This poem lay dormant for months, seeded in the waning days of autumn, when I wrote Anthem. Finally, spring is here with “A shout of triumph / An anthem of joy.”
Tight, verdant buds dot the naked limbs laid bare in winter,
and a chartreuse film covers the ground greened in new grass
raised from the teeming dark.
What cracks the husk
so that hope pushes its green head
up to the light,
and frail threads wend downward
to mine the rich dark decay
of yesterday’s life?
Holy Week: Nature Tells the Truth
We drove past the Reservoir on the way home. The day is grim winter gray punctuated by bare trees and piles of wet lifeless leaves. It is sprinkling. The temperature is cool enough for light layers and warm enough to feel muggy. This is not a day to delight in nature.
This is a day to huddle inside some man-made structure, to insulate oneself with bricks and mortar, with snacks and favorite libations, and ignore nature until she gets her act together and launches spring.
But we drove past the reservoir. We drove past a small spread of water ringed by dull, denuded woods, and today, unexpectedly, caressed by a thick, undulating silver mist. A shifting, swirling fog covered the lapping water and transformed a country recreation spot into a setting fit for fairies and nymphs and other odd folk who act out truth in children’s stories.
Man made that lake, they say, but anyone who sees it today will know that is not true. On this lukewarm day, nature graced a common, man-formed stretch of water with a subtle, uncommon beauty. And it was good.