Summer Solstice

June 20, 2012

watercolor by Barbara Spring

Summer Solstice

Birds notes of all colors tumble

through the foggy air

and I can’t sleep.

Flowing notes are small colored stones

cascading all through

the foggy dawn.

On the longest day of the year

I wanted to snooze

but sleep eludes.

A parliament of finches sings

a gang of robins

two cardinals drop

their cherry ripe notes into the

doppelganger fog

that magnifies

every jubilant trilling.

Rose breasted grosbeaks

calling catbirds

towhees, wrens, swallows bend their

twittering love songs


through morning air—gentle doves

mourn while blue jays

jeer rude blue notes.

Summer solstice jolts me awake—

blazons summer on songbird hinges.

excerpted from The Wilderness Within

by Barbara Spring

Here is a review of the Wilderness Within by Chesil:

PW Review

You don’t have to read too far  into Barbara Spring’s poetry collection, “The Wilderness Within”, to see the  common theme that threads through her poetic vision. Nature has always been a  powerful inspiration to poets and there is an exceptional understanding and love  of the natural world expressed in these poems and essays.


I have always believed that one  of the best ways to identify a formidable poet is their use of strong words,  powerful words. No fear of such words here: battering and beat, both words of  considerable power appear in the first poem, Bear Woman. Strong words bring  strong images and it becomes possible to see into Barbara’s vision of nature  that is loving without being sugar coated. She sees the reality, the threats  that face this world she loves so much. Don’t mistake me, these are not protest  poems, there is no didacticism here, but works of appreciation and understanding  that repay careful reading.


Visual images are also strong in  Barbara’s work and there are poems here that come alive because of the addition  of form to words – Ruby Throat is a fine example in the early pages of the  book.


There are occasional departures  from the natural world, The Library at Alexandria carries echoes of Robert Bly  and is dedicated to him. It is an exceptional poem even among this collection of  consistently fine work.


Spring is a poet worth getting to  know. She sees a world we all know and expresses it eloquently: “I am Earth, red  sun and yellow flower” from Meditation and yet there is also mystery here, she  inhabits the spirit of the natural world:


From Bonesounds


Of my jointed finger bones

string wind chimes

so breezes may click them

outside your bedroom window.



This is a consistent collection,  though, of course, there are variations within a volume of this length.  Nevertheless, those I would have excluded are few and none jar the senses by  being downright bad.


Overall, this is an impressive  work. The poet lays her visions bare and we come away the richer for  that.


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