As the world wakes up from Winter’s slumber,
she starts to shake the sodden snow that lies
heavy on her cloak of gray and umber.
After the long months of silence, she sighs
a slow breath of warmth into the crisp air;
and time, that has hung suspended and numb,
begins again to find its soft rhythm
and heralds new Spring on its muffled drum.
Deep in her fetid womb, where life has formed
in silence through the dark and bitter days,
a season’s promises ache to be born
and feel again the nearing sun’s bright rays.
Relax and slowly breathe, she says, the wait
is nearly at an end; the world will wake.
Stretch out your tired limbs! Don’t hesitate!
The cracked and brittle Winter’s bones will break.
Rejoice, rejoice! The world is waking
Winter’s hold is slowly breaking;
See him old, infirm and shaking
as new Spring is in the making
Rejoice, rejoice, the Spring is nearing
Winter’s fleece is set for shearing
Share the sound of life you’re hearing
Green and wild, in every clearing
Rejoice, rejoice, the Spring will come
its heartbeat pounding like a drum!
Begone, the cold that stings and numbs,
and to the sun we bid welcome!
01 FEB 2005
The night is late arriving yet again;
and in the day that lingers past its time
it casts tentative shadows, brushed in hues
of lavender and faded rose and blue,
while twilight, holding back its unsure breath
as if it means to swell and burst its seams,
drops only hints its patience has an end
and seems shy and unwilling to intrude
upon the sun’s last monologue, intoned
in barely whispered wisps of light.
It lets the final words slip out, then fade,
as finally, the dark blue curtain falls.
Against this backdrop, gentle mauve and pink,
the distant stars appear like bits of thread;
there is a quiet rustle in the trees,
and suddenly, the cool of evening comes.
27 MAY 2004
cywydd deuair hyrion
April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
— T.S. Eliot, from The Waste Land
Again the winds are playing
like knives, and the steel wool gray
and ominous gathered clouds
have the horizon shrouded.
The spring that for a week warmed
winter’s bones is now forlorn
and hiding beneath the porch,
confused and quite out of sorts,
proud short-sleeved glory faded,
its sun-drenched dreams frustrated.
Like giants, groggy, half asleep,
the trees hang to their new leaves;
and tender young plants, untrained
and weak, lay flattened by rain
that keeps coming at odd hours
to chill the blooming flowers.
April, you promised sunshine,
but delivered a long line
of bitter squalls; now just half
spent, your span’s sad epitaph
will read of somber, bleak days
filled with dreary, wet malaise,
seeking in vain for some warmth
from your cruel unending storms.
13 APR 2004
Once New Orleans weather starts to warm
it becomes quite bearable in shirt sleeves
to linger under the carport at night
enjoying a cigarette in the dark
while the light scent of jasmine fills the air
and the bustle on the main streets is slowed
(in those few short weeks before summer starts,
and the dense, wet weighted swelter bears down
to sap the strength from your pores, and slowly
suck the breath from your lungs – even the cloud
of smoke leaking from a cigarette sags
to the ground under that ponderous damp)
and in those too few evenings of short spring,
before the chorus of locusts comes back
from its winter hiatus to rehearse
and the palmetto bugs (or big roaches)
are still hidden, too busy with breeding
to venture out and scratch at the screen door
it is often very still and quiet –
and you can forget you are underneath
a carport (in a sometimes dangerous
city where tourists come to drink too much,
urinate on the streets, and leave their trash)
and see beauty in the sunset’s colors.
17 MAR 2004
There is a fire inside you that must not
be extinguished. From the heart comes the spark
that lights your life. Once gone, it can’t be bought –
and you will have left only the cold dark.
It is this flame we nurture at Beltane,
echoed in each pyre on lonely hilltops,
rejoicing as the pale winter months wane
and the earth begins to sprout our new crops.
It lights a heat in the belly and heart,
a great force of both life and destruction,
giving us both freedom and self-control,
a glimpse beyond our sense of beauty’s part
in the wide world’s method of construction,
and with its touch, centers us in the whole.
01 MAY 2003
That lingering scent on the morning breeze,
light and fragrant as it skips across the lawn,
there like a hint of soft mist in the trees;
it plays on the senses and then is gone
as each new blossom opens to the world,
its tender silken strands embrace the wind
and the spirit of Shakti is unfurled,
its sensuous perfume released again.
Now the waiting earth awakens once more
to the firm touch of the Divine Mother,
as from behind a veil of illusion
she soaks each living thing through to the core;
and there just beyond your sense of Other
unites all life in Her light’s diffusion.
20 APR 2003
There at the edge of a wide green meadow,
set back just out of sight of a side road
under the cloak of an old oak’s shadow,
where the bramble vines creep out from the wood
and the fragrant wildflowers show their blooms
at the mouth of a hidden flowing spring,
their petals daubed with splashes of color
and with the delicate mist of the dew,
with the short, sweet chirping of the sparrows
echoing through the low hanging branches,
and the soft murmured droning of the bees
rising and falling with their passing flight
I shall sit on the back porch and listen
to the last falling drops of this spring rain
and watch, as the water starts to recede,
soaking into the planted beds and pots,
thinking of time as a season of change,
and each moment a small drop in the sea
that takes in all things in its churning wake
and leaves each of us just where we should be.
14 MAR 2003