O SPRING has set off her green fuses
Down by the Tamar today,
And careless, like tide-marks, the hedges
Are bursting with almond and may.
Taken from ‘The Seasons in Cornwall’ by Charles Causley
from Collected Poems 1951-1997 published byMacmillan, 1992, ISBN 0333699211.
As a child I was given a book of poems by Charles Causley and this poem was in it. This first verse really sums up spring to me. One moment it's winter and the next the hawthorn (may) is sprouting lush green shoots and creamy white flowers. I didn't remember the poem properly hence why initially these pieces were called blackthorn...I remembered it as blackthorn and may. It was nearly 20years ago now when I first read it, well that's my excuse.So, why call these peices may?
Take a good look at the gorgeous lampwork beads by Rachel Dawes. We have the fantastic vibrant green of the new may leaf shoots, against the dark blacks and browns of the bark with the early flush of flowers emerging into the spring sunshine. As soon as I saw the beads that poem came to mind.
For those who wish to know, blackthorn (my original name for these pieces) is the sloe. Please correct me if I am wrong but the blackthorn flowers first and then gets leaves and the may (hawthorn) produces leaves and then flowers. A lot of the time we see blackthorn flowers and assume it is the may.
May is the common folk name for the hawthorn tree and the name has been used since the middle ages. Spring is coming earlier though each year as now we see may blossom in april instead of may.
The may bracelet and earrings are now available in the Beady Pool folksy shop.