May Light


Photo: Sara, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

As I wrote here back in November:

Two years ago I had this idea that each month of the year shone with its own unique quality of light, and that I should write a twelve-poem cycle that would capture those qualities. Until yesterday, I had managed to write one–for August.

Now I have finished a third, for May, sliding in just under the month-end deadline.

May Light

There are only two seasons in the North Country
winter and not-winter. April was cruel as usual,
arbitrary, fickle, indecisive—unable to pick a side—
until May delivered what April only pretended.

You drowse away through the dawn chorus,
but when you do rise it’s already full light,
so bright you squint out the kitchen window
waiting for the coffee to filter through.

What began as a yellow-green haze softening
the black outlines of the maple’s branches
has popped a green so lurid you would call it
“not found in nature” but for the plain evidence.

And the air is a fresh rain-washed blue, so clear
the distant hills will be sharp at the horizon.
A confection of cumulus dots the sky, still cool,
but on the short-sleeves side of cool, for once.

So you step out into the sweet scent of lilacs,
into the swell of bee buzz and bird song
to lever your sluggish bones behind the wheel.
A little apple petal twister follows you down the road.


7 Comments on “May Light”

  1. Helene vanderburgh says:

    Love this, Dale. You have expressed beautifully this special place where we are blessed to live

  2. Terry says:

    Really nice, Dale! You captured May and the best place on the planet beautifully!!
    Keep up the good work at NCPR!

  3. Evelyn Saphier says:

    Love it, Dale! Are the others all in once place to be read?

  4. Dale Hobson says:

    Thanks Evelyn. They aren’t collected any where yet, but you can find the other two in the series by following the links at the top of the post.

  5. Lila Hunnewell says:

    I loved the “feel” of your poem, and how you captured the essence of May! Would love to see your first two poems also.
    Lila Hunnewell (Canton, NY)

  6. John Scarlett says:

    For the life of me I cannot figure out what is the subject of that photo–dead ducks?

  7. ncpradmin says:

    Hi John–

    It’s a Rorschach test. If you see dead ducks floating on the water, your winter was way too long. If you see a drift of apple petals on the pavement, you’re going to be OK.


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