The Thinking Poet


Stripping Lavender

We strip lavender from dry stalks,

Each grain at its ripening once mauled by some bloated bee.

Then, the heat-burdened sun heaved itself up over Grange Farm,

Poised for its high-arched ride;

Later, much later, it would settle, tired, behind Uplandsí pines

That flamed with fading fury till eleven.

Now those pines are lashed,

Leaves wither,

Stubble awaits the plough.

At autumn equinox, long shadows spread by six.

Bent at our silent task

I stop my shuttle-motion for a while,

Raise blackened fingers to my face,

Draw breath deeply, and live the moment in the garden

With bee-drone and butterfly-flutter,

Hear a blackbirdís startled stutter,

The mutter of a distant mowing machine wafting through still, warm air.

And way up, and all around, a lavender-sky,

And the fragrance of a promise: nothing dies.