Summer poem

Fireweed/Rose Bay Willow Herb, Epilobium angustifolium, Randers, Denmark

(Nikon D700, Nikkor VR 70-200/2,8 II, iso 200, handheld)

Spires of the fireweed

Spires of the fireweed on the fretted sky –
Tints of magenta on tranquility,
Do you feel nurture for the life within,
The burst of bloom that yields your progeny.
Do you have sense of flowering’s fleeting glow,
Bearing its part in continuity
To charge the seed and rip its casing wall
And float its fluff upon the autumn wind?

Spires of the churches in the English dales,
Or on the dusted hill of Aragon,
Do you point hopeful at a Godless sky,
With upward fingers of futility?
Or when with black you spike the sunset’s dream,
Are you a marker in our wanderings,
Or but a perch to tempt the homeward rook,
Or rest the vulture from its scavaging?

Spires of the bayonets in the armoury,
Bloodless you stand in cold virginity,
Do you long now to feel the tearing flesh,
And gush the bloody wastage from the wound?
Or are you neutral to the world’s affray,
Rocks of the shipwrecked and the gull’s retreat,
Scathed of emotion as the scattered stars,
Guiltless of love and innocent of strife? Ian Emberson

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