Goose summer, Whareroa Farm

Today we dawdle up the north-east valley track,
inclined together on the edge of sun and shade.
Late April, and decline – the year’s and yours – feels gentle
in this spread of after-season summer.

The sky is crazed with gossamer.
We might not have noticed if we hadn’t paused
to lounge against the bank,
seen against the light
the stream of spun filaments.

You brush your nose,
peer down at your jacket,
say, ‘Hello, little struggler.’

Warmth and slow-moving air
have sprung a rush
of spiderlings
– summer’s last brood
scramble from their scrub nurseries to an
outermost leaf, twig, prickle of gorse
to let down
their virgin silk
lifts on a draught
upends them
hauls them aloft
balloons them up-valley.

Gossamer, goose summer, go-summer –
the words drift through centuries from another hemisphere
carrying the marvel of those who laid a name
on what they saw, perhaps when looking up from
plucking fattened geese at Martinmas.

I see you, my love,
sitting against a sun-warmed wall,
down-flecked hands at rest in your lap,
dreamily watch the tassels of a
gossamer go-summer day
thicken the air

as if Earth is moulting summer hair
as if a harvest of fresh souls
has lit a shining path.