A Corner Of The Courtyard

a corner of the courtyard 

The hedge gave half of its leaves

to wind and frost. What remains

is bleached pale gray

along with branches that host

a bird and a spindled view

of the garden.

 

Even the bird is a dull shade

of silver with metallic green

patching its throat

where light, chords and feathers

spasm into a song

of kaleidoscopic joy.

 

Something Shelley would call

a blithe spirit, and Wilde,

a swallow that didn’t leave

but stayed with her friend

stripping the princely statue

of his jewels and armor

to aid the poor. Molten flecks

of his gold were seen

sparkling in the winter air — and now

 

it’s my fingernails

scanning a leaf- thin fence

that draws me toward a storied world

I used to know– but have forgotten how

to inhabit. The ghost in me

has not had the impulse

to haunt or listen

3 comments

  1. The poor bird is probably wondering where the brief glimpse of spring has gone along with the best of the leaves. It is probably feeling a bit exposed.

    Like

  2. Wendy,

    I feel this poem on my skin, in my head, in my heart.
    It touches all the senses and awakens them . The last
    stanza speaks to the soul. From beginning to end,
    “A Corner of the Courtyard” is top shelf all the way.

    Like

  3. Hi Michael

    Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I deeply appreciate it. And yes, the bird probably did feel a bit exposed and maybe sang rather blithely to beckon the coming of Spring. It was a Winter garden on the verge of Spring where I spotted this creature and remembered all the fairy tales/poems I knew as child from Percy Shelley’s “Ode to a Skylark” to Oscar Wilde’s tale of the swallow that befriended a lonely gold statue through the winter months into Spring. Sometimes it’s the quaintness and the desolation of a place that haunts and invokes the best of childhood memories. Such was the case here.

    Hi Sarah

    I am so glad you could feel this one deeply! It has been revised several times since its writing about two or three years ago. This March has been a cold one by California standards and we are just beginning to leave Winter behind. This poem seemed rather appropos for the mood and climate around here. Thanks so much for your lovely commentary. I deeply appreciate it!

    My best to you both!
    Wendy

    Like

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