25 January 2013

March Hares

March Hares

I met an old man in my wanderings,
with thin grey hair and pale aged eyes,
who smiled at me as we passed
through the kissing gate at the end
of the path down from the high town.
By his side a dog of indiscriminate
parentage, brown inquisitive face,
ragged ears, eyes as dark and deep
as the waves which caress the old jetty.
His nose pushed into my hand, he
bestowed wet kisses on my fingers.
“Privileged creatures dogs -  further
than a mere man would dare go
with a stranger.” his master said.
He blew me a kiss and went away
whistling a sad haunting tune,
but his step was brisk and the set
of his head that of a happy man.

On a bank at the edge of a field
newly greened beneath the wall
of the old town, two hares boxed
on the March snow dusted turf.
They circled, hind legs erect,
feet en demi point, long ears
akimbo, front legs curved high
into the sky, two peasant dancers
in a dizzy rural pas de deux
whirling, bobbing, wheeling,
then subdued he bowed to her,
and docile followed after her.
I watched them, two brown
snowflakes, Eostre’s children
who melted away invisible
among the old trees, their once
exuberant presence marked
only by faint tracks in the snow.

I stood at the open graveside
where the old man lay in his coffin,
his small brown dog beside me
long nose resting on brown paws.
‘Eternal rest grant unto him
Light perpetual shine upon him’
The dog, sighing, licked my hand.
Together we walked the path
down from the high town,
past the old forest where
young leverets sleep and play
and white wood anemones bloom.
On to the beach amongst the
blue sea holly and grey leafed kale,
two Mad March Hares running
headlong into the new spring sun.

Brown Dog barks, and chases
a flock of teetering sandpipers,
while I hold up my arms to
radiant Phoebus, dazzling symbol
of Love and Light come again.

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