petals brighten
her grey hair-
another spring

Nathalie Buckland


The association of grey hair and the vigour of life so apparent in spring is especially touching. There is a lovely sense of gladness here as well as an obvious appreciation of the preciousness of life. It is evident that the poet is deeply attuned to the seasons and grateful for another spring. This is all best said in the poet’s own illuminating words, “this one I wrote after gardening, catching my reflection in a window and laughing to see the scatter of petals from a pear tree decorating my hair. It was a joyous moment. As I get older, more grey in my hair, each Spring has a special poignance. The earth constantly renews itself as I inexorably age.” Perhaps there is an element here of the paradisiacal, the blossoms of spring signifying newness and life, a liberating return to purity and innocence. I am reminded of the almost magical childhood pleasure in making daisy chains and recall as well the carefree days of idealistic youth “wearing flowers in their hair.” Sometimes my teenage children ask me what it was like “back in my day” and that is my cue to remind them that this is still my day and if they are inclined to push the issue (in their humorous way), I inform them that the three most energetic and productive people I know are over seventy. Further in our email exchange the author shares, “writing haiku helps me to live in the moment” – ah, the timeless present; indeed many of us learn to live more fully than ever in our older age. To every age there is a season and old age has its spring as well . . .  “catching my reflection in a window and laughing to see the scatter of petals”  . . .   petals of light.

First published: Wild Plum 3:1 Spring & Summer 2017

Selection & comments by Simon Hanson

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