Seeing in Poetry

The earliest blooming shrub in spring in most of the places I have lived, the forsythia has been sad in recent years, thinking it’s spring and blooming a second time in November. For whatever reason, (very mild winter?) the blooms all around West Michigan were gorgeous this year.

A Day in Spring

Reds and yellows mist the branches of tall trees,
followed by innocent green.
I look past open polygons to tiny skies beyond,
noticing a stray branch pointing westward.

The forsythia flowers crowd their limbs.
Butter yellow, no longer innocent,
hidden by new leaves,
soon they’ll drop to their doom.

Now dandelions carry the forsythia’s forsaken
yellow flags.
Shortly, they too, will surrender, and the tatters
of white ones will wander,
in search of a bit of earth.

Winter was unkind to my pussy willow,
but the bamboo, neglected for decades,
has marched forth and multiplied,
in the shadow of the spruce.

In the shadow of the spruce. End of poem. Going to prose now. But I just liked how that phrase sounds. In the shadow of the spruce….

Anyway, lots of people notice the changing leaf colors in fall. The changing leaf colors of spring are more muted. I didn’t used to notice. My friend and spiritual mentor, Reverend Dan Kivel, told me that I’d be able to tell if I had a spiritual awakening because colors would look brighter. I found this to be incorrect. However, I did notice that there were a lot more subtle changes in the colors of the living world around me. In earliest spring, I noticed that what I always thought of as green, because they were tree leaves, which “are green,” were really red, yellow, brown, pink, and then maybe some were really green. I can’t remember if he acknowledged that my change in perception counted as a spiritual awakening at that time or not.

Try Googling “change of leaf color in spring.” Good luck. Not much out there. It’s all about fall.

 

 

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Shona

Engineering consultant by day, science fiction writer in off hours.

3 thoughts on “Seeing in Poetry”

  1. Beautiful writing. I like “mist” in here, for one.

    One of my great pleasures is noticing how everything changes during the year. Lately I have noticed trilliums. Earlier it was skunk cabbage. Even earlier still, it was pussywillows–in February!!!

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