AS THE YEAR UNFOLS by Marion Sharville ©

JANUARY

Hung over from December,
January peers cautiously into the future.
The past year jogs her elbow…time to change.
Hope, around the open door of the New Year,
beckons…lighting the way.

The sharp winter cold
stirs the slurried taste of yesterday;
cleansing the palate to be refreshed with new choices.
Braced, she strides forward, trusting His promise
that each false step
will not be irredeemable.

FEBRUARY

Crisp January cleansed. The old year’s dead
and shriven as spring lambs we can’t evade
the dreary days, the month that lies ahead.
Like purgatory, the crossing must be made.

Though leaden skies are clamped down and secure,
the sun may shine but doesn’t warm a thing.
The shortest month, yet longest to endure,
March bides her time to have her gusty fling.

Bleak February’s world is monochrome,
with all her colours drained and stored for Spring.
It seems this month has set her heart of stone
to sharpen up the rain for added sting.

A cruel time, when all is said and done
and yet…the snowdrops do not fear to come.

MARCH

Young March steps from behind the long dark skirt of February, lightly toe-dipping into the fast-flowing year.
Cautiously, she caresses the trees, seeking sanctuary.

Emboldened by their welcome, she feels her feet,
shakes off her fear, blows out her cheeks
and starts to set her pulses wild,
a challenge, test of strength, a force within, a teen-age mutineer

having a fling; a skirt-lifting Whirling Dervish; a devil child.
Recklessly she shoots the rapids of the rooftops;
searches every cranny for things to play with, until they are spoiled.

A deceit of tempo lulls us, as she seems to slow and stop.
Her power drives her on though without slackening,
hurling dustbins, screaming like a banshee down chimneys, through locks.

The damage?…of no consequence. It’s beyond her reckoning.
Exhausted, spent, she succumbs to April’s gentle beckoning.

APRIL

Nursemaid to Mother Nature, she coaxes the tender shoots
towards the light, releasing them from their clammy dungeons.
She caresses the leaves, unfurls the petals and paints the primroses.
Applauding the trumpeting of the daffodils,
she dances through the dappled woods, with the bluebells
and sprays a rainbow of colour on the dark brown of the earth,
showering all with gentle rain to release the perfume of life.
All is prepared for Sister May to take over the next shift.

MAY

Blossom-bedecked May;
hand-maiden of Summer,
scattering petals in her path,
nourishes April’s infants;
green shoots of life, to create
bowers of colour
for the garden.

A gentle month,
a deep breath of contentment
setting the mood
for Summer to laze through
the long daylight hours;
a warm-up act for
the star turn, June.

JUNE

June arrives in majesty, bearing
the standard of the longest day.
Her retinue of bees, butterflies and song-birds
pay homage, busying the skies,
composing the music of summer.

Travelling through the days,
she invites all to join the pilgrimage
of sun-worshippers hopefully
lifting their faces to be kissed.

She tantalizes with glimpses
of lazy days on sun-drenched beaches
but in this our temperate land,
it often rains on her parade.

JULY

Sleepy July, waking to sun-lit mornings,
ambling through long bee-buzzing afternoons,
alfresco meals and lazing in the long grass
or toiling in the heat, weary journey home
to cool drinks, relaxing. Windows and doors
wide open to catch a breath of fresh air;
a pot-pourri of garden scents to welcome.
Summer hours stretch to touch the soft
star-spangled velvet shawl draping the evening sky
as she slips into sleepless heat-tossed nights.

AUGUST

August, childminder of the year, surrounded

by those loosed from the tyranny of school bells,

freed to happily squander time

building castles in the air and in the sand.

The swift upturn of a bucket transports them

to days of heroic deeds, fortress-minded

adventures colouring their lives. Ice cream

surfeited, pocket money gone,

as will be their footsteps in the sand when

she returns them, sun-browned and reluctant

to the patient waiting arms of Alma Mater.

SEPTEMBER

Children back at school;
a blanket of silence settles on the day,
at least between nine and four o’clock.

She relaxes like a grandmother
after the childminding is over.

Hanging on to warm days, she clings
desperately to the long summer evenings
slipping through her finger.

OCTOBER

October, reaching back to warm days
wraps the trees in a sariof colour;
an Indian Summer, a
harvest of beauty

and the rustle of taffetta
replaces the humming of bees
as the wind dances with
the fallen leaves.

NOVEMBER

Throwing off the colourful dresses of Autumn,
she dons a chilly grey mantel of mist;
beds down with dark nights and early mornings,
and at evening, she hurries home in the rain.

Unwittingly sponsored by Guy Fawkes,
sudden bursts of light and showers of stars,
then the distant glimmer of Christmas, help
her to peer ahead with Hope to the New Year,

DECEMBER

An advent sweet a day creeping towards Christmas.
she entangles all in a web of tinsel and colour,
gathering wrapping paper, debts and worries
in a pile to bewilder on Boxing Day.

Voices lifted in song and prayers
breathe air into the space beneath
where a Babe lies in a crib, watched over.
In His tiny hands, His offering of Love and Peace.

y Fawkes,

JANUARY

Hung over from December,
January peers cautiously into the future.
The past year jogs her elbow…time to change.
Hope, around the open door of the New Year,
beckons…lighting the way.

The sharp winter cold
stirs the slurried taste of yesterday;
cleansing the palate to be refreshed with new choices.
Braced, she strides forward, trusting His promise
that each false step
will not be irredeemable.

About Marion Sharville

A website of Poems and Short stories
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