Sounding Out Spring

Vowels ploughed into other: opened ground.
The mildest February for twenty years
Is mist bands over furrows, a deep no sound
Vulnerable to distant gargling tractors.
 
Seamus Heaney

In the north, the Plough
is ridden by the moon
and frost continues
to clench the earth.
Early morning walking
wakens words,
enlivens lines from puffs
of frozen breath,
vowels ploughed into other:
opened ground.

Punctuated by stone
and root, fields fold
into ferrous grooves
girthed by silhouettes
of stringent hedgerows.
Birdsong festoons
the branches of a tree,
forecasting the zing of spring,
the mildest February
for twenty years.

Above inscrutable darkling
woods, owls hook stars
caught among branches,
predatorial eyes
flashing and blinking
in pre-dawn gloom.
A pale feather drifting
on a breath of wind
Is mist bands over furrows,
a deep no sound.

A scattering of rooks,
star-black twinkles,
survey their nests
and alight in treetops
to caw a stern warning
to owls and raptors,
and stealers of eggs,
protective of their young,
vulnerable to distant
gargling tractors.

Kim M. Russell, 3rd April 2022

brown and white bird flying

Free image on Unsplash by Adam King

On Day 3, we have a prompt that is ‘a bit complex’, to write a poem in a  Spanish form called a glosa, similar to the golden shovel or cento. We take a quatrain from a poem that we like, and then ‘write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza.’ Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but we don’t have to stick to that. After much long deliberation and searching in books of my favourite poets’ work, I have taken a quatrain from Sonnet I of Seamus Heaney’s ‘Glanmore Sonnets’, and taken the liberty of splitting them into two to create my ten-line stanzas.

2 thoughts on “Sounding Out Spring

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