Ode to the Season

 

There is something so inspiring to me about the return of springtime. Living in a place where I experience all four seasons (at least for now), I can easily say that seasonal shifts are one of the biggest influences on my craft. 

Musings on the weather are often seen as the ultimate form of small talk, of conversational fluff. I’ve never hated talking about the weather. I could write (and have written) entire poetry collections about the weather. 

There is something wild and affecting to me about watching the earth go colorless and quiet, then watching spring creep back in— first the sun, then birdsong, then that one morning in April when you wake up and the whole world is suddenly vivid. 

I’ve never despised winter, despite my mother’s insisting that I eventually would as I grew older, despite the implied sadness of it— I’d always found summer to be sadder. 

Winter is a limbo. I never changed the clock in my car—mostly because I didn’t know how—and eventually got used to the comfort of checking the time and knowing I actually had one more lost hour that hadn’t gotten away from me yet. Recently, time snapped back into place again. 

The Spring Equinox is considered the astrological new year, the reset of the zodiac. It has always felt like more of a “beginning” to me than the traditional American New Year, and there is something so comforting about a clean slate almost four months into the calendar year, isn’t there? 

Now is the truest time to plant seeds within yourself and to set intentions for the year. Rewrite all your broken resolutions; the earth demands it. 

Here are some musings both new and old on the coming of springtime—I hope they inspire you to create your own ode to the season. 

four poems on springtime

pulp

the air looks sweetened with honey / like
afterglow / stricken pink earth / rosy
lightning fingers / my veins are telephone
wire pulled taut / lightning rod spinal cord
/ coiled telephone cord wrapped coyly
around a finger / while the sky whispers
pillowtalk words to the dirt / another
missed connection / feverish earth gagged
with vine / rotten plum earth teeming with
worms / earth turned pregnant pulp / loves
in breezes and poison oak caress / sunblown
kiss, breath that scatters dandelions /
seed by seed / I pray on tufts of milkweed /
I wish on things that don’t know
where they’ve been

poltergeist

branch arms opened for me, she stands
at the edge of the woods, split
down the center, leafless canopy
over a circle best reserved for black magic
yet littered with beer cans. 
whitetails pause to regard me
before disappearing, and
I nestle into her damp, mossy arms.
tangled faery world forest turned sepia,
winter’s gentle way of decay.

is there a place to stand
that will turn me back to star matter?
I guess I’ll settle for ash.

there’s this way we learn to love
a shock of moss among dead leaves.
I smell springtime like a poltergeist
among these trees and
I’ll chase her until dark.

ode to spring and summer

brink of mating season, March’s warm gaze
and cold hands—
spring is a tease,
these nights will grow teeth

April’s sigh, warm as human breath
the sun hangs like a lightbulb on a wire
saline mornings, the earth still covered in
nightmare sweat— baby green
underbrush laced like fingers
cherry blossom petals on windshields,
May’s pink and white insides
splattered like roadkill
sapphic bumblebees buzzing like power lines,
ivy holding a tree like a lover
—parasitic

the sunlight trickles, fickle,
dancing on the dirt as if underwater—
trick of the light, trick of the wind,
June trips over its own feet
running from me

the woods grow dark and matted,
poison ivy tangled with phlox
July burns like a paper in my hand,
but slower the fireflies are lighthouse beams
in miniature—they speak in their
tired morse code about the way the sky
becomes a mirror at night

August sun works its way into your blood
like whiskey— my body feels like
overripe fruit it’s wearying, like love
god whispers to us in windsong,
it’s a language we can’t understand
but can feel— the storms are an apology

the tired place

cage dancer mannequin
in someone’s front yard

this town is the cage womb
I first existed in

snow nursed grass, downy yellow
turns green when I’m not looking

the pastel of april fades fast
the children grow up feral

and die by twenty-five
I feel rotten, feel river silt plush

the mildew honeysuckle smell follows me
I’m calloused and wild as the land

*these poems previously appeared in SOFT CARTEL, Quail Bell Magazine, Riggwelter Press, and Bone & Ink Press, respectively.

For more poems on seasonal shift and the ways the earth impacts the spirit, check out my debut chapbook, Seasonal Affected, available here.

 

Rebecca Kokitus is a writer and poet currently residing outside Philadelphia. She primarily writes about her connection with nature, her experiences with mental illness, and also on subjects such as trauma, love, sex, spirituality and femininity. Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, she has always felt spiritually connected to the Appalachian woodlands, which sparked her interest in magick. She is a crystal collector, tea witch, moon worshipper and flower child who can probably be found picking up every acorn and leaf she finds. In her free time she enjoys reading and writing poetry, spending time in nature, going to concerts, and exploring abandoned places. 

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram at @rxbxcca_anna, and you can read more of her writing on her website