Spring Poems

By Matthew James Friday

William Blake at Felpham, West Sussex

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

From ‘Auguries of Innocence’, 1803

An unfurled question mark 
answers the point where infinity begins.  
Standing on the beach at Felpham, 
studying the way the sea scars the horizon,
clouds pouring out in smoky angles,
cracks creating all kinds of illuminations; 
shafting bolts of light and gloom. 

No wonder Blake stood here 
and thought the sea was talking to him,
tongues of sunlight and wind and cloud 
fluttering through his mind. Here 
at this unremarkable, passable place
where Human and Nature face each other, 
taking turns to question and yawn,

the world turning under you, tides tugging 
at that grander part that belongs
to something renewed every day, before
being, waves pounding, reeling 
back again, a swell and releasing gift
unknown in its giving. Gulls cry you 
back to when you saw worlds in the sand,

an eternity of assembling castles by hand,
then the cheering grief of waves taking
away your creation. Here is the heavenly 
line drawn between times, stretched beyond, 
suggested in the shallowest of curves. 
The future remains uncertain, questionable  
For now the horizon is enough.

When The Flowers Return

Those first snowdrops spearing coyly,
the speckled smiles of daisies, winks 
of colour on leaf-laden forest floors.

Seeing them you are suddenly relieved
of your guilt: the thought that empty
fields will harden, deadened skies

be your last mirror, the spindly creak
of declining conversation, no summer
to talk of. You can be rejuvenated again

and pretend Nature does this for you,
that your witness is what gives worth,
that a poem is what spring needs.

Universal Knots

This is a struggle worthy of any split atom.

You’ve probably forgotten
how many fingers you needed,
how many hours of quantum patience
lost looping those string universes
around each other 
only to end up entangled.

It’s a bit tricky, says a Kindergarten girl
and then she almost gives up.
Luckily, Mom is there to keep
the orbs moving: nearly there!

For what galactically important purpose?
So you could wear tied shoes?
You never asked your gods for that.
So Mom or Dad would stop stooping down
to your level, enter your orbit.
Who wants to grow up?

A Kindergarten boy starts with one shoe
and starts to bow the skill
around the black holes of immature
fingers. Getting there, says Mom.

Einstein had to learn.
Here is E=MC2 perseverance.

Both Moms ask their stars
how is it going?
Thumbs up, Milky Way grins.
Optimism, the gravity of learning. 

Matthew James Friday has had poems published in numerous international magazines and journals, including, recently: All the Sins (UK), The Blue Nib (Ireland), Acta Victoriana (Canada), and Into the Void (Canada). The mini-chapbooks All the Ways to Love, Waters of Oregon and The Words Unsaid were published by the Origami Poems Project (USA).



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