Bright green leaves visible on the oak tree across the field. Our oaks here were brought out to Africa from Europe by the Dutch settler Simon van der Stel three centuries ago and flourish all over the Cape. The wood is not good enough for furniture or flooring because our winters are too mild and the oak does not harden. Often the trees die of stress in a hot drought-stricken summer.
There is nothing like the green of spring.
Which statement calls for a poem. Currently frazzled with work and housekeeping and budgeting and a bout of sleeplessness, but I want to celebrate spring in some way.
Love, despair, the sudden edible bright green everywhere, snails mating on a high garden walls (gleaming silver figures-of-eight).
The Silver Lily
by Louise Glück
The nights have grown cool again, like the nights
of early spring, and quiet again. Will
speech disturb you? We’re
alone now; we have no reason for silence.
Can you see, over the garden—the full moon rises.
I won’t see the next full moon.
In spring, when the moon rose, it meant
time was endless. Snowdrops
opened and closed, the clustered
seeds of the maples fell in pale drifts.
White over white, the moon rose over the birch tree.
And in the crook, where the tree divides,
leaves of the first daffodils, in moonlight
We have come too far together toward the end now
to fear the end. These nights, I am no longer even certain
I know what the end means. And you, who’ve been with a man—
after the first cries,
doesn’t joy, like fear, make no sound?