Monday, 12 May 2014

Day 661: Forsythia

 

In keeping with the flower theme of the month, here's Billy Collins contemplating forsythia. 


Forsythia - Billy Collins 

It caught my eye a while ago, lit up 
against the gloom of the woods
in the corner of a wild field,
the pulsing color of caution. 

And now that I have spent a little time
on this stone wall watching its fire
flare out of the earth
I begin to think about the long chronicle of forsythia

how these same flowers have blazed
through the centuries,
roused from the ground by the churning of spring.
I would rather not look around the next 

corner of the year to see how this will die,
its lights going out,
its bare, arcing branches
waving like whips in the bitter wind. 

So I sit facing the past,
letting my feet dangle over the wall, 
beating time against stone with my heels
as the long gray clouds roll over me. 

Remember how Arnold by the Channel
thought of Sophocles who must have heard 
the same shore-sounds long ago,
walking by the edge of the Aegean?

Well, I am holding in the palm of my thoughts
all the others who once were stopped,
like me, by this brightness, 
this sulfuric cry for help:

women in tunics, women gathered by a well,
men in feathers, men swimming by a river, 
all speaking languages I will never know,
saying the different words for its color 

as I feel the syllables of yellow form in my mouth 
and hear the sound of yellow fill the morning air. 


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