Too Vibrant for Verse
Just back from a sunset saunter through a green and golden sea: the meadowland behind our house. Half way round I realised that its splendour was beyond capture, as so often with nature: that no poem – no words, picture, film, music, dance – nothing could catch and contain it. It wasn’t for capture; it was for flying free.
Yet here I am, trying to do something about it, almost before the back door has shut behind me. No poem though.
A poem, or any written description, would leave out the sound and feel of the soft, warm breeze curling round my cheeks, cooing in my ears; a photo would freeze the rolling ripples of high young grasses; a video would leave out their feathery feel on my ankles, and the honeyed smoothness of the air down my throat; it would miss the haunting hum-hum-hum of the oaktrees along the brim of the hill too; and nothing could record the shouting of those buttercups!
What were they saying, those buttercups? Nodding, bowing, rolling their bedazzled faces at me from their tall, tipping shoots, they seemed to be yelling at the tops of their yellow voices. “We’re alive!” they seemed to be screaming and laughing, as they sailed the summer tide.
I found myself mentally shouting back, or – I don’t know – singing, calling, sighing, all sorts – to the beat of my treading shoes. But my words were too idiotic and inadequate to admit to here: I just didn’t have the vocabulary to match.
The sun, dipping behind that humming treeline, slipped into magenta, and the sky lowered its tone. As I strode home down the hill, the buttercups piped down: dropped their dazzle, sank their heads down with the sinking breeze, let darkness take over for a few hours before their next May dance.
Perhaps someone else could do justice to those fields as they were then, whether with pen, crayon, camcorder, or concert, but it’s beyond me. Still, I’m going back up there tomorrow evening with a camera: it’s human nature to try to catch and keep.
Here they are next afternoon, still fabulous, but lacking that twilight, breeze-swept, magic.