17 March 2017

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 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 old high town,
past the old dark 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
are two new 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.