Poem for Nancy

The Light This Morning

for Nancy

The light this morning is touching everything the poet says,
and I imagine you standing tall again
no longer numbed or nagged or navvied
by pain
letting loose the dogs
then stepping out with them
into the soft pearl of early morning
the dew on the grass
fresh around your feet

I see you
walking in this early light
bending to your garden
setting things to rights
these moments before
the day itself is up and going
a tune somewhere playing
in memory
a song someone in your family
is singing one carefree afternoon
the windows carelessly open
the melody drifting away

The light this morning touches everything
purple, gold and crimson
piercing the richness
of trees
the twist and turn of grasses
and the call of birds
whose names come to you
almost as your own

A bird starts up from the trees
and you turn towards its call;
already there are fishermen
at work in the bay,
their voices
rise and fall

A moment
then you turn
back towards the house
the cool of the kitchen
smell of coffee newly ground
the small clear crack of shell
as the eggs are loosed into the bowl
apples sliced straight into the butter
foaming ready in the pan
a dusting of sugar
Apple Schmarren

The taste of it,
the cabin encircled
almost, by trees
the clearing into which we walked,
and you walked out to greet us
the light around us touching everything

Your poet’s eye
your gaze
your stubborn hardiness and grace.

Nancy Nielsen, 1930 – 2016

from Out of Silence: New & Selected Poems
John Harvey, Smith/Doorstop 2014



2 thoughts on “Poem for Nancy

  1. What a talented and interesting lady Nancy Nielsen was, one whose example will, I’m sure, inspire others for many years to come.

    Only now, through your last post, have I discovered her poetry – thanks, John. I’ve signed up as a subscriber to ‘Salt and Stone Poetry’.

    ‘The Light This Morning’, dedicated to Nancy, is one of my favourites in your collection ‘Out of Silence’.



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