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Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Syntax Lesson

Spring is a verb.
            —Jack Mueller


Ache can verb
and curve can verb
and riot and burn
and break can verb.
We face. We care.
We scheme and swing.
We charm and fool
and do the dream.
We war. We praise.
We gun and raise.
We blur ourselves
into a busy haze.
Even hope can verb.
So does skin. And kiss.
We verbify
delight and wish.
But peace is a noun
that seldom swerves
into the class
of action verbs.
Peace just is—
an unchanging thing
that bids us not
do anything.
But who can resist
the spring?

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inspired by Almond Blossom by Vincent van Gogh and music by Kayleen Asbo by the same name

I want to hang a painting
of almond blossoms
above your bed
so when you wake
the first thing you see
are delicate white petals
and a sky a thousand shades of blue.
I want you to wake every morning
into an ever-emerging sense of spring—
wake into sunshine,
wake to a world of splendor
and extravagant blossoming.
 
Of course, the fall.
Of course, the struggle.
Of course, the difficult days.
And of course, the almond blossoms,
painted in creams, pinks and greens
each one an insistent grace note
that lingers beyond its season,
promising something improbable
and utterly necessary,
like ever-blooming beauty,
like the light and airy perfume of hope.

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Out of Season




Autumn is, perhaps, befitting
for heartache—everywhere you look,
loss. Loss of leaves, loss of color,
loss of warmth, loss of light.
If you are grieving,
the barren world seems to mirror
what’s happening inside you.
Everything seems to say,
See, you can’t hold on.

So how to explain this explosion
of beauty, this unexpected spring of grace—
how to explain the way generosity
pushes through what’s dead
like apple trees in first pink,
how gratitude flourishes, enormous
invisible blooms, and though
you can’t see them, everywhere,
everywhere in this heart of autumn,
you smell the insistent green of springtide,
the astonishing perfