Creeping springtime steals on us unprepared,
sneaking in like hare tracks in melting snow.
It’s tiem to see how the beech trees have fared,
and if last April’s daffodils will grow.
Forest paths want clearing; stone walls, mending;
two hawks prowl above the lower meadow,
red tail-featheres transparent to the sun.
Muddy gardens need weeding and tending,
but the sundial’s steady, swift shadow
reminds us how soon a spring day is done.
Yet peepers sit chirping by woodland pools,
and evening does not freeze both blood and bones.
Each oak unfolds its leaves, obeying rules
laid down before mortals had speech or homes
and turkeys are gobbling at twilight,
rising to walk the songlines of their kind,
as coyote has his usual courses.
Moon now wears her bridal veil at midnight
and dances, since the stars don’t seem to mind
and chant their own lusty, ribald verses,
Though the whole of Earth seems a puddle of mud,
Though rainfall soaks loam to a black batter
made of one-part death, one-part earthworm blood,
two-parts of the rainfall’s pitter-patter,
and seven-parts of raw fertility.
Crack, bulbs of crocus and iris, awake!
Arise, fern and mugwort, spread your roots and grow!
Through rain and sun, spring shows prosperity:
a wealth of green — in forest, by lake,
and in the field where our hearts’ dreams we’ll sow.