At cocktail hour when summer fails
bright colours vacate to the Mediterranean
Skies slide into leaden grey,
grumpily gunning to fulfil a bleak threat of rain,
their perfidious clouding slyly announcing
that dusk is well on its way.
Brittle twigs cling to knotted limbs.
Catatonic in the bitter air,
their scribbled criss-crosses laid bare,
bereft of the layered frock that veiled
the bland dwellings which crouch, blind-eyed
beneath my lofty window.
Spring’s brave growth crumbles to mulch,
all pride, grace and levity faded away,
its flesh consumed for future gain.
I pause mid-thought, my mind
resorting to fantasy:
might these spectral skeletons recall
to make safe hiding places for fledgling birds?
Perhaps they remember saluting the June day sun
their emerald hands swaying in celebration,
and nudged by a temperate summer wind
dancing, jiving, twirling.
Perhaps they relive
the betrayal, the brittle break,
the skittering fall.
Maybe they grieve, and yearn
the loss of green youth.
©Jane Paterson Basil
Tonight the sun set in streaky shades of subtle grey, is if it didn’t feel we were deserving of its blazing exit. As I watched it sadly fade away, I had the fanciful idea that it was saying:
“I have watched over you for eons. Without me your trees wouldn’t grow, and your first ancestor would not have been conceived. I give you life and light and health and more besides. Without me your earth would be dust, and you, not even a speck upon its infertile crust. Oceans would be frozen, mountains would not cast sharp shadow across the land. Darkness would prevail – deep darkness the like of which you have never seen.
“You need me, but I have no need of you. You clutter my view and you damage the planet, when you should be giving thanks for all that you have. You humans are forever grasping, always wanting more for yourselves, always thinking that the land you live in is yours, and like spoilt children, refusing to share. This will be your ultimate downfall.”
The sun disappeared behind the hills. Then, like an afterthought, it painted a portion of the sky in a ripe apricot shade, illuminating a wind turbine on the horizon. I gazed at the haloed wind turbine until the glow shrank and disappeared.
It felt like a last minute message of hope, and a quiet thank you for those who try to make the world a fairer place.
©Jane Paterson Basil