The First Winds of Winter
The Winter wind has come to play.
After months of pouting and posturing and preening beyond the hunch-backed mountains,
of studying its reflection in the oceans
of absentmindedly twirling and whirling
the resigned and restless seaweed in turgid tidal pools,
of fretfully fingering fretwork silhouette trees
clinging stubbornly to grey cliffs with stolid, stony faces,
while it waits for summer to pass,
of trying to blow the house of the seasons down,
it has had enough.
It hurdles the mountains to the south
in a sweeping, spinning churn of seething joy
and self-righteous indignation,
arriving in its swirling cloak of aerial pomp and circumstance
to clear away the last leaves of autumn’s tail.
It shakes clattering gold confetti from the trees
and strews it in secret sacred patterns
onto the cooling, inward shrinking ground.
And, all the while
the blue-white metronome of the moon
is wheezing in and out.
The first promised dream of summer;
a drifting, questing hawk pinioned by the sun to the east
circles lazily ever upwards above the monobrow eaves of my home,
carving a spiral rind with the knife edge of one glowing wingtip
from the crystal singingbowl of the day.
The wind is gently drawing
gossamerlace curtains of bridalveiled spiderweb white
across the azure calm of the sky.
Soon the cloudwave rollers will come,
the springy poplars flecked in fluttering flakes of green
will blend and bend away with lowered gaze,
and the rain will come and thrum
silversliver fingers on my tindrum roof
and claw slices and stripes of light
From the heartbeating air.
The Wind & William TurnerThe warm watery-eyed wind has come,
stumbling purselipped from the west,
pompous and full of circumstance
to paint the freshly ground canvas of the day,
driving grumbling cloud herds east
into the softswishing pastel fields of morning,
layering thick slathers of grey grimbrowed pigment
onto the translucent yellow underwear of the day,
and lacy fineries of airbrush overbrush strokes to remind us
of his easy easel mastery.
As an afterthought he paints in
unraveling twists of sunglowed geese
because he can’t leave his inkwell alone,
he washes in a tautly-strung rainbow.
(I raise an eyebrow cautiously).
Well, you do better, he grumps
and stumps hunchbacked away
that you never finish a work.
You only ever abandon it.
The triumphant dandelions on my back lawn
are making the most of their time before the mowerman returns
to give them a short back-and-greenblood oozing insides.
They have been raising their stiffly-steepled fingers
In silent silver homage to the moon-carved night,
drinking in the sweetapple scent and subtle decay
of autumn’s furtive approach,
waiting for dawn to tear apart the dark.
They will relax their yellow fingers wide in tender, tentacled mudras,
pivoting in solemn, silent unison
to face the surfacing sun,
To follow his relentless hot energy,
as he gleefully surfs the stainless steel blue arc of the day.
Bliss, in bliss, a blessing,
for they are joyously, chaotically alive.
Mono No Aware (the bittersweet poignancy of transient things)
Spring has been coming for weeks now
Picking apart the withered grimgristle metal threads of winter
And casting them down and to one side
To dissolve away in the dark, dank sunless corners of my garden.
For Spring has arrived to marry Summer.
She flounces proudly up the isle,
flourishing her fully-formed floral festiveness.
She reaches up to the passing wind
and gathers a handful of murmuring air,
sweeps it into one luminous, moongloved hand
and breathes it gently out and away
into the gnarlbarked cherry blossom tree
guarding the nectared nape of my garden.
With each passing breath
she softly rains flamingo pink blossom like coveted confetti
into the cracks and crevices between sungreedy shimmering fingers of grass
to watch them softly sink and sigh and fade.
And all the while,
bluebottle blowfly tūī hang upside down from quaking branches
drinking at the altar of the season’s turn.
Dragonfly Love Song
I have watched in dewjawed wonder
with glitterblue diamondjewel eyes
reflecting the shimmerwarm summerlight,
hovered in finely-strung hummingbird air
rich with fertile vibration,
have seen them
dodge around hard-edged glowblack shadows
and metronome driptock raindrops,
then sundart and windweave and blinkflicker
along the outercurve rim of Time,
present, past, future all layered
in gleaming arrays of glassine, veined wings
with multiple mingling heartbeats.
As they hovered over dreaming flowers
with sunbrushed faces turned upwards to drink the sun.
(A Hymn to My Mother, the Earth)
At the turn of the seasons when
Summer is tipping tenderly over into the arms of Autumn
And the air is awash with liquid, lustrous light, when
goldglitter dreamspecks of divined, dancing dust hang,
joyous and suspended in the thrumming, threaded air.
I will plant the soles of my feet
deep into the forest floor of my mother’s belly,
sense its gentle rise and fall
and feel down, down, down
to the soft, purple heart-river pulse
of her winding womb beneath.
I will kneel naked and alone,
clothed only in sunshine and joy,
in a meandering, rambling meadow of wildflowers,
of blue-grey daisies with petals outstretched,
suspended on impossible stalks of shimmering, see-through green.
of bright-cheeked, crimson poppies
embarrassed by their own wonder,
and sunflowers turning their faces to follow the yellow arc of the sun.
I will watch
bejewelled butterflies carve glittering trails in the air
and honeyed, hovering bees drink from beckoning, pouting pollenwells,
while tiny beetles in lacquered rainbow armour scuttle busily across my feet,
and sinuous, sectioned worms intertwine
in lazy, writhing spirals beneath the crumbled earth.
I will listen
to the perfectly-pitched summer hum
of violin-strung insects,
and the abrupt ejaculations of exploding seed pods casting their future far and wide,
and I will know
my mother’s abode abides.