Archives for posts with tag: crocuses

Spring returns

“In an English Spring-Time” is often well received at readings. Last month I made a visit to Cambridge with a friend. (No, not the same person of the poem.) At my request we sought out the shop that sells the amazing Chelsea buns. I now have the establishment’s name. It is Fitzbillies. Their buns are made with real honey. Plus they now serve good coffee next door, too. All better (and cheaper) to order as ‘take away’ and then to eat, of course, on the banks of the Cam.

Some simple pleasures endure.

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A turn to the inside,
draws out liquorice laces,
long and sweet to suck and chew;
This turn to the inside
locates in other corners 
of the paper-layered drawer
small tacks 
of past stings


Scheduling a poem every day for a month (from 18 Jan. to 19 Feb.) made me feel impressively productive. Now I’m suffering for it. I have been writing long form copy for another project, but the poems seem to have stalled to less than a trickle. With this faint drip I’ve approached my notebook. I’ve tackled lines with my ballpoint on the tube and at my desk. In hopefulness, I’ve carried notepaper and pen with me on my wood walks.

Blossoms, crocuses, narcissi and daffodils announce the onset of spring. Why can’t my creative output bloom similarly?

A friend echoes my sentiments. It may soon be time for a fallow season. A poet who writes in the winter, might benefit from some respite in the spring. Let me see what happens come Thursday. Perhaps by then the tap will flow once again.

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to me

there be daffodils, bluebells,

crocuses, forget-me-not

in this English spring-time

rain cold from bluer sunlit skies

showers occasional drop

heavy hail bringing

back snow,

cold sunlight white yet in

blue will bloom green to summer

bluebells

2004, Cambridge

This poem features in my recently published (first) volume of poetry.  I write in my postlude that these less polished older poems offer snapshots of my output as it has moved through its development and offer a glimpse of adolescent whimsy for which I am now a little nostalgic.

The ‘real’ events of this poem happened in mid-summer, yet the artistic license of posing events in an English spring-time breathes freshness and new growth into the emotional sentiments and harks back to the listed flowers of a song we learnt at school, “In an English Country Garden.”  Not likely to be judged a mature echo in the tradition of nature poems, this little thought sprung from youthful infatuation in a medieval university town surrounded by pastoral countryside. There were lots of English flowers; all the very flowers I had read about, sung about, read about in poems. I was giddy on travel on youth, and on current buns eaten under willows on the riverbank.

[Image credit: http://www.silkartist.co.uk/practical.htm]

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