Poems

Persephone: Homecoming

I

high bare branches

knocking in the wind

wild garlic

massing in the woods

snowdrops like sheep

distant on hillsides

the eye of the daffodil

waiting to open onto the world

II

Bluebells push through the skin of the earth,

stems as frail as the legs of newborn calves.

Mounds of wild garlic leaves

cover the ground beneath the trees,

climb the steps through the woods

like giant green spiders.

The passing whirr of a bee.

Blackbird song at evening.

III

This is a child’s time:

dandelions are fat suns,

seed heads full moons,

daisies are fried eggs in miniature

and cherry blossom candy floss.

In all its glory, the copper beech

expects to be taken seriously.

A heat-haze of bluebells.

The electric yellow of the rape field

wires your brain to the mains, dimming

the light from the flowers on the gorse.

Swallows are here.

Only the ash stands bare.

IV

Swallows skim wind-rippled wheat fields.

Dust lies like velvet, thick on the lanes.

The lights have gone out on the gorse

and the blossom from the cherry has been swept

from the earth, as though it had not existed.

But honeysuckle is sweet

in hedgerows as full as wedding chaplets

and, waving regally in its furs,

the ash is robed at last.

We know the world is working.

 

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