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I Miss That Time of Year I Know as Spring by Mark Penny

by Patricia | 4.17.12

I miss that time of year I know as Spring:
The rain-chaffed ions on the air, the air
Breathed by the shrew and hawk, the wheat and tare,
Stirred by the green-leafed lyre and the wing.
I miss the swift, infant quaking of the grass
In the first stumbling steps of cloud-licked wind,
The boastful lowing of the herd-lord sun,
The warbling riot of the wild morass.
I miss that setting forward of the hour,
That lunge of drowsy muscles from a dream
Never quite shaken off, a dream of chills,
Of white-robed monarchs in a white-leaved bower,
Of cold blood coursing in the veins and streams,
Of all that revels lying prone and still.

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To read Mark’s bio and another Spring Poetry Runoff entry, go here.

*Competition entry*

7 Responses to I Miss That Time of Year I Know as Spring by Mark Penny

  1. Mark

    Eek! “Rain-chaffed ions” was supposed to be “rain-chafed ions”, but I spelled it wrong. However, I’m not sure correcting it improves the poem much or at all. Threshing or rubbing? Maybe the misspelling works best, as even people who should know better take chaff for chafe. Two for one, you know. Uncertainty breeds ambiguity breeds more meaning…

  2. Jonathon Penny

    I like “chaffed.” It’s Springier.

  3. Mary Erickson

    Mark, thank you for your relevant comments on editing, whether you alone or with an astute editor. A difference in diction or spelling has me not just re-evaluating the one word but the whole poem, how the change might actually improve the work. As you say, “Uncertainty breeds ambiguity breeds more meaning.” This especially rings true with words having multiple meanings, such as a word like “couching.”

  4. Patricia

    Shall we vote on keeping it “chaffed” or changing the word to the intended “chafed”?

    If editing is required, say the word, and I’ll in and have at it, “-chaffed” to “-chafed”.

  5. Mark

    I was actually on the verge of asking you to change it, Patricia, but that little voice that is responsible for so many serendipities in creative writing told me to lay off, so I did. I say leave it.

  6. Sarah Dunster

    So lovely and lyrical…very uplifting, too. I like the idea of chaffed…chaff also means the leavings of a harvest…

  7. Mark

    Grains of rain. A fortuitous faux pas.

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