Now five have come to dine
off the steady banquet of pink geranium;
the only sound is the whir of their wings.
Soon it will be autumn.
One is a window washer on scaffolding;
it pauses as though to sigh
before cleaning the next section.
But something, as always,
will abruptly reel up the ropes of summer.
from Come Now to the Window
© Laurel Poetry Collective 2003
This collection is unavailable in the UK, but take a look at the Laurel Poetry Collective site, above, and check The Book Depository for her recent collection, Definite Space : Poems (Holy Cow! Press 2007)
We all find signs in our lives. Ann Iverson understands that summer will end soon when she watches the hummingbirds. I like the way she parallels the actions of one bird with that of a window cleaner, and that comparison leads us into the wonderful metaphor that closes the poem. And isn’t the line break after sigh/ just so good? We also pause for breath to before moving on to the next section. I also admire the way the poem 'diminishes' in size, from a four line stanza, to three lines, to a closing couplet, so the form itself suggests a drawing to a close.
Can you write a poem that parallels the world of flora or fauna with the human experience, and which also marks or explores the end of something? It doesn’t have to be a season. It could be a relationship, a journey, a way of thinking… there are endless possibilities.
I look forward to reading your insights.