When the leaves are drying, curling, rattling in the rising wind, sharp as the gunshots that ring from side to valley side, autumn’s beauty marred by brutes, it’s hard to remember
~ spring ~
bird racket and squirrels leaping where leaves unfurl, the stream racing after the rains, light falling bright and green, falling on a mallard turning in the flood, her chicks bobbing boats in a baby’s bath, their new voices thrilling.
I missed the last Earthweal prompt, for various reasons, but I liked the idea, so here’s an affectionate poem with lots of place names from my adopted home.
I have dug down deep here among the Gascons with their gasconnades and fanfaronnades, the promisers of promises never fulfilled, fighters, bagarreurs, untrustworthy liars, intractable and obstinate as mules.
I have dragged my tangled roots between La Rèula and Aiguillon, along the Garona where the gabarras plied up to Bordeaux, weighted with wine casks, where the egrets stand tall and white on the summer sandbanks.
Between Clairac, Calviac and Montagnac, I have watched the moon rise, between Castille, Canteloube and La Castenade watched the sun set, watched the horned cows graze with their bull at Razimet.
There is my stream here, the Caillou, and my Tamberlan meadows. Mon pays. The words of its tongue roll in the mouth with the rattle of river gravel, and twang like plucked guitar strings.
Italianate, Tuscan cypress and poplared, rolling vined and fruited in the sun, these hills where D’Artagnan swirled his cape are mine now, with all their vantardise and their extravagance.
I’m still following some prompts, but not posting them on the different sites. I’m finding I just don’t have the time to read and reciprocate to comments. This poem, a sonnet of sorts, was written for the earthweal prompt, a reminder that we’re coming up to Bealtaine.
In this meadow where only ghost cattle low, bright buttercups bow their golden heads, blue flax flowers mirror the pale May sky. In this meadow where only ghost cattle low, lush grass growing now is cropped by the deer, a jungle where pheasants and foxes peer through stalks and stems and flowered threads. There were cattle here once but now the hare, the fox, the badger, the rabbit and deer tread wary paths the night time; no snare is set in the grass, no traps to fear, beneath the hedge where the spindle trees grow, and the fire that’s lit on this clear spring night is for ghost cattle shades, the past’s swift-winged flight.
Was there once a time when we could flutter among finches and wrens, a time when we could walk side by side with badger and fox, not being prey and predator, in companiable silence, when we played water games with otters, when weasels ignored our presence, kingfishers and all the hawks and owls of the air?
If there was, it has long gone, and all that shines in the robin’s eye turns away in blackbird, hedgehog and wolf, is distrust and fear; all that glitters in mine, the sorrow of being a killer’s child.
Life is a mesh a web a flock herd tribe life spins enfolds cradles embraces all into one oceans are swells of as many drops as grains of sand as stars as many leaves in every forest that ever was feathers on every bird wormed digested fragments of earth microscopic bacteria plankton the fantasy organisms
~ crowding the bottom of the ocean ~
as multitudinous as our unmemorable thoughts dropped into the silence are the weightless things of sterile self-indulgence our fatuous flatulent oms our self-saving for a cleaner more special and exclusive life after life/death we drown in our navels while the core grinds to a pitiful halt.