The days are lengthening. Harbingers of spring pierce through resistant soil; spikes of daffodils and early tulips mingle, tight buds sprinkle thin syringa stems. A few oak leaves linger, crisp-curled and dead, rasping in the flowerbed – but death is a stranger now. Pale hellebore blushes shyly, fern fronds prepare to unfurl. Clouds lift. The air is clear and bright. All winter I have dug hard cold ground, hoed, mulched, dreamed of growth. Now, accompanied by bird song, I plant words.
This poem was first published on The Wombwell Rainbow in February 2023. It is a variation of a masnavi (or mathnawi), a poetic form that has its origins in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish and Urdu writing.