Not long after first light today,
I fell in love with the trees
at the top of my garden.
They did not ask it of me,
but when I looked up at their canopy
and noticed that the green of their leaves
had outdone the blue of the sky,
I couldn’t help myself.
And, a little later, when I sat outside with a book –
allowing myself a moment to gaze upon my beloved trees
before I set about the task of reading –
I fell in love with the butterfly
who landed on the gravel in between
two slabs of paving stone just by my feet.
The colours on its fragile wings
seemed like a rebuke to the grey clouds of yesterday.
‘I couldn’t agree more,’ I said to the blues and the reds,
the oranges and the browns.
A lively passage of birdsong interrupted
my reading of a poem about the madding wind,
and I fell in love with these wild melodies,
as I caught them travelling through the air
in unison with the conversation of the trees.
‘But listen,’ said the trees, ‘you have it wrong.
It isn’t us trees, or that butterfly,
or the untamed birdsong which you are in love with,
but the whole of spring.’
I looked about and saw it all – the whole of spring –
here in this small suburban garden
in the south of Brum,
and allowed myself a little peace of mind.
(This poem was a commission from Poetry On Loan. You can watch me recite it here: The Whole of Spring)