The Beacon of May

Garden5-31-10 004In May, the leaves of the redbud beckon
me from the window where I look
Instead of being
“Beckon” comes from an Old English word
Meaning “beacon.”

May is a beacon with its multiple layers
Of green and delicate white,
Its insistence on the words
Coax, tempt, tantalize, allure, beguile,
Its need to be better than
Every other month,
To shine brighter,
To achieve the pinnacle
In the calendar that Pope Gregory
Arranged for us when Caesar’s failed
To keep track with the actual days.

May: Your first level of meaning is to
Motion, wave, gesture, bid, nod,
Yet I know you are more than that,
Thus the second row of verbs
That more accurately describe
The marker you have placed
In the book of days of my life.

–Shaun Perkins





Listen to May

spiderwortThe cruelty of April which lingers
In a late deadening frost, in the fragile
Breaking of stem, the flood that uproots,
Is finally no match for that herald
Of warm wildflower season—May.

May says to you, Wind this bright ribbon
Around the pole, hang this flower basket
From your neighbor’s doorknob, toast
Your mother’s life and remember the dead,
Celebrate cinco-style all birth and burial. Continue reading “Listen to May”