The mood of the Lockdown is changing considerably. It seems fraying and fractured, with grief and anger rising and being held alongside our deep care for each other, our families and communities.
Many are returning, or facing the prospect of returning, to something not normal, but strange and different. Some are relieved, some are afraid, most are, I suspect, both.
The words of Wendell Berry’s wonderful and sustaining poem, The peace of wild things, keep coming into my mind. They sum up for me what I am seeking to do in these Lockdown poems, and what I am doing in my life. Keeping grounded in the beauty and grace I am experiencing in the spring, and finding in them a deeper beauty and grace than the surface, than the expected. It speaks to something more, within and beyond, as if, by considering the lilies of the field, we may find a deeper truth and insight.
So here is a poem about trees, and also about the shadows that can fall across life, and the possibility of growth, even so.
Yellow-leaved Maple Lockdown Poems 18
I am watching these strange pink
and buttery leaves unfold on the maple,
its long green flowers
covered with bees.
All its life till now
the tree’s canopy leaned back,
partial, growing around the
darkness of that old cedar,
as it sought the light.
So now, new leaves are opening
on those thin bare branches
to the south,
exploring that new clear space,
leaves growing where
they did not, before.
Its shape is becoming an
open dome, it will be complete,
and even now is gilded, shining,
and mosaiced with lapis blue light.
Under it feels a holy place.
When the shadow has passed,
the growth will begin,
and be seen.