1. When Summer Comes
When summer comes the fields will fill
With flowers as rich as sun itself,
The clouds won’t form around the peaks,
The streams and waterfalls will dry.
When summer comes our days are long,
Our swallows laze against the sky,
Our lakes will haze and we will swim,
We’ll live our dreams and drink our wine.
We wake and find the air has ice,
The snows retreat but still have bite,
The birdsong has an urgent force:
We wait to take a breath of sun.
Forever waiting, never here,
When summer comes the end is near.
2. Unmarked War Grave
How many layers before the skull?
You breathe the air, you touch the grass,
You scrape the earth, you search for tracks,
But rarely can you see beneath.
The silence of the mountain air
Reverberates amongst the trees.
Old shots rebound from bough to bough,
From tight-lipped year to silent air.
And if you could reveal the skull –
Dig back once more the soil and skin –
What would you find but naked bone,
Corroded name tags, wasted times?
The silence held the truth too long:
That what was gone has lingered on.
The ivy rose to touch the sky
Whilst dragging down the tree it crushed.
The castle high above the lake
Had also found a sky to touch.
The mountains seem to stand as truths,
Yet on their slopes their lies are writ.
They’re not immortal: just like us
They rise, they age, they turn to dust.
A bridge is built to span the gorge:
An enemy will burn the bridge.
The bridge will fall and find its words:
The enemy will do the same.
The world is wrapped within itself:
The opposites have tales to tell.
Behind the trees a woman waits.
Her dress is grey, the snow is late.
Her youthful dreams inspired her once,
But now they eat her from within.
She waits to meet her southern guests,
No different from the other times:
They’ll pass the café by the slopes,
They’ll walk straight on and to the slopes.
She thinks of times when this made sense:
When eyes like hers had hidden depths,
When snows in May were something rare,
When friends had love and time to share.
The snow would fall from now to June.
The southern guests would pass by soon.
5. Burja Bora
The mountain butterflies all fled
Extremes of scarring sun and storm.
The butterflies had lost their wings.
The winds so strong they tore off roofs.
The winds so strong they broke their hearts.
The mountains turned away and wept,
The leafless forests bent and cracked,
The butterflies found caves and hid.
The butterflies found caves and slept.
They spent their years in worlds of thought,
They rolled through centuries of doubt,
They let the hurricanes abate.
And when at last they crawled back out,
The skies belonged to voltine moths.