Journal Snippet: England 2018

While Sitting in the Remnants of Reading Abbey on the UK’s National Poetry Day
4 October 2018, England

Above the flint-filled ruins and
The Blade, a Red Kite
glides ‘round on thermals, never lands
or feasts within this site
of dissolution. Two Magpies, though,
pick at the only flesh on abbey’s bones:
a wall-top meadow that centuries have sown.

©2018 by JS Graustein


Poem patterned after the second stanza of Tudor-poet Henry Howard’sComplaint of the Absence of Her Love Being Upon the Sea.”

GREEN [GRÆNN]

My world turned green this week—a welcome change.
The winter’s white, while beautiful, had left
behind the brown of empty branches, mud
and rotten leaves. Two days ago, this green
enticed a woodchuck off his sunning-rock
to graze fresh grass behind my house. The deer
now come three times a day to fatten up
(their ribs are showing through their shedding coats).
I even saw a fox emerge to hunt
for rodents scurrying beneath the thatch
that’s pierced by fiddleheads and horsetails. Birch
and Quaking Aspen trees were first to leaf.
The other trees have buds about to break.
This green has sound as well as sight—at night
my wetland rings with courting frogs so loud
I hear their songs through walls and window glass.
But after half a year of silent nights,
this verdant lullaby is what I need.

©2014 JS Graustein
Meredith, New Hampshire USA

My meadow, lush on a May evening.
My meadow, lush on a May evening.