A month’s menagerie

After the lambs and lions have tussled
with winds in the mid March days
pairs of two-legged hares go courting
cheek to cheek, in bouts of clouting
brief and brown where the plough
rutted the clod and ships butt
bravely up the channel
now when silk coat cats lie tousled on the willows
comes April full of foolishness
a madcap trickster that blushes behind blossom
and flirts with the Cock O' the North
still wintering there

1. Weather saying – “March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb”
2. Brown hares are known to box during the mating season
3. Reference to John Masefield’s ‘Cargoes’
4. Pussy willow – common name for the soft grey wintery buds of Salix
5. April begins with All Fools day
6. the Brambling is a finch that winters here whose epithet is ‘cock o’ the north’

Marian is inviting us to plant a poem in the Imaginary Garden for April come she will

23 thoughts on “A month’s menagerie

  1. A poem full of wonders….I love the imagery and the way you wove the images in your notes so expertly.

    1. thanks Sherry – added the notes for anyone not familiar with the allusions and writing the poem made me realise just how many there are at this time of year

  2. This is incredibly enchanting with its allusions, Laura 😀 I was blown away especially by Pussy willow when I learned what it actually meant! Woww! ❤️

  3. How wonderful to see all of these references, so well-known from my childhood, all in one place. Your poem has given me a warm, fuzzy feeling, Laura. I adore the ‘madcap trickster that blushes behind blossom’.

      1. I always loved pussy willow as a child and can’t stop myself from looking for it when I’m out and about. Trees and shrubs are magical!

  4. Loved your poem with its internal rhymes and alliterations helping to create the feel of your April weather. And then loved your Notes too. (I was brought up on Cargoes, and grew up with pussy willows.)

  5. Oh I adore this from beginning to end! Especially right there in the middle… clouting. Whoosh 🙂
    Man was it windy here today. Brrrrrrr

  6. The imagery, the mood of this is stunning. Beautiful way to enter April’s month of poems

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