Lines written in early spring
lift words from the earth, and offer them to us.
The syllables reach the peaks of huge mountains,
and touch, with their gentle spirit
the most delicate branches of the tree just above.
Lakeland poets used these huge mountains
as their paper, water as ink,
their pens passing truths, as an exchange of breaths,
nature and humans sharing one soul.
They learned words of joy from the brazen choir of daffodils
And the primroses embraced by the sun’s warm hand.
Learned words of sadness from the lake resting silently
in deep troughs and indentations of land.
Loss from the lonely birds that rest upon it,
their traces fading into the water like mists
of breath into air on a cold, early spring morning.
They learned words of awe and fear from the mountainous crags,
Which cast shadows as they, in their power, rear their heads
over poets houses, and bestrew the view with rocky peaks.
Words of motion from the tangle of lines on their maps,
which became the paths which led them to the sky.
Poets houses, now empty, and lost, or archived.
Poets, now buried and still yet their words
Fire up minds and light paths to these peaks,
Give solace and company, flight to lonely birds
Offering a candle, which burns with a pulse,
they help us trace our wake and our journey,
Returning to us phrases that guide us
further than the furthest that we can see.
Now buried, their words are returned to where found,
Distilled through the earth. A rebirth
of these lines written in early spring by the nurturing ground,
by the embracing sky, and the welcoming trees
with their half-formed, blushing blossoms, and clouds of leaves
congealed around the central spine of the tree,
by the sun peeking through the spaces between,
by the grass below, embroidered with dappling light.
O, what a thing it is – what nature makes of nature.
What nature could make of human, it is these
lines written in early spring, everywhere seen,
Breathed out and in by earth,
Breathed in and out by me.
Esme Gutch 2023