Viral Gratitude ~ 4.22.20

I enjoy working with palimpsest poems. Yesterday’s blog was an oldie updated for the current times. 

As I was sitting down to breakfast afterward, my muse beckoned, “Write this down.” I said, “Now? The toast is going to burn.” She said, “I don’t have all day—do you want to do this or not?” And with a long sigh, I pushed aside my morning repast, because when the muse calls, it’s always now or never. Elizabeth Gilbert writes about this in her book, Big Magic. The stories of creatives sparring with their muses are sweet, funny and real. 

So I am offering another palimpsest written with my muse. By way of explanation, when in that creative flow, music, paint and words come pouring out faster than one can comfortably record. There is little editing to do, and Awe wraps an arm around your shoulder or slaps you a high five when finished. At all other times, the writing/creating ranges from labor intensive to procrastive dawdling. This is why all artists, writers, musicians etc. immediately answer the call when a muse invites.

For Earth Day and all days: Let Spring Breeze: Another palimpsest on the poem Let Evening Come by Jane Kenyon. And if you have not read Jane’s original poem—you should. It’s cadence and message are inviting, soothing and moving. Google it and choose The Poetry Foundation’s link to it.

~

Let Spring Breeze

Let the tart of rhubarb
tongue the sweet of strawberry, moving
from fingers down to belly.
~
Let the asparagus thrust forth
as a young suitor who begins courting
his heartthrob. Let Spring breeze.
~
Let the Crabapple buds unfurl
to the soft sun spray. Let pink pink
and streams swell over stone and silence.
~
Let fox cubs chase and tumble.
Let dandelions interrupt. Let the light
storm shades. Let Spring breeze.
~
To the worm in the compost, to the robin
on her nest, to the lilac in our lungs,
Let Spring breeze.
~
Let it come, as it will, and give
thanks. Not for Winter’s end,
but for what’s to begin. Let Spring breeze.

~

ag ~ 2020

 

 

 

Viral Gratitude ~ 4.5.20

s
o
m
e
times
the tiniest
flowers in the
teeniest of vases
catch our breath and
give the cheeriest hello
in a split second of delight
on a day that would otherwise
pass as a drama too complex
and sophisticated for the
delicate loveliness of
wood sprites unless
we unleash our
true selves to
play with
these
tiny
s
t
a
r
s

~

 

Viral Gratitude ~ 4.1.20

An oldie-but-goodie poem for the first day of April:

 

April

So much waiting to be born.
Blackberries not yet on the

bramble path, much less so
sweetening tarts and tongues.

Spring peepers chippering
moonlight–oh what a wonder to

be the pond that enjoys such a
buxom chorus. Sap waiting to

rise in rabbits and wolves–
their winter stains bled and shed

for the next generation’s fur
and teeth. Wood violets and dandelion

laboring earth and leaf debris
no less faithful the insects and

breezes that scatter their seeds
and gaiety. Wide vees of geese

to unzipper sky of cloud and fog,
percussing wings and wills of

summer grazing across fields,
streams and highways. Green,

pink and yellow ready to stir
north into tulips, roses and corn.

Yeast with water and wheat
rebirthing warm and

wrinkled hands–rises and yields.
Rises and yields. The soft dough

braiding Spring into Easter bread,
Babka and Challah.

 

ag ~ 2017

Viral Gratitude ~ 3/22/20

Pussy Willows are blooming. Their soft fuzzy nubs (catkins) are curious and fun  flowers that are among the early risers in Spring. Pussy Willows are named after tiny cats’ paws according to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden. So in the spirit of Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss I wrote the following in 2016:

~

It’s a pussy willow kind-of-day
a little fuzzy ~ a little gray.
The sun skies in and out,
Around clouds out and about.
I have nothing more to say – just that
It’s a pussy willow kind-of-day. 

 

Viral Gratitude ~ 3/15/20

Spring feels like it is here—she is starting to show her frilly petticoats. I am eternally amazed at the ability of bulbs and spring ephemeral plants to poke up through hard ground and leaf duff. They are every bit as courageous and warrior-like as the steel blade swords that they resemble. The Sun is calling to them and to me.

It is a grand day to be outside and lucky for us, the Corona virus or any flu bug falters in bright sunshine and fresh air. Movement helps. I saw neighbors beginning their yard cleanup. Gardening is my favorite and most beneficial exercise. 

