Chorus

by Sharon Morris

In this choiring, the soul looks upon the wellspring of Life — each scent of thorn
separate, discriminate — froth of white flowers — hawthorn/quickthorn/
whitethorn/blackthorn, May — Benddown — to the wash of blue, bluebell,
Spanish/English (paler, more scented, prefiguring death) — to the lily, wood
anemone, lesser/greater celandine, pink purslane, campion, violet/dog-
violet, primrose/butter-rose (pink-eyed/thrum-eyed), cuckoopint/arum/
lord and lady/Adam and Eve/bobbin/wake robin (spathe sheathed around
spadix) — to the honey-sweet yellow anther, the pungent leaf of/stalk of
ramson/wild garlic — the damp earth warm, well-lit before the canopy of
leaf, sun after rain each twig and branch glassy — Look up through the cut
buds/catkins, to new leaves — each blade velvet-bloom/shiny, serrated/
smooth, holly/ilex — oval/boat/lobed — alder, beech/wild service,
sycamore, maple, lime, London plane — pure//hybrid oak, common/
uncommon, pedunculate/sessile, English/durmast, Turkey, American red,
Cork//Lucombe — squint through the screen of set/array — compound
leaflets alternate/paired opposing — mountain ash, false acacia/common
ash — palmate chestnut horse/sweet, framing the light, dappling the sun
— overlapping hands concealing blue, white/grey scudding clouds — Skying a
mackerel sky, what individuates the haecceity of cloud? — pileus, pannus,
velum, incus, mamma, virga, tuba, fumulus — be dazzled by the effects of
light in air — halo, mock sun/sun-dog/parhelion, arc, corona, iris, glory —
Listen to the volary, aggregation, roost, mess, leach, drove, aerie, rout, flew
of birds — How many notes, mother? — lowing/bellowing of bullfinches,
chime/family/herd of wrens, c1oud/keg/merl of blackbirds, hermitage/
mutation/rash of thrushes — calls of alarm/defence/attraction/mating/
birth — contusion/mischief/tiding/charm/ tribe/murder of magpies — a
cri de coeur   — call and answer/hunger — chatter/c1utter/hosting/
murmuration/cloud/filth/scourge/congregation of starlings — too numerous
to count, wing-beats imperceptible — charm/chirm/chirp of goldfinches,
red-faced, wresting seeds from pine cones — jays/parakeets escaped from a
circus — one pair of kestrels soaring, kee kee, kee kee, kee kee, kee — descant
— veridical to that vernal sky — Hum of traffic in the distance — a woman
strolls by learning a score by heart.