Poetry by Bill Cavanaugh
by Bill Cavanaugh, Becketwood Member
On February 24, volunteers at Becketwood scurried to set up more chairs as the Windsor Room filled to capacity for Bill Cavanaugh’s poetry reading. For those who couldn’t attend and for everyone who would like to see some of Bill’s work in print, here are two picnic poems.
We found a niche by Wicklow Strand
where two boulders headed off the wind—
sandy-soft with matted grass,
slung like a hammock from the cliff
and well above Blackwater’s chilly surf.
The Irish sun could almost warm us there,
huddled around the sandwiches and tea;
sand, sifting through the windward crevice,
blew across the food and through the cloth
like air, collecting grain by grain in cups.
We were there in time’s glass
exactly as we chose to be a while
before the children raced away
to the water’s edge, collecting stones and shells
that seemed to hide the dark confusion of the sea.
At rest now, after a long walk
Down the Little Walnut path,
We savor the last hour
Of the year’s last picnic
And study a line of trees ranged
Along a ridge that limits our horizon.
In a breeze too soft to stir
The heavy, yellow poplar leaves,
They fall, nonetheless.
But the small cordate leaves
Of a young red bud tree
Flickering in rows along the branch
Like a school of giddy hearts,
Sever their attachment at the notch
And sail softly down.
The shadows of a few,
Excited in a sudden gust of air
Travel with the wind before dropping
And seem to loft along the hill—
To climb, as the shadow of a cloud
Or a plane will do, seeming to rise
But just moving on—just falling.