Saturday, 30 March 2019

SPRING EQUINOX: A poem for my niece's wedding

Last week my niece got married in Miami, and at the reception, taking a break from the dancing to music of a newer generation, I sat thinking and some moments from the past week put themselves into my mind. I picked up my place-card and on the back wrote a few lines, then sat for a while playing with them and thinking it through. What I was thinking about was the spring equinox, looking for the super-moon a couple of days before in Key Largo. I was thinking about Magnolia Warblers, and their migration, discovered in those few days in the Keys and Everglades. I was thinking about W.S. Merwin, whose obituary I had just written for the Guardian, as you will see just below. And of course the lovely wedding we had just witnessed. It all came together rather quickly, and after a few more days of thinking and tinkering, this is what I finished. I wrote it without punctuation, perhaps in homage to Merwin, but the unseen punctuation seemed self-evident, so I put some of it back. 

                                      for Julia, Donald & Camilla

Mark that momentary loss of a sense of direction:
magnolia warblers circle, midway through their migration
while we pass the sun's centre, spinning station to station
seeking signs of devotion, stopping short of salvation

Miami, 23.3.19

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