Three Spring Scenes


Blackthorn ectoplasm

with muted daffodil trumpets

gone green in morning fog beard


the shadow of a hovering bee

on my bare chest


a meat crow above a grey gutter


Published in The Seventh Quarry 18


6 thoughts on “Three Spring Scenes

  1. Hello Paul
    I missed you when you came down to the Pembroke area earlier this summer. I liked this poem. I had to pick out the three spring scenes, but that’s a good thing because it makes you read deeper into the poem, from asking myself what are you saying in this poem. The first couple of times i read it i found the entry into it abrupt and even brutal but once you get past that ‘the shadow of a hovering bee/on my bare chest’ is for me a calming image because it makes me think of sunbathing in my back garden (which i love to do!); and ‘the meat crow’ (is it a different way of saying ‘carrion crow’?) ‘pointing’ made me think it was pointing accusatively at me (as i was reclining? being lazy? feeling guilty?) – but on reflection i thought it could just as well be pointing at something else (in another direction for example)(so my own reaction is just my stuff). (Because of course traditionally the image of the crow symbolizes dark forces.) So i’ve learned something about myself and my own reality from reading your poem: which i think is the purpose of art. I think that’s the mark of a good poem – different people get different things from it at different levels. I like the economy of your style; and the sparseness of the images and the structures you use gives me, the reader, licence to allow your poems to mean to me what they will (rather than the poet telling the reader what the image and the signficance is, for exanmple). So, thanks!

  2. Hi Lei, many thanks for your feedback. I’m glad this poem struck a chord with you. The “meat crow” is derived from the Welsh word for raven-cigfran-“meat crow”. Yes, my poetry is often brutal and mostly curt. I tend not to hang around and am not always sure what my poems actually mean which can be a discomfort when doing a reading! I prefer the reader to derive their own meaning from the words as you indicate. Best wishes, Paul

    1. Hello Paul

      I’ve thought for ages about posting my own poetry online but i am paranoid about copyright infringement. How do you do it? I like the look of this type of WordPress blog so this is the kind of format i would like – very simple, nothing fancy. That you don’t hang around when you write – that’s good; today for example i heard a reading on the radio of Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘Mussel Hunter at Rock Harbor’ and about half way through i got annoyed with her rambling but in the end the poem upset me because…well, it’s Plath isn’t it…and she can be so gloomy…. I’ve only very recently come across your work through a local flyer but i really connect with it. Odd to hear of a poet who isn’t always sure what their poems mean but then they are our children and we don’t always understand our children do we lol.

      1. Hi Lei, copyright infringement is always an issue especially online. Have you had a look at the Literature Wales website? They offer good advices to writers. I am quite relaxed about it but probably wouldn’t be if I knew that my work was being ascribed to another. I have the somewhat jaded view that almost everything we create these days is recycled. Indeed I have “written” a poem entirely compromising of the words of various journalists with this view in mind. My advice about a poetry blog for you-go for it. I don’t put much on my blog but find it stimulating, encouraging and rewarding getting feedback from people like you. My first book drew a comparison with Plath-they said it was “civilian war poetry”! My second book, currently entitled The Trigger-Happiness, will feature some abstract observations, almost nonsensical and thus devoid of meaning. At the present time I am interested in the tension of juxtaposition and the beauty of words and sequences of words for the sake of that beauty rather than comprehension. Makes live reading feel like arm-wrestling for me but that’s what I’m about though I need to break into a new vein of writing for no reason other than not hanging around. If I can get two books out my life’s work is done. Let me know how you get on and thanks again…

  3. Hell Paul

    So i’ll have a go then. I’ve read the Literature Wales ebsite. So what am i worrying about: everythig is derivative of everything else (how very postmodern!).

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