, a Welsh poetry magazine. I’m not sure if the magazine still exists or if it has gone the way of so many small-press print publications.

Looking at it now, there’s a lot not to like about the poem, including too many clichés – “bluebell pools” is not the only phrase that should be ditched – and the two final lines, which are far too melodramatic. But I do like “[…] green/ is a scent, a taste/ fresh on my tongue.”

One of the problems of using nature to indicate a season or a specific occasion is that with the images don’t always work for different places, or for different years. Although we have bluebells in the park here, this year I seem to have mostly missed them, but they were definitely in full bloom in mid May the year I was writing about. I wonder if global warming means all my poems will slowly become out of synch with the natural world.

Not having any new bluebell photos, I’ve settled for forget-me-nots, which seem appropriate, although they were photographed a month ago.

May 13th

Spring pours sunshine
through the woods to dapple
on my polished shoes.
I hear birdsong echo
children’s laughter; green
is a scent, a taste
fresh on my tongue.

This is not a day for wearing black;
for decorous stockings,
unbecoming hats,
pearl tear-drops and jet beads.

This is a day
for kicking off your shoes and wading
knee-deep through bluebell pools,
or paddling in cool clover,
for grass-stains on bare legs
and the first hint of suntan.

But you are not here, and I
am wearing black.

forget-me-nots and old tombstones

Author: don't confuse the narrator

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

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