Maybe it's the sunshine on my face as I sit out there mid-day and contemplate. Or, perhaps it's the refreshing scenery of youth in Spring that calls upon the dusty corners of my memory for those stored-away relics of my own childhood.
And for that reason, I've been seeking out poetry about Spring days and sunshine. Of freedom and innocence. And whatever little pieces of words that aid me in new-found happiness. This all ties in well with my read of the week The Sun on Your Shoulder by John Haines as it appears in Poetry Daily.
The Word List:
Honestly, when I was eight-years-old, I'd spend evenings on fluffy towels or fleece blankets (whichever I could steal from the linen closet without my mother knowing, although later the grass stains always gave me away) spread across the grass. I'd surround myself with storybooks and my favorite Barbie dolls and seriously just imagine and read myself into too many other worlds to even count, returning home only for a cold glass of lemonade or fruit that wouldn't perish in the heat. I'm sure I've spent partial summers beneath huge, sprawling oak leaves with enough shade to sustain me in even the sweatiest of heat.
We lived way out inside a paradise of country (as I grew older I couldn't wait to escape but these days I really just long to return) so there were no worries about speeding cars or strange people. Children were perfectly safe to roam the hills and pretend until moonlight guided them home well past 8pm. I suppose this poem is just tiny glimpse into the world I miss so much these days, what with technology and how impersonal everyone has became.
Technological advancements are miraculous but I really am missing those old country stores where homely old ladies were always friendly. I miss neighbors who said hello. I miss people who cared enough to stop by or call, rather than gloss their social media pages of some half-truth. The older I get, the less I concern myself with perfections. I am not impressed by material things. I am searching for soul, for a certain, precious sense of innocence that this world has lost. The world inside this poem:
A Place Where the Sun Still Shines
Certain moments live on
Inside your limbs long after
Time has swung her shiny-handed
Pendulum across seconds spent.
Like the memory of early-spring days
When shade gave way
To the greenest country grass,
Each underside a dull blade
Across the eight-year-old fingers
Of my yesterday, how the
Symphony of each weed-stalk
Blew its own song into the breeze:
A bed to lay my head upon,
A book atop my knees.
The heartbeat of my childhood
Rested the breast of itself
Across cloverhead, danced the
Early-life of myself through the
Twilight cloud of dandelion seed,
A magical nature-stage marked of
A fading evening sun and the silent,
Arrowy call of a red-breasted robin
And sparrow talk; the rustle of
Freshly-blooming leaves was the
Only language spoken against
The fine-tuned tone of Spring-water
Against a hill of rock, carved of time
Between the granite hills where
My Native American ancestors
Once bathed and played and had
Their season in the sun, the shape
Of their strong hands still embeddedIn the stone where I laid my own.