Friday, March 20, 2020

the Sun, right above the Equator

Vernal Equinox ‘20

I have long been drawn to the change of seasons,
the first poem I wrote well in my adult phase of writing
was of the Winter Solstice,
as dark and loss win for a while,
and set up the miracle of the transient new
in the flowers that briefly joy the moment months later,
the Sun will briefly be right above the Equator today,

I meditate in the dark morning
under gray skies and a light mist,
Native American prayers pull me to them,
and they pull me to the Great Spirit
infusing life on Earth,
and to all the lessons God wraps within nature,

oak limbs above me hold themselves in midnight black,
the tips of their branches hint of bud,

but mostly the trees are of the skeletal structure of will,
the answer of life to the call of the Sun,
the trees ready themselves to work with the increasing light
to make and store the Sun’s energy in the old green deal,
that deal we name with a clunky term, photosynthesis,

as the day slowly brightens
birds murmur and shout as if an impatient audience
ready for the show to start,
gray fades into muted colors:
the grass greens, the house reds,

the redbud’s magenta looks ready to explode,

I go in and shower,

the day moves on, as do many of the clouds,
all around my wanderings the flora shakes itself awake,
blueberry blossoms pull pollinators to them,

a butterfly visits the quince,
violets and bluets declare it to be their times in the woods,
hickory buds start to open,

the maple readies itself,
and the pine starts to throw pollen upon everything,

with climate change I risk planting early,
12 tomatoes I’ve started from seed are already in the garden,

sugar snap peas, in two separate staggered plantings, rise,

as does buttercrunch lettuce,
two spring plantings,

plus last fall’s that made it all through winter,

next week I’ll plant potatoes in the dark of the Moon,

the day winds down with partly cloudy skies
and a balmy feel to the air,
the north in this country still knows winter,
while the south feels summer coming on,

astronomically, the equinox is of balance, of equality,
this year, a virus, bred of our excess,
shakes our house of cards,
the natural world, though, 
just takes on the change of season,
and makes the best of what it is dealt.

Sunrise, the next day.  The Sun rises right where our driveway points.

by Henry H. Walker
March 19, ‘20

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