• Joanna Seldon

  • The Blossom Falls

    Standing at the centre of my gaze,


    It was there each time I glanced up from my book,

          The bright white tree.

    It beat at the very heart of the window

          With proud, independent pulse

    (For it was outside, always outside,

          And never within me).

    Loud, it mastered the hot green lawn.


            May blossom tree –

          Emblem of a lustless fertility,

    Child of cold mornings early in spring

    When pollen floats sadly about the wind’s shoulder.

    And now, whenever I looked up, unthinking,

    The vision exploded once more to my eyes –

          Arrogant in its virginity,

          Extravagant in its purity.

    Finally, transfixed there, I sat through the spell.


            I walk along the road,

            And the wind is blowing

            Blossom from the trees.

            Scraps of flickering white

            Drop noiselessly about me – 

            Sometimes singly;

            Sometimes in crowds

            They fall.

            I know that wind, I think.


    I looked out of the window suddenly.

    I noticed a very ordinary green tree

          Flecked with dry brown.

            My proud tree,

          The garden’s bright lady,

          Had been ravished


    By the blood-red tongue of time,

    Which rolls round and round

          And round in its lapping.


            I admired you,

            Poor little tree,

            When you rose alone,

            Untouched by the garden,

            The child of unsinning.

            I resented you then –

            May I say it, my friend?

              I pity you now

            As you cringe at the sky

            And wither, absorbed

            In that stretch of rich grass.

            And your sadness is mine.

              Poor little tree.