In a blue glaze, a raptor wheels
Unresolved to kind, the breed gropes
On nut-stained pinions
A soundless sight
While the eye
Burns icy pride—
And earth smolders.
Noon! Shrill, shrill, impossible,
A cedarn copse has found
A sybil—‘til the miscreant jay,
Descendant of a winter sprite, outraged,
Vaults off, a querulous flash
Of frosty protest. The stifled silence
Pierced for a moment, swallows a soundless sigh. On the thin, blue
Back of the sky, fleecy feather-fingers float.
Tide! Taught, caught in the moment
A hover fly-crystalline lance, strained to a bell on net-vein
Sinews, — quivering glass—shelled memory
Of a softdown wind and a summer’s day—
The brown-eyed wonder and the fragrant stalk.
Indeed, it was just a scented wind ago
(But another day, another year)
When a young boy snatched at a hover fly, and clutched
In rumpled hands, the empty air.
The insect drones a lazy paean to the sun
In the molten noon, and there is not winter.
But the brook is ice and the leaf is mould
Till the grass is sweet again. How to measure time—
Earth reborn, and flesh a year dissolved.
Again full cycle, and the fly is gauze on the garden walk—
And childhood’s done, with memories.