The following is a poem that I wrote in 2014 at the end of a day such as this here in NJ:

Waxing Twilight

I feel the sap
rise in my body –
after all it’s Spring.
Or is it the rum
making me feel warmer
than the bedding sun
that I imagine slips away 
under the sheets
into the embrace
of a waiting lover.
I like to think that
the moon and stars
are made of flesh
and blood
lust and longing.
Or is it that 
we are made
of sap and starlight
forgetting our own 
dawn and radiance.
What difference
does it really make
when I fall in love
so easily
anyway?

Thank You Mary Oliver

Yesterday there was sad news (for many of us) in the passing of poet Mary Oliver. She more than any other poet, showed me the way of simple words elevated to song. I always admire a master who can bring rustic or homespun to the table with seeming ease and grace and invite us to share in a feast. Mary Oliver did exactly that with words and wonder for the natural world. Simple and profound at the same time.

One of my forever favorite poems of hers:

I GO DOWN TO THE SHORE 

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall–
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

Mary Oliver ~ from A Thousand Mornings

Thank you.

Back Into the Sea

Looking for Shells and Poems…

She finds a tale of two
horseshoe crabs,
belly-up at the water’s edge,
tossed and parted by waves
along with driftwood and debris.

Their sun-roasted crab legs
kick and wiggle like newborns
with each splash of teasing surf.
Overhead, seagulls squawk and salivate
while jockeying for a luncheon table
anticipating a feast of crab du jour.

As fate tips its hand, (or shell in this case),
our beachcomber recalls meeting
these ancient crustaceans on other distant shores.
She upends the two crabs, and as they wade
separately back into the sea,
she straightens her sombrero and wonders…
Is their mating ritual already consummated,
or is it just beginning?

~

heat wave—
so many sea and sky stories
with each ebb and flow

ag ~ July 2018

 

 

Oh What A Wonder!

April

So much waiting to be born.
Blackberries not yet on the

bramble path, much less so
sweetening tarts and tongues.

Spring peepers chippering
moonlight — oh what a wonder to

be the pond that enjoys such a
buxom chorus. Sap waiting to

rise in rabbits and wolves  —
their winter stains bled and shed

for the next generation’s fur and
teeth. Wood violets and dandelion

laboring earth and leaf debris
— no less faithful the insects and

breezes that scatter their seeds
and gaiety. Wide vees of geese

to unzipper sky of cloud and fog,
percussing wings and wills of

summer grazing across fields,
streams and highways. Green,

pink and yellow ready to stir
northern gardens into tulips,

roses and corn. Yeast with water
and wheat rebirthing warm and

wrinkled hands — rises and yields.
Rises and yields. The soft dough

braiding Spring into Easter Bread,
Babka and Challah.

April…
so much waiting to be born.

 

AG ~ 2017

 

Conversations In Snow

It’s the last day of January  already, and at the same time, it feels as if half a year has passed in the last week alone. It’s softly snowing outside alternating between light flurries and squally white. A couple of inches have fallen since morning and not much more predicted to adhere. It’s a “nice” snowy day – just enough to feel like a winter postcard and to sweep a path rather than shovel away. Nature’s shawl, rather than a blanket, looks as peaceful as it feels.

~

Soft snow clings to the Pine,
its needles purr a gentle white.

Fresh tracks scamper under the fence –
some look hurried, some not.

It’s always a joy to see
an animal’s track of travel

In the snow
picking up a rhythm

if I just close my eyes
and listen.

img_0367

 

Rain

I love rain and rainy days. I need the break between too many sunny days ~ yin and yang; light and shadow; feminine and masculine. And I recently realized just how very much I enjoy the start of rain showers. Having worked outside my entire adult life, I was often present when rain moved into my area. What always soothes and never fails to delight me still, is hearing rain before I feel or see it. There is a real pleasure to hear it splatter softly onto treetops and filter down. Even in winter, without any leaves to splash, I heard the rain on an early morning walk, before I felt it. It’s a sweet plushy sound.

I am inclined toward melancholy states of mind which lends a gentle poetic kinship with rainy days, puddles, storms and twilight.

~

would Camelot really be as sweet without rain?

IMG_3207