This sweet second of Sibylline silence
made, no prayers or predictions carried
on the wanton winds, and their promises of shade:
let us steal it all away.
Our gods are for once absent from this, our brief
though perennial paradise:
deity found circumstantially deposed
by the feathered velvety wonder
of songbirds and bumble bees and butterflies,
and the heady irreverent fragrancy
of a myriad flowers, bright and disparate and all lost
amidst a carpet of green, bright and luxuriant.
There’s but the slightest rustle of leaves
and the air hardly moves, caught between such sweetness
as their song, their busyness, the languid caress
of fluttering lights and wings, and a multitude of
vernal scents. The green orbs in the meandering boughs
— pear, plum, peach, orange, walnut, apple trees —
are but a promise of pleasure and plenty.
A glimpse of something so much greater
than you or me, our eyes, our hands.
And us mere mortals, brief too and unwise,
bow to this beauty that casts its tender spells
and thus ensnares us for all eternity.
Let’s take it all. You and me.
Let us pretend we too are gods
and live this perfect moment
for as long as it will last:
the mid-May afternoon, the stone patio
on the back of the house;
the two crumbling wicker chairs
in the dark shade of this vast canopy
of a lone Seville orange tree;
the rustling of leaves, the songs
of green finches and nightingales, the calls of blackbirds;
the chirping of a lone cricket
under the pomegranate at the back of the garden;
the light dancing on the cobbles
and the gentle sway
and shadows and time.
The sound of our voices. The glint in your eyes.
Our smiles. It’s a glimpse of paradise,
a promise of eternity
in all this beauty, this serenity
this life that we too one day
soon must leave behind.
© Nina Light
In case you’re not that sure, here’s a nightingale singing, and here is a green finch proudly displaying its vocal prowess. Here is a blackbird calling.
image credit: Edouard Manet, The garden at Bellevue