In those repeating months of Spring, recto
and verso historians, Goya-eyed
chronologists and sly virtuoso
arch-revisionists cheerfully spread wide
glazes of gleeful rosy dawn just so.
Memories of certain Summers collide,
a precise ploy, a sleight to fool the crowd,
who ‘lose’ their cruel beige thoughts beneath a shroud.
Dangerous Autumn months - a sepia flood
drowns overthinkers, our grim death veneer
of thin pallid skin, drained of cold old blood,
meandering, our cheerlessly blown ear-
drums dormant, just crying out for some stud
to strum Summer jams on a jejune pier
with precise aplomb, then to fish us out.
At least dead there’s no borborygmus doubt.
Propped up by a Winter prison,
please reflect questions through this mirrored gaze,
obscure, darkly quizzed and dryly risen.
Drifting, a stark delirious dusk daze
enshrouds the mystics who first listen,
then discuss in conspiratory ways
other things ‘They’ have in store. In what way
are we to be portrayed? The Colours betray
Summer - see her bright panoptical light
and enigmatic missing Anemoi.
Feel stasis insight - place pawn behind knight
without peripheral vision. Annoy
your watchful guardians and their plight,
whose slight shroud cannot resist Summer’s ploy.
I am full of Ouroborian mirth
as the years pass with pleasant rebirth.
Are you surprised to see another Spring?
I am full of Ouroborian dread,
visions; of what warped destruction can bring,
vile vibes, inflictions, the checkmated dead,
a Paul Delvaux of an undead drag-king
that I dreamt up, Joyce’s last words unread,
Spring’s vert chlorophyll sepulchered, unreal,
enough to ask ‘Did we get a raw deal? ’
Savour the surprise, this sauve Autumnal muse
draped in rich, regal, eternal splendour
is a hidden truth, annual. The only clues
to the aforementioned fungal wonder
of rebirth are summer’s internal hues,
mummified membranes which once were tender
reproductions of love’s carbon copy,
what was bold, blooming, now flaccid, floppy.
Winter’s rich achievement; a complex field,
per bend sinister argent and sable
strewn with goutte des larmes, with a roundel shield
charged with an igloo proper, a label
of snow crystals (which summer may yet yield)
argent - the compartment an unstable
pahoehoe sheet, the crest a snowman crowned,
supporters robins rampant, two moons clowned.
Again the sweet abandon of Summer.
Obviously Bacchian, we are the frauds,
the slackers, the disgraces - what a bummer.
Totems, we transgressed, won countless awards,
squeegeed it, blurred it, twisted it dumber,
painterly abstraction, summer discords,
dashes of pure treacle bleached by the sun,
a plot like impasto that weighs a tonne.
See, endless Spring is just a minor splotch
upon vast curves of sublime sea, supine
to mirror the wry moon’s attendant watch.
It shines dancing dapples of light in trine
across a briney canvas, a bright blotch
that dazzles in plenitudinous decline,
a soft dry brush to apply rococo blur
to dreamy thoughts as though a yo-yo spur.
Autumn is kinetic rather than static.
Opulent, unfurled in a chaise longue,
our unpredictable aromatic
quality links us intricately, wrong
to be relearnt in a democratic
summer, critiqued in the form of a throng.
Nonsense - if it seems overtly obscure
then you have delusions of grandeur.
Come, out of this Winter maelstrom, down
into the welcoming warmth, decadent
as all warmth once shrouded. Shout proper noun
curses - this spiral staircase, aberrant
and strange to chronomancers of renown,
shows our past and future selves, recusant
to the burdens of time and the profound,
like stills on a video tape unwound.
If Summer seems slothful to move forward
then it probably is, inanimate
as any measurement of time, awkward,
lucid but still a tool, innominate
as any instrument of man, poniard
by symbols rendered indefinite.
If we skeptics accept such measurement,
does it lead to endless embellishment?
Speaking of measurement, Spring’s eternal vow,
to forever guide Nature down the Lethe,
to bathe in slumber then golden the bough,
to coax livestock birth, to bring leafy
lumin-essence to the world, to endow
pastoral wonder - our episteme
after yo-yoing was to place anew
New Year in Jan,1752.
This is a story of Autumn decay
down a quite different kind of river,
where bathers slumber the eternal way,
where cartilage wears, puddles from liver
leakage murk, death lurking latent, day
fades into day after day, life a slither
of a thread of sprayed sinew yo-yo string
where Earth spins as if a tenuous thing.
I remember a shamed false dawn, wintered
through certain fathoms during the bleakest
procession of politicians, timbered
egos and their groups of -ites, the weakest
surviving in a non-Darwin standard.
Summer’s yet to save us - curse the Tempest,
curse the architect’s refusal to break his rule,
drown his blueprint - as you utter ‘how cool!
Summer passed, we were struck by the savoir-faire,
the universally pleasant tone of C
pairing the spewed hubris some call prayer
against the more depressing tone of D
aliens use. Is that explanation fair? ’
Let the ceaseless repeating Seasons see
about that - though infinitesimal
time may pass, inexpressible…
Alexander Hawkins's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Seasonal Themes by Alexander Hawkins )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- As I Grew Older, Langston Hughes