Way, way back in the mists of Time, somewhere between the Age of the Dinosaurs and the Early Beatles Years were the late 1950s when, in response to an English homework, I wrote my first line of poetry:
“Spring is the first season of the year”.
60 years later, I’m still at it.
Germinal: March 21st.
There’s a spring in my step, a sparkle in my eye.
Spare me half a minute and I’ll tell you just why.
I’m not the sort of bloke who yearly goes bonkers
for Autumn’s mellow yellows with chestnuts and conkers.
I might warm to the flame that fresh snow engenders
but it soon turns to slush, so I turn to “East Enders”.
I can just about cope with heat waves ‘cos they’re rare,
but not livid pink of that sun-scorched flesh bare.
With that, like today, back to March 21st.
If you’re still bearing with me, you’re over the worst,
for the gleam in my eye and the bounce in my gait
are caused by these wonders I’m about to relate:
Spring’s herald, the snow drop, first snaps into focus,
is very soon followed by gaudy, brash crocus.
Then tall, jaunty daff and self-conscious narcissus,
each nods its head skywards in frustrated kisses.
The catkins, precocious, lets dangle lambs’ tails
which toss to and fro in the blustering gales,
whilst shy pussy willows its pollen provides
to impoverished bees as they search the hedge-sides.
In neighbouring fields, frisky lambs in their pairs
bleat, run up to suckle once Mum’s checked they are hers.
It’s too soon for the round-bellied cows to give birth,
but it won’t be long now from the size of their girth.
The hawthorns are budding. There’s a faint haze of green.
Through the brown of the ploughed fields, winter corns not yet seen.
The dawn chorus is strengthened by migrants’ return,
yet deep in our hearts for the swallows we yearn.
One more week, now Spring’s here, we’ll put forward the clocks
and roll out a green carpet for vernal equinox!