Napowrimo April 13th, 2022
Today’s challenge is to write a poem that joyfully states that “Everything is Going to Be Amazing.” Sometimes, good fortune can seem impossibly. As they say, “the sun will come up tomorrow,” and if nothing else, this world offers us the persistent possibility of surprise.
This last bit reminded me of a walk I took and a very, very pleasant surprise that lifted my spirits. And then I read “Everything is going to be amazing” and I have to thank Lauren Zuniga for far more than inspiration.
To shake off the pore clogging, lung cloying grey dust of depression,
I take a walk.
No, I escape, I run away.
No, I try to run away.
Full flight is not possible from this sapping, self-serving, selfish author,
With its repetitious narrative, dull pages, and cold, damp protagonist,
But I shall try.
I will not surrender to this surrogate book.
Is it early evening dew or late afternoon rain on the grass fingers that moisten my feet?
I neither know nor care; feeling something is enough.
The trees are in full leaf now,
Rows of great hearty oaks mark my path,
As bairns they escaped the claws of Jays and Wiwer,
Later, with resolute fingers dug deep into rich clay,
They withstood the best the west wind could throw at them.
Proudly they bared their battle scars,
Broken limbs like shattered dragon’s teeth pierced the skyline,
Roosts for Buzzards and Owls,
Termite homes and moth hotels.
In the cool shade of the canopy,
I find a birthing stillness, calming in its navy cloak,
Aches of the day gently slalom my calves,
Molten candle wax strains slipping into the earth,
The grateful, helpful, ever-present earth.
Something to rely on.
To my right, through the swaying reeds,
The mill pond rests,
Its industrious past pensioned off to tourism.
Shorn of wheels and wool, no vibrancy echoes here,
Nothing echoes here,
Only the steady, slowing tempo of a racing mind.
No need for a spirit level on this spirit leveller.
To glance on this mirror; reflection is enough.
The sun has not finished painting the day’s canvas yet.
With broad sweeps of its brush, it spills silver and gold light across the water,
Silken mercury sheets ebb imperceptibly between the banks,
There is nothing here but me.
The sheep now sleep, the birds have been hushed and the motorway closed.
Vision is my only sense.
I may have stopped breathing. I can’t tell.
A Grebe breaks the water and the scene.
Not any old Grebe, but an elegant Gisha of the lake,
Spruced and chic, a Samurai with swordlike beak.
It dives and is gone, the faintest splash betraying its presence.
And then – I see it.
Below the enamelled surface of the pool, a shadow moves,
And with it, the silver waters above ripple in its wake,
It is on the chase.
Zigzagging its way through the lily stems, it scores the pond surface,
An avian submarine locked onto its target.
In unison we hold breath.
With a shake of its head the pond’s residue is regally dismissed,
In full silhouette against the returned stillness of the water,
The Samurai flicks its sword skywards,
Dinner is served.
Such a tiny word.
Yet it can encompass so much,
It is so inadequate.
Such a small bird.
Yet it can fire an argent ray of hope into a man’s soul.
What if I had turned left and not right?
There is no one here but me.
This whole world of grace and beauty, of life and death, and peace,
It was all for me.
No one else, ever will witness that cinema of joy,
And I chose the path that brought me here.