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MICHAEL KEITH

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Goose summer, Whareroa Farm

in memory of FSK

 

Today we dawdle up the north-east valley track,

inclined together on the edge of sun and shade.

Late April, and decline – the year’s and yours – feels gentle

in this spread of after-season summer.

 

The sky is crazed with gossamer.

We might not have noticed if we hadn’t paused

to lounge against the bank,

seen against the light

the stream of spun filaments.

 

You brush your nose,

peer down at your jacket,

say, ‘Hello, little struggler.’

 

Warmth and slow-moving air

have sprung a rush

of spiderlings

– summer’s last brood

scramble from their scrub nurseries to an

outermost leaf, twig, prickle of gorse

 

to let down

their virgin silk

which

lifts on a draught

upends them

hauls them aloft

balloons them up-valley.

 

Gossamer, goose summer, go-summer –

the words drift through centuries from another hemisphere

carrying the marvel of those who laid a name

on what they saw, perhaps when looking up from

plucking fattened geese at Martinmas.

 

I see you, my love,

sitting against a sun-warmed wall,

down-flecked hands at rest in your lap,

dreamily watch the tassels of a

gossamer go-summer day

thicken the air

 

as if Earth is moulting summer hair

as if a harvest of fresh souls

has lit a shining path.

 

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