Treasure Island

Jesse Ellsbury

(March 23,1982 / Washington D.C.)

Prelude to the Seasons


Now is the intersection of the future and past
where all the things I’ve tried won’t last
like the whitewashed leaves of winter branches waving at half-mast
dripping from the icicles I know are made of glass
and yet they slip onto my wrists, fading from my grasp.
Winter is when time dies.

The melting starts before the sun has scared away the dark
with all the nightmare dreams I’ve seen departing from the ark,
competing with the heating of the blooming in the park,
yes, I’m sure that there’s no cure, the sun is just a spark.
I have heard songs without words: the echo of the meadowlark.
Spring is when time is revived.

Midyear is the apex of the season’s sense of time –
latex flowers where the reasons wrestle in the grime,
the sky has fallen, Heaven’s balling – no, Heaven is blind
to the struggle as we juggle fruits rotting on the vine;
it’s our last gasp before the asp gets us for our crimes.
Summer is the word we have for things we cannot find.

The downward slope as we try to cope with things that we have lost
in our trials I have filed away what life has cost;
I see the leaves, the balding trees I’ll do my best to gloss
over all I know with snow but still I’ll be embossed
with the scars, I’ll pretend they’re stars like lichens amidst moss.
Autumn is when we decide whether we shall hide.

Submitted: Monday, July 01, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, July 24, 2013
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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A well-crafted poetic summary of the seasons intended as an introduction to a much more massive work.

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