I walk by a spirit-flowing river, Saraswati’s child
By life-surrounding life-affirming plants
Greeting each one
A kiss here, a stroke there,
As each week moves the hands of the cycle around
More old friends return in at their appointed time
Catkins and pussy-willow
Fruit trees bringing bees to life
But always a word with Great Uncle Walnut
The crowd of football-chanting dandelions has
In its turn, grown silent and ghostly, floaty
Hoarse perhaps from shouting.
They send me confetti
For joining in their songs with laughter.
The catkins now are set, the hazel crop will thrive
So I bless each tiny foetal nut, squirrel-destined
Finally Great-Uncle Walnut
Growing tired of patience
Hurls his own, thumping great catkin in my face
I put my hands upon his trunk to murmur thanks
But am shaken off as if by gnarled and irritable hands
Love all, the pretty, posy-small
But love also the ugly, old and bent
Pocketing my walnut gift, I kiss him gently.