Duncan Forbes

Natura Naturans

How do you capture the rapture
and zing of the spring each year
in a new new chapter
without the clichés ricocheting?
There’s blossom blossoming everywhere:
apple, prunus, peach and pear –
let’s name the colours black on white:
lemon yellow Forsythia
and all those eager daffodils
trumpeting to their yellow fellows,
the blue, the Hallelujah blue,
of hyacinths and grape hyacinths too;
magnificent magnolias
in vernal and perennial bloom
redeem suburbia again.
The salad colours of spring leaves
unfurl into a new-made world.
It’s Eden here, an earthly paradise,
of chlorophyll and photosynthesis.
The vermilion of the tulip head
emerges from its bright red bud.
The cherry blossom on the trees
opens its petals of cerise.
The cherry and the kerria,
the more in mind the merrier,
the sing-song of the birdsong,
the blackbird and its spring-song,
the alleluia chorus euphoric at the dawn.
I am the resurrection and the life,
says every green and knowledgeable leaf.
The fizz, the fuzz on firs and trees,
the dots of pointillistic buds,
the bluebell and wild garlic woods,
how can mere herds of lettered words
denote the world where spring occurs?
And black notation marks like these
in mimicry of scattered seeds
how can they hope to symbolise
the multi-coloured spending sprees
of nature nurturing its breeds?

His poems have won a Gregory Award and First Prize in the TLS/ Blackwells Competition. His work has also been widely published in journals, magazines and anthologies as well as being broadcast on radio both in the UK and the US. A selection was included by Faber in Poetry Introduction 5. He has read his poems at over 50 venues and at various literary festivals. He has judged poetry prizes and run creative writing groups.
He has lectured on, and taught, literature and History of Art.