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A Poem: Beltane on the Esopus 

All day the red and sweet butter tulips
Shouted to the split-rail fence
Keeping watch over the new grass;
Teasing and flirting with no intention
Whatsoever of mixing dirt

All day clouds were meeting and going
Interrupting the hot sun
Frogs on the far side keeping on
Churring, whistling, mating
Roiling the shallow water

All day the leather skin of winter erupted
The split-rail fence kept a straight face
Twig-ends unrolling their new wings
Like so many fresh kites
Tethered and winking

All day hopping from one to another to another
The light ones mating with the dark ones twice as big
The fat ones interrupting the dark ones
Squeezing out long bubbled egg chains
Snakes of translucent eyeballs

All day in the heat
The kingfisher flew low twice over
Interrupting the orgy
And two water snakes wove downstream
On a determined path

All day the flags of Beltane are flying
All day the wings are unfolding
The frogs are pushing madly
The water is flowing coolly
The fence is standing still.

Speaking of...

  • A poem by Nina JeckerByrne.


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