Tuesday, 6 October 2009


“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” - Rainer Maria Rilke

Finally got home at 1:30 am this morning after delays with connecting flights and delayed baggage deliveries. The time difference (Melbourne is three hours ahead of Singapore) helped with the late night, but it was harder to wake in the morning. Consequently, I was late into work, getting in there at about 9:00 am, instead of my usual 7:15 am. The weather here was cold and wet and the crispness in the air was a welcome relief from the tropical sogginess of Singapore…

The garden has started to bloom in earnest now and the irises, primulas, roses and jasmine are beginning to look glorious. Our native frangipani, Hymenosporum flavum in the front yard is in full bloom and the delicious fragrance of the blooms was a welcome in the darkness of the night as I turned the key in the front door. The grey skies this morning, the wet streets and the cold, crisp air triggered in my mind some memories. Passing by the Melbourne cemetery in the morning also may have helped in inspiring this poem that was jotted down on a paper bag, to be transferred here tonight.

Spring Funeral

Spring wakes deep in earth the sodden seeds
Making more acute my pressing needs;
The rain that gently falls will wash me clean
No more my painful memories will I glean.

I loved you such a long time ago
And yet I chose dreams to forego.

The greenwood leaves unfurl and open fresh
The breeze still cool, tempers my burning flesh;
Desires, passions, loves I bury deep in earth
Path chosen, heart dies, mind more is worth.

I loved you such a long time ago
But now allegro turns to largo.

As flowers fresh are laid by a new dug grave
All your thinly disguised betrayals I forgave;
The falling night will usher in the stars
Silence – except for mournful cries of nightjars.

I loved you such a long time ago
Now where to turn? To whom to go?

Jacqui BB is hosting Poetry Wednesday


  1. This poem is beautiful. It really spoke to my heart.

    And why is it that all your connections are missed or delayed on the flight home when you are tired and just want to be back in your own bed?

  2. 'I loved you such a long time ago and yet I chose dreams to forego'.
    Oh, how I relate to Rilke here. So, so beautifully said with a wry twist that only the price paid of enlightenment gained through loss can bring the poet to such terse contemplation. A trick of life, that. Sigh.

  3. A sad thoughtful poem. I often think about the 'path chosen'. It makes all the difference.

    Your garden sounds just wonderful and I love hearing about it as ours are dying down now. Last night we had our first freeze, so not much survived. I'm planting many bulbs for spring which I think is the ultimate expression of hope - putting orbs in the ground just as the frost hits anticipating that warm seasons will return.

  4. How beautiful, yet how sad. Like Shelley said our sweetest poems are those that tell of saddest thoughts, or something like that.
    The haunting memory of our first love, especially if it long ago and unreturned will keep coming back and cause us to remember what hells we lived through. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Fresh as a new beginning is the feeling of this poem. Like all your memories tied up and packaged and tied with a scarlet ribbon and laid to rest. Beautifully said.