Where did my resolve go?
I was a helium balloon
Aiming for the stratosphere
Now, I'm filled with faded hot air
A string walks me like a dog along the earth's surface
Languidly bumping over every clod.
My tether to the earth
Fades as noon approaches,
I wobble toward the Gardens
To find myself.
Absorbs the light.
Wambling through the bamboo grove
I enter into the gloaming.
Imprisons the light
Calms the air
In muffled mystery
Shadows muted anticipate
Yielding to light
Irrepressible living memory
Of a long ago eclipse.
Emerging from bamboo to still pond
A flea from furry forest finds a dog's nose
At the water's edge,
I bobble over the Chinese red bridge.
Raindrops fracture and shatter white
Before disappearing into a steel water sky
Under my big pink umbrella
Tears splatter and merge into drizzle
Until a Black-necked Swan glides toward me.
Silent paddling feet carry him with imperial grace
Snow-white breast cuts a V through the water
He motors straight toward me
Tilting his head to the side
Slant eye meets mine
His royal airs disintegrate
Into a chortle.
The chaotic mass of his right red schnoz
Makes me giggle
Shattered by a clown nose.
He paddles on
With regal satisfaction
I lose my string
Regain my feet upon the earth.
Crossing a meadow
Clogs smack and pull to
Resist the suction
Mud tows me deep into wet grass
Torso, arms and neck
Sway to counterbalance
Lurching swamp thing
Beneath a pink umbrella.
My eyes troll across the landscape
They latch onto
My favorite little bridge
An upside down parabola
A magnet that draws me toward the rivulet
Where a Great Blue
Dressed to the nines
A suave beau in tails
He sports a dagger bill
And Salvador Dali's moustache slicked over his head
In a Manchu queue
Diaphanous white trim overlays blue slate
Casually fishing to pass the time
One eye out for milady
At the ballroom entrance.
Behind a golden-brown tangle of Viburnum,
A pink mushroom,
Ready to enjoy the spectacle
A fluttering beckons
just this side of the Doghobble
Blowing a farewell kiss
To the stealthy blue suitor,
I peer through interwoven brambles,
Past cross critch hatching hooligans
Thorns and bluster
Smooth arching bark and gentle curves
No sparrow, but a warbler,
A flit flutter deft dodger
Playing in the tangled maze of branches
Onto one, bowed to the ground
In sleepy winter repose,
And looks at me
From sideways silhouette
With a playful turn of head:
A cheeky echo of the swan.
Brightens the gloam to silver mist
Lowering my umbrella
I head for home.
Past apricots in pink-tuft flower as
Fuzzy witch hazel buds unsheathe and
Silver button heads curl down
Seething to burst into blossom.
Augurs of Spring
All on a January afternoon.
You can read more of Ms. Moffatt's work on her website at pcmoffatt.com
Black-headed swan, Great Blue Heron, Prothonotary Warbler
Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons