May Snow

A literary critic, of which there must be a few left somewhere, would observe that this poem belongs to my early Canadian period, though polished during my middle, baroque Berkeley years. 

She might also note its free-form slant rhyme. After a jarring play on words in the first line, it sets forth, she could write, a poetry of correspondances in which outer phenomena fuse with inner mental states, a storm with memory, nature with noumena.

The pith of this poem sprung to me in a flash. The hard poetical work subsequently entailed will preserve it longer, I trust, than that snowflake which floated onto an eyelash then quickly melted away. 


Call it Indian winter.
A sudden storm in spring
has weighed the green boughs down,
buried young shoots under.
A crust crushes
the growing germ.

 Call it memory,
iridescent flashes
blown off laden branches,
a flush of sun
which limns the ashes.

Where there was a clump
of grass, emeralds
glitter in the slush.
For the instant it lasts
a flake glints on my lashes.