May day morning (2009) for Carol Ann Duffy

May Day Morning – for Carol Ann Duffy


May Day morning, and a new laureate springs into being.


I walk in the woods, with the dogs, wind tailed and mischievous.

The leaf moulded track is

giddy with wild garlic, fat with bluebells, littered by birdsong.


As I walk, I think of poets, old and new,

and, of course, of you.


The dogs are frantic now, madly squirrel chasing, hunting imagined foes.

My mind turns to May Day,

the pagan carousel,

whirling around the Maypole,dizzily celebrating spring.


So much, so many, danced before.

And my mantra, my spring song

shifts to a chant of honour

for those I have loved, who

gather the cherry blossom

eternally, and elsewhere.

For them, this, a May Day prayer.


Back to the bursting, bubbling stream, Welsh water leaping and twisting

over moss topped rock,

The dogs, boldly swimming.

A dipper bobs a greeting, a woodland, May Day meeting.


2 old cottages lichened and retreating.

Slate cutters, shepherds.

Who might have danced there,

footsteps fleeting

Canopied in the cavelike greenwood?

I hope there were revels then,

As now, and hopefully will be, again.


The dogs, dragging now, homeward bound.

Not necessarily, their favourite command.

But I need to spring to you,

Leave behind the drifting bluebells,

the pink flushed forest carpet.

Home to you, intoxicated beyond all reason.

Home to you, my May Day Queen,

cherished, ever adored.


beyond, this fabled season.


3 Comments on “May day morning (2009) for Carol Ann Duffy”

  1. stew1e says:

    What a joyous, Spring-like, celebratory poem!


  2. Deborah says:

    Your poetry gets better and better. I felt that I was there walking with you. Your description is beautiful and the dogs playful activity throughout adds to the sense of joy. Well done!


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