How Blessed Are We
How blessed are we to occupy this world--
to see waves visible in shifting sands,
to witness spring in tender fronds unfurled,
to sit beneath tall oaks and poplar stands.
As we watch furrows stretch across the fields
in answer to our time and toil and sweat,
anticipating fall’s uncertain yields,
we pray that Nature bends to us. And yet,
no aria nor rondo ever writ
can hope to rival birdsong’s harmony,
and sage Old Masters forge a counterfeit
when seeking to capture Earth’s majesty.
Though Nature may hold her perfection briefly,
she overtops our poor attempts completely.
Spring After the Pandemic
How blessed are we to occupy this world?
As winter’s clutch is pried from thawing banks
releasing icy rafts on eddies swirled,
we contemplate, we speculate, give thanks
that we survived to face another year,
we fold in mourning for those we have lost.
Our future is a milky clouded mirror,
a river filled with broken ice, uncrossed,
and yet, the eastern sunrise fills the sky,
trailing her rosy fingers in her wake,
the rusted maples, bending in reply,
release their sap to prove they are awake.
Just south, the geese return to nesting land,
causing waves visible in shifting sand.
Beyond the Bend
I see waves visible in shifting sands
along the river, whispering of spring;
the languid waters flow from other lands
while greening oak and ash with birdsong ring.
Without warning, motion arrests my thoughts–
a flash of white midst broken branches bare–
a carp caught belly up beneath the knots,
mouth open to take in the lethal air.
Imagine bending low, balanced; one hand
shifting deadwood alleviates the weight.
Dislodged, he turns to roll, parched gills expand,
with flash of silvered fins, he joins his mate.
Around me, leaves applaud in eddies swirled,
Spring trumpets tender thanks in fronds unfurled.
Reading the Season
We witness spring in tender fronds unfurled,
in trillium blossoms and dragonfly wings,
in wintered pockets of Queen Anne’s lace, curled,
their flowers blown, drawn tight as maids’ purse strings.
Around us, lamb’s ear strains for attention
midst bearded iris, while daylilies–bright
white trumpet faces turning toward the sun–
shade elephantine burdocks from the light.
A flash of red as cardinals pass us by,
in blooming apple trees the sparrows sing,
around us circle bee and butterfly;
the air fair vibrates with the message--SPRING!
Then I desire only book in hand,
seated beneath tall oaks and poplar stands.
Stranger in a Strange Land
Each aria and rondo ever writ-
ten was composed intending to transport
us to another world--but today, it’s
the humble redwing blackbird that I court
on the sheltered path of the cool morning.
The call and response of redwings on the bough
accompanies my musing, and, joining
the lilting conversation, I somehow
hope to mimic the tuneful high-low call
but lack an understanding of the tongue.
Do I call out a greeting, issue all
a challenge, threaten the nests of their young?
I cannot know. The fellow circling me
has dashed all hope to match his harmony.
“How Blessed Are We” was first published in Shakespeare of today, an anthology by Wingless Dreamer, 2021.
“Spring After the Pandemic” was first published in the Fall 2021 issue of Willows Wept Review. It was also included in the Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Poetry Anthology, 2021.
“Stranger in a Strange Land” was first published in the Connecticut Shakespeare Festival Poetry Anthology, 2021
Award-winning poet and educator Lynn Aprill has published work recently in Bramble, WinglessDreamer, Willows Wept Review, Quartet, and others. Channeling Matriarchs, her first chapbook with Finishing Line Press, was released in August. She resides with her husband and various dogs on 40 acres in Northeast Wisconsin.
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