“spin me a season” again

“spin skip and fly
go on and reel
cast off and dance around me as you go”

– liner notes for “Fading Light” by Eden’s Bridge.

I have listened to the music of Eden’s Bridge through the years from cassettes to CDs to mp3s, and still find it heart-stirring and soul-settling. So the line “spin skip and fly, go on and reel” from their song “Spin” does not strike me as especially cryptic. Rather, it invites me, as a leaf given to spin, to “cast off” what is done and move into the next part of life. (Yes, Eden’s Bridge is a faith-spun band.)

But I am putting the song they sing before the poem I wrote, when in fact I came to their song only on writing my own “spinning leaf” poem. This note tells how a poem came to be written – or rather, how a leaf that rolled down a street in America led to an artist across the Atlantic illustrating the poem it inspired. And sending it back to its author with the album she illustrated whose theme she felt it matched.

“turn me a leaf” by William B Jones
illustrated by Angela Smyth with corresponding
Eden’s Bridge “Fading Light” EP

A few years ago I came across notice of a new project Eden’s Bridge was involved in which planned a mid-length CD, or EP, for each season of the year. Having followed their music from earlier Celtic-themed collections through their Celtic Christmas album to the Isle of Tides, I was looking forward to their newest effort. It turned out to be a four-EP collection of songs recorded to match (more or less) the theme of each season of the year – growth in spring, fullness in summer, fall in autumn, and waiting in winter.

Of added interest to me was the desire expressed by the “Seasons” series album cover artist, Angela Smyth, to match poets whose work she selected with each of the EPs. Each season of the year, and the series, would correspond to a poem of her selection. My poem, “turn me a leaf,” was selected by her as a match for the fall, “Fading Light,” EP she illustrated.

Along with the hand-signed album she sent from the UK, Angela also included a special insert she illustrated with “turn me a leaf” serving as its border. On the reverse of the “post-card” illustration, she added that the rain she drew falling on the gazebo in the park seemed important to include, although she did not know why. (I did, though. It was, after all, fall.) Here is Eden’s Bridge “Spin” from Fading Light – about spinning on in life come leaf-fall.

A leaf which led to a poem
which led to an artist
which led to an illustration
which accompanied an album
from across the sea
which reminds me in turn that
the seasons spin on
in ways beyond designs
we might think to make
and yet reach to trace.

What a delight.

Revisiting their music now, as I look to include it on a new listening device, I find myself seeing new meaning in the poem too. What was an autumn poem seems now more summer. One which speaks to readiness for next – for a fullness (“pleroma” is the term the New Testament Letter to Ephesians uses) which is at hand even now. Perhaps that is why the line which initially opened the poem (“turn me a canvas, another day dream,” with its nod to an artist seeking a surface on which to draw) may now lead us out from the poem into our own lives, as the Gospel of Mark does when it lead us from an emptied cave toward the place where Christ awaits his disciples (Mark 16:1-8).

Turn me a season, God, your loving lead.

Turn me out Eden, a word given bring,

Turn me a leaf, coming autumn to sing,

Turn me a canvas, another day dream.

For seasons shared in grace and love.
And seasons left to come.

Aug 1, 2015.

______

God-send (small cloud)

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What this fire-fall nearly missing,
bear-path tracing holy ground?

What this poured out in your keeping,
splintered moment, limning round.

What this gold-weed drawing vision,
praying yours to wisdom shroud.

What this cloud bracing horizon,
God send in your blessing now.

1 Kings 18:41-46

________

meet

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this bend where gravel woke us you,
where turning God you met our face,
where photons flooding draped us you,
beheld again in you await.

________

transpire

transpire
( = “to let forth from vapor”)

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 
One time, moved inwardly with very great sorrow of heart, [Francis] said to the Lord in prayer; “Lord I give back to you the family [of faith] You gave me.”

And the Lord immediately said to him: “Tell me…why you are so upset…when others do not walk the way I showed you?…I did not choose you as a learned or eloquent man to be over my family…I chose you, a simple and unlettered man, so that you and the others may know that I will watch over my flock…

Those who walk in the way I showed you, have me and have me more abundantly…Do what you do, work as you work, for I have planted [the way I showed you] in everlasting love.”

– The Kinship of Saint Francis (Chp. III)

________

southern cross (flag to furl)

deep imprint of war unended,
shoulder pressing fear to light,
stars and bars we knew from day-rise,
southern cross to mark the night.

woke to fiddle on the bayou,
shadow marshes mazing through,
full moon rising night unfinished,
sweet home tangled up in blue.

some I know remain you praying,
some deny the colors spurned.
some you drape and some you bury,
some you keep and some yet churn.

decades gone and branches leaving,
truer angels hewing to,
flag to fold and weight unburden,
deep the sky remaining you.

_________

The author is a native of southwest Louisiana.