That time of evening,
sun dropping, shadows lengthening.
Swallows, recently returned
an occasional twitter almost
sounds like happiness, like glee.
They remind me of
when I was a child, that infinite freedom,
not wanting to hear my father
calling me home from play before darkness.
Maybe half a dozen are flying
round in circles from above
our neighbour’s leafing willows and alders,
then, with complete mastery,
above the silver birch and mountain ash
lining the river bank beside our cottage;
they wheel an arc and repeat endlessly.
Sit beside me and Listen now.
How to describe silence?
Does silence have a smell?
How does contentment smell?
A coal tit calls in the distance
high pitched and insistent,
asserting his territory before he roosts.
Already the hebe bush beside us
is awash with its purple brush-like flowers;
bees and flies are lost in ecstasy
deep among them.
In the middle distance
the warm raking light of evening
on flanks of the ridge above Dereens village.
I gasp in wonder.
Each lit boulder and raised bit of hillside
is complemented by a shadow;
the aching simplicity of observed beauty.
Even the telegraph poles
are elevated this evening,
I view them now, my mind expanded,
as works of art,
the tall pale poles lit like ballerinas
arms extended against
the backcloth of God’s creation.
They could be Christ himself
crucified high in the vaulted roof
of my church in
his body incandescent,
skin glowing like ivory; like silk.
Even the occasional drone
of passing traffic transcends itself,
becomes part of the symphony,
the music of
Close by, in our land drain
the dry rasp of old straw coloured bulrush stems
makes me think of them as parchment,
their scribble and scratch
captivating in the slight breeze
rising from the south east;
which God of Nature is writing this play?:
Act One, Scene One: Spring unfolding.
Everywhere I taste beauty.
Like a guest at some fabulous banquet
where all the senses are heightened,
so that I swoon at the smell
of that blue that is Achill Sound just now,
and all the lit white cottages
along the coast road
are vanilla ice cream for my eyes.
Hold the moment.
I close my eyes and breathe deeply.
What is that odour?
What is that sound?
A lamb on the hillside calling its mother?;
a child lost in beauty?;
a bee humming in eternity?.
All of these things.
Yes, all of these.
© Mark F. Chaddock