THIS CRAZY TIME OF YEAR
when weather's tossed up, mixed and scattered,
we're all out there, looking for firsts -
lambs, violets, a peacock butterfly
faded from the flight through winter
but giving life another go.
It's a rickety spring - meltwater,
mudwater filling the hoofprints,
yet everything jostling for the start.
Trees limber up for another season -
try out a few bobbles of buds,
sallows mist over with pollen,
blackthorn lingers in monochrome flowers
near abandoned farms.
Hail scums a pond like blossom.
A raven glides and with a feathered flick
flips claw to claw then tumbles for a mate,
Wagtails tap-dance on the garage roof,
narcissi and jonquils strumpet
unnatural colours in the garden,
a magnolia discards its ballet shoes
in pink petals on the grass.
Like the helicopter which checks the pipeline every Tuesday,
a bumblebee manoeuvers round the flowering currant.
Coltsfoot clapperclaws its way through tarmac
before it fizzes with a froth of seeds
and starts again for next year.
For a moment it's all glitter and mirror
and I watch the sky craving
a returning swallow or martin.
Hedges green over, eager to heal
the slashed split ends of winter,
gorse, with careless irony, shows gold.
And underneath are drifts of wood anemones
like sweepings from star factories in the sky.
© Mary Robinson 2021
revised from The Art of Gardening Mary Robinson (Flambard Press 2010)