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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

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also known as Johnny jump up, heart’s ease, heart’s delight, come and cuddle me

 

 

Into the shade by the porch

bloomed the first wild pansy,

its small yellow face sunny

and eager and open.

 

The Athenians used to make

the tiny flowers into syrup

to moderate anger and

to comfort and strengthen the heart.

 

And here it is today,

small volunteer beauty,

growing in this patch of dirt

where nothing else wants to grow.

 

This tiny garden is but one of many

concurrent realities—others involve

hospitals short of beds, loved ones

gone, doctors scared to go home.

 

Our hearts need strengthening.

Little violet, we’re learning, too,

how to be surrounded by death

and still rise up, bring healing as we bloom.

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for Kyra

 

February ends with the fragrance of change—

not quite the fresh earthy scent of rain,

but no longer the white sterility of winter.

It’s the damp aroma of long dead grass

and the must of soil as it starts to unfreeze,

the bright tang of Gemini distilled from the sky

and the hint that someday there will be green.

 

This is the perfume I imagine you wearing today

as you move from the darkest hours of fear

into the chapter of healing. Yes, I smell it

as I hug you, the scent of making room for the world,

the scent of resilience, of beauty yet to come.

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old lilac bush

beside the highway

scent of one hundred springs

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Springing

 

 

 

I am reborn into the world of radiance—

crystalline icicles, glittering reaches of snow—

and whatever in me is old brown stick,

whatever in me is withered rose hip,

whatever is desiccated and dead takes notice

of the shine and says, Teach me that.

 

I am reborn into the world of drip

and melt and streets of mud,

and whatever part of me is muck-squeamish

and sludge resistant goes walking anyway

and wallows and squishes and slips and laughs.

 

In that slippery moment, the part of me

who has died becomes lotus.

And who is it in me that scoffs

and says Who are you to be lotus?

I show her diamonds in the field,

the big blue dome of sky, the vast

expanses of glistening mud,

and I ask her, Who are you not to be?

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cleaning off my shoes

before walking through the mud,

and Love says to me,

what? do you think

I am going to carry you?

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Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”

            —The Talmud

 

Imagine them, all those angels

jostling over the field,

catching their hands

in each other’s halos,

their wings a shimmering

fuss. Imagine the rising tide

of the chorus, how

whisper turns clamor

turns turbulent roar.

Imagine the dizzying pitch

of encouragement, grow,

Grow, GROW, until bam!

a riotous tumult of green.

 

But what of the song

at the end of the season,

when angels, exhausted,

sigh rest, rest. And they press

their tired cheeks against

each other’s faces, let

their wings dangle

in lucent grace. And the field,

seeded, relaxes and goldens

and sleeps. And the angels

snuggle in sacred heaps and breathe,

and breathe, white robes

like snow, and they sleep talk

between their sonorous snores,

that’s enough, dear one, let go.

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they said snow—

in the yard, drifts of gray juncos

and heaps of all that isn’t

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Catkins in March

 

 

But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—”Thou mayest”— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open.

            —John Steinbeck, East of Eden

 

 

Today it was the aspen buds

that ruined my heart.

 

One glimpse of them

through the window, and

 

for that moment,

the inner winter I’d constructed

 

out of should and shalt

fell down like bricks. Perhaps I could have

 

returned to work, but instead

stared at the soft gray

 

tufts of spring. How they defy

the stubborn chill. And almost

 

against my will, in me I felt

an opening I didn’t quite want,

 

and perhaps I didn’t want to hear

a small voice saying, you

 

have a choice, you

have a choice.

 

 

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Sometimes in spring

I forget it is ever

not spring, forget

that there will be a time

without hummingbirds

and the raucous call

of the geese. These lilacs

and their purple scent

are forever. Forever

is this deep green field.

I almost resent

the voice that writes this poem,

the part that notices how already

the apples have gone

from ecstatic white bloom

to small hard fruit.

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One Humbling

 

 

in seven days

the radish sprouts

push green through earth—

 

every job on my list today

seems quite easy

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