Hymn for the Vernal Equinox
Day and Night become balanced on the scale,
but the thumb of the year rests on one side.
One step, and the ice on the pond will fail.
Not long will last night’s snow flurry abide.
The whiteness of blossom tips every branch.
Magnolia gleams in anticipation:
winter wind bites, yet carries a frail scent
of flowing maple sap no frost can stanch,
the pouring-out of Spring’s first oblation.
Witness changes in Mother Earth’s intent:
spears of daffodils surging from black ground:
dragon’s teeth become warriors of old
whose golden manes and broad trumpets will sound
winter’s doom, while skunk cabbage braves the cold
to shrug off last frost. Goose keeps on coming:
his cuneiform vanguard fills the skies
and bivouacs his forces in the meadows.
Every pool of shadowed ice is running
to Ocean by all paths they can devise.
Fog and mist water farmer’s new furrows.
Yet earth still seems blasted by winter’s war.
Dust devils up, spiraling from dead verge.
Squirrels lie reduced to fur, bone and gore
where springtime and youthful incaution merge.
Life and dark, death and light stand balanced, still,
with sunny daydreams matched to winter’s oaths.
Frost yet chokes sweet hopes of urgent soil.
Open, heavens: bounteous waters spill
and churn dry ground to rich and complex broths
seasoned with spices of nature’s toil.