Screen Time

By Peter Halstead

The browning thatch is cut
With spikes of lime-like green,
And translucent trees abut
The shrinking glacial sheen;

The sky is clear, the air is brisk,
The day is warm enough
That bolder flowers risk
Their fragile waving fluff,

And now the time is come to see
The clouds and fields through screens,
To sift the meadow’s filigree
In reticulated scenes,

Dividing all the spring’s ambition
Into silky cloisonnés,
As my watching eyes partition
The view into a maze,

Confining now a passing bee
In the panoramic panes
To a blur of vertebrae,
A world of jigsaw silver veins,

Printing on the blazing sun
A grid of pipes and wires
That lays a fragile skeleton
On the sky’s immortal pyre,

And as the planet lazes
Under summer’s coming grass,
The pattern in the window glazes
Every pistil under glass:

A hedged-in world of hills and streams
That expands as it restrains;
Like DNA, a labyrinth that teems
With every blossom it contains.

November 2nd, 1999