The Dawning of Spring

Barn swallow

Barn swallow preparing to build her nest. Photo ©Sean Arthur Joyce

INTRODUCTION: With the coronavirus panic and the ensuing global lockdown forcing us into social isolation—with its own set of risks to our wellbeing—I wanted to post something hopeful. When I say hope, I don’t mean the kind of fake, wishy-washy hopefulness exploited by politicians but the sustaining quality we find in Nature itself, the root and ground of our being. I’ve always found poetry to be a balm to the spirit during times of personal or political crisis, so I’m posting an old poem I published in the collection The Charlatans of Paradise in 2005, titled ‘The Sainted Bluebells.’ One good thing we can take from all this is the opportunity to get back out into the outdoors—to walk, cycle, paddle and breathe the fresh air if we have access to it, dip our hands in clean, clear water, and listen to the songs of the birds welcoming Earth’s rebirth.

The Sainted Bluebells

This is the hour

the sky opens her mothering face,

pale shoots yawn and stretch

awake, and no black spirit

fouls any feathered nest.


The chickadee sings

his simple chant—Spring’s here,

spring’s here! And bluebells

announce their sainthood

in quiet flocks.


Crow watches me

with one eye on her nestlings,

done for now with prophecy

and eager to feed hungry mouths

hard-won wisdom.


This tribulation too,

shall pass. That winged voices

still whistle their healing songs

is blessing enough,

for today.


©2003, 2020 Sean Arthur Joyce


About seanarthurjoyce

I am a poet, journalist and author with a strong commitment to the environment and social justice. If anything, I have too many interests and too little time in a day to pursue them all. Film, poetry, literature, music, mythology, and history probably top the list. My musical interests lie firmly in rock and blues with a smattering of folk and world music. I consider myself lucky to have lived during the great flowering of modern rock music during its Golden Age in the late 1960s/early '70s. In poetry my major inspirations are Dylan Thomas, Rilke, Neruda and the early 20th century British/American poets: Auden, Eliot, Cummings. My preferred cinema includes the great French auteurs, Kirosawa, Orson Welles, and Film Noir. My preferred social causes are too numerous to mention but include banning GMOs, eliminating poverty (ha-ha), and a sane approach to forest conservation and resource extraction. Wish me—wish us all—luck on that one!
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