Peripatetic

photoart & poem – ©2018 ~ Laura Granby

“A violent windstorm the night before the solstice”
Jim Harrions ~ Solstice Litany

agrarian ancestors were thinned from the blood
far too many centuries ago
some four or five families back
there were at least woodsmen with knotty, close-knit hands
reaching for the soil, the saw, the axe
a keen sense of weather and whereabouts their possessions
and even though it serves no earthly  purpose, I still mind
the seasonal signs , as if they were observant Holy Days
here in the smug city detached from its own prowess

in Spring skies the first happening of Hirondelles
almost deceives the eye – Swifts shriek first place to the race
with Swallow and Martin in their wake, all metallic blues
and out of Africa, trading on the Spanish plumes
Cuckoos too tour our countryside on a schedule
so tight they must leave before the solstice
this year a violent windstorm kept them back
just long enough to wish they’d stay for summer

One late June I too took a far-reaching journey
saw a half moon in vertical take-off, from the back
of the Black Mountains, the spot where the last, late sun had set
and in that lunar dawn, thoughts that stormed in all directions
settled on the south. It was just before the first of the summer days
– they lie ahead now, lazy, fat and fallow
like the lendlease piece of earth that had me rooted here
the loan called to an end, portable parts are packed in pots
a garden on the move,  migrating to whatever ports
will pay their passage.

[Related post: Diane’s Garden]

Taking up another of Jilly’s pick of Harrison quotes for a poetry prompt on Day 25 of 28 Days of Unreason

 

 

16 comments

  1. I love how you make the distinction between swift, martin and swallow. In town we had masses of swifts and nothing else. Not the same, and they do shriek. We had a mix here, but they all seem to have gone now. I wonder where?

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  2. Oh dear, “a garden on the move.” I hope your new location will be pleasing to you, as well. We are in the waning years of this garden, and my heart hurts thinking about leaving it. So many of us have agrarian roots and ancestors. Also, many of us find tracking phenology and peripatetic movements fascinating and natural. Loved this entry. 🙂

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