Poems By Elizabeth Nelson

“THE LAMBS OF WAIAPU”

Of all the precious gifts of Spring
Spotty is the loveliest thing,
A black spot on his front, right hip,
Of liveliness he is the whip.

A little imp of timeless grace
– But six days on the old world’s face –
Jumping  along beside a ditch
As though the daisies to bewitch.
Then leaping to the other side
He charms his playmates with his stride
And joining in his winsome fun
They skip, twist, dance, and leap and run.

Nor does he lie about and dream
When his playmates restless seem
But run and leap and is so high
As though he really meant to fly,
But gliding down to them again
Like a magic aeroplane
is off upon a good long race
All his playmates giving chase.

Mortals with little time to spend
Stay; beguiled to see the end.
O little lambs, sixteen in all
How you hold the heart in thrall
With evening shadows, setting sun
Never were such races run
Nor such a spate of laughter’s tears
Full of healing for the years.

E.M.N.
Sept. 1972 .

GRANDAD BLACKBIRD

Grandad Blackbird was a rebel
The birdbath was his stage
He drove the thrushes from it
He was always in a rage.

With only one lone feather
For clothing in the cold
He had been nicknamed ‘Grandad’
Nor was he twelve months old.

The winter went, the springtime came
Grandad could not be found
Though such a lovely blackbird
Sang in the trees around.

He was so gay and friendly
He liked to share the bath,
Bellbirds and thrushes lingered
To listen in his path.

He who had been so backward
Was now a wonder bird
Haunting us with music
The lovliest ever heard.

E.M. Nelson

THE CHALET DITCH

The gardener starting to work in the Chalet ditch
Heard two quail calling in an anxious pitch
To their family of fifteen, such a lovely brood
Playing down in the ditch where the gardener stood.

These little elfin chicks now knew that one by one
Along the other side they were to run,
And altogether in the corner safe and sound
O’er wing each other and spread out like ground.

No need of fairy wand, for Father Quail now bid
The gardener pack and go, and this she did
Her heart with birdland magic far too full for words
Dazzled by the aptness of the birds.

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