People are everywhere breaking into blossom

as though in this poem 
the spring might propose again 
a blessing once given on a Minnesota road, 
or the season’s turning 
evoke the strange-working alchemy 
of the ever-changing heart. 
As only yesterday 
the light overcame us on the lawn 
at the edge of the street 
the day shaking itself into pink and white 
flurries of rain-blown blossom, 
a mosaic of petals at our feet, 
grounding us for the moment’s 
benediction and wonder. 
And the well-said thing would be to say 
the heart is given on a day like this 
to the people who walk beneath the trees, 
their faces shining, they are speechless 
as the showers fall soft 
in their hair, and over their shoulders, 
or petals wet as finger-prints 
press onto window-panes 
or make their quiet way into houses, 
leaving little trails of light and hope in the hall. 


Cliff Fell’s second collection of poems, Beauty of the Badlands, was published by VUP in 2008.

‘Of ‘People are everywhere breaking into blossom’ he says: ‘This was written in one sitting, late in October, while watching cherry blossoms fall on people passing along the street outside my workplace window. While I recognised almost immediately that the title line, the poem’s first impulse, was drawn from my memory of James Wright’sfine poem, ‘The Blessing’, I think now that the giddy optimism underpinning these lines really came from my growing anticipation that Barack Obama was soon to be elected to the White House, and my sense that we were on the cusp of a moment of hope and light.’