And in his garden
in the second month
the hard green spikes
forced their narrow way through
the cold earth, as
Nature's relentless renewal
mocked the many dead.
No spiritual resurrection here, but
undiminished life, visible,
predictable in its season.
But the dead in their
narrow graves bore only
the offerings of remembrance,
rotting in the black blast
from the rain-hid hills,
and faith seemed fainter now
than the sharp blade that
severs, and the distant song of love
was carried in the wind.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I wrote this poem a year ago while I was in New Zealand, in the area of Central Otago where goldmining flourished in the 19th century. The contrast of their early autumn with our dreary winter was endlessly powerful.
FEBRUARY ROWAN TREE
A hot wind blows from dusty hills
Under the bright bowl of the sky.
No rain will fall this day, and none
This whole, parched week.
The ghosts walk quiet beside the lake,
The blue grave where their past still sleeps,
And in the hills the crunching scrub
Conceals the burrows where they dug
And crouches on their cold hearth stones.
Now grapes hang heavy in the sun.
A cricket calls. The dry grass sings
And in a garden far from home
Where winter's grasp is barely loosed
The blood red rowans swing.
© C.M.M. 02/06