Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Greening Of The Meadow \ XX

Nancy: How does it happen so suddenly?  The meadow a green I’d almost forgotten, all the weary gray-brown only a memory.

The Greening Of The Meadow

Although this may sound like a line
from a ballad,
you may be expecting me to write
the fa la la
and my lord he came a riding oh

This is not a song, but the true
calendar of Straight Bay.
The greening of the meadow
falls after
the tasseling of the alders,
the going out of the ice,
the furring green and red
of the maples.

Watch and soon you will see the trembling
flowers of the shadblow.
by the waters, leaning
waiting in vain for the shad.
These are the things that
make our calendar.
The day by day returning
of the birds,
the warming and yearning and gliding
of the snakes,
frogs singing, by night
and by day.

And we step into the calendar,
with backs bent,
with the spade and the hoe and the seeds
and the greening then
of the rows.

Perhaps then there is a song
of sun and sweat,
of joy and gratitude as the pages turn
and as we
sit on the shore singing quietly
the calendar of Straight Bay.

Alan:  Absence as a presence that defines the space around it.  The poem itself speaking from farther and farther away – still sending its signal over all the distance of the years.

for Nancy

Twenty years ago,
I came here
to stay a month – or a season.
Love held me,
through all the summer droughts
and winter cold.

Today I gaze
past daffodils, forsythia we planted,
heavy with showers, nodding,
to rough low fields
we never could subdue.

Around me,
books and papers of an
untidy existence,
dishes in the sink,
dust on the shelves.

It is not hard to live alone
and have no standards,
still I long for you now,
to help me wonder
where the time goes
when it slips off down the hill.

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