The Running of Spring


In just two weeks, the greening ghyll

Hides naked shame in mystery,  

The bluebells darken, the chestnut shakes its spears,  

the butterburr is over and bees visit the comfrey.   


In just two weeks, the screaming swifts

claim the skies, blackcaps chatter

in the leaves and the cuckoo returns

slack-winged to the windy walls.   


In just two weeks, the red faced blots

Of soot, that raced across the pond   

And piped insistently for roots,  

Have grown to police their conscientious plots.     


In just two weeks, the sulphur grey wagtail

brings no more flies to the demanding moss,

But shows his shorter tailed charges how

To hawk by the falling water.     


In just two weeks, the newborn lambs

Shivering on their fragile heights,  

Run in their grassy gangs, bleat with glee 

And butt their last-drop ewes.


And in just two weeks,  my dear mother who

Long nursed her loneliness in querulous complaint,

Has left her anxious quests and floated free, her mind    

Abandoned in a bed boat of intensive care.