The March of Spring

O, hear the bold approach of spring, who marches, stamping, blowing!
He startles all the birds that sing above the fast streams flowing.
They take to wing and soar on high
Where white clouds race across the sky.

What garish, yes, outlandish dress the spring dons as he marches!
His multi-colored robes fluoresce amidst the trembling larches.
He turns this way and that all day
And sweeps all trace of gloom away.

The ice drips from the eaves, and in the woods, the tiny nestling
Cries out for food, while melting floods, like playful brothers wrestling,
Now tumble down the mountain where
Their raucous laughter fills the air.

Oh see how roguish spring upends the forest fleece at noonday
He spooks the barnyard hens and sends them flying with the loose hay.
I laugh with spring, and realize then,
My thawed out heart is green again!

 

Outward Bound

I´m heading out for pastures green against the brisk March wind
In search of some blue pool serene to sink my spirit in.
The clouds are gray, the wind is cold, the trembling grass is pale;
But I go forth with spirit bold and frame both strong and hale.

The sun smiles from his throne on high but keeps his distance there;
His bright beams fill the azure sky, but do not warm the air.
Inside I´m warmed by burning zeal; smoke rises from my soul.
How cozy and secure I feel wrapped in this cloak of wool!

The undulating landscape cheers my heart and gives me joy.
The chill wind blows away my years and turns me to a boy.
On winding paths, past wood and stile, I look to find that place,
Some lonely pond, to rest a while from life´s frenetic race.

Far from the din of noisy crowds, the orator´s harangue,
I watch the silent, moving clouds and hear the cowbell´s clang,
The breeze’s bleak, incessant sweep, the coo of doves nearby,
The distant bleat of grazing sheep, the song of larks on high.

How sweet it is to come apart and while the time away,
To savor God´s own works of art upon a chilly day.
Therefore, as long as day shall last, I´ll sit and linger here
And make a pool my soul´s repast, beside this quiet mere.

 

 

Wanderlust

O wild and windy day,
Blow me where you may!
I long for the wayfaring life again,
To run with the winds away!

O wild and windy day,
In this ravishing month of May,
Your winds may blow me up to the hills
Or down to the sparkling bay!

I long to scramble o’er the rocks
By a raging and windswept sea,
To fly o’er the moors to the distant shores,
To wander, alone and free.

I ache to feel the wind at my back
And the sunshine on my face,
To leave all behind and go forth to find
New vistas to embrace.

I yearn to mount the heights of the earth
And to climb into the sky,
From there to descend in valleys to wend
My way—just the wind and I!

O wild and windy day,
I am eager to end my stay;
I’m ready to go where’er you blow—
So blow me far away!

 

 

Martin Rizley grew up in Oklahoma and in Texas, and has served in pastoral ministry both in the United States and in Europe. He is currently serving as the pastor of a small evangelical church in the city of Málaga on the southern coast of Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter. Martin has enjoyed writing and reading poetry as a hobby since his early youth.


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9 Responses

  1. Sally Cook

    An emotional transit through a change in the seasons. I like best your personification of Spring.

    Reply
  2. Julian D. Woodruff

    These ring a bell with anyone longing for the outdoors–just about all of us now, including those too young to read.

    Reply
  3. Martin Rizley

    Thank you, Sally, for your feedback. All three poems are actually “reworkings” of poems I wrote in my teen years (the first two originally written in free verse) when I was just beginning to express in poetry my sense of delight in the natural world around me.
    These revisions preserve the “emotion” of the original poems, while versifying them and expanding them in length.

    Reply
  4. Martin Rizley

    Thanks, Julian. I submitted these poems for publication before knowing we would all be in quarantine! It later crossed my mind that a lot of people might be able to resonate with the feelings they express at this time– especially the line “I am eager to end my stay” in the third poem!

    Reply
  5. C.B. Anderson

    Forget about the Wuhan flu, man. You’ve come down with a severe case of spring fever. Unlike many of those near and around me, I’ve been working these past couple of weeks, mostly doing necessary spring pruning. It’s not exactly nature, but it’s outdoors. So far, I have not put a mask over my face. I’m afraid that if I go into a store with one on, they’ll think I want to rob them.

    Reply
  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    All of these poems are outstanding. “The March of Spring” is my favorite by far. I absolutely adore the fresh eye you afford to this season while giving an admirable nod to the classics. Bravo, Mr. Rizley, bravo!!

    Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        You are most welcome. Your words are truly beautiful.

  7. Margaret Coats

    I like the windy “Wanderlust” best. Each repeated line pushes the poem forward like a fresh puff of wind.

    Reply

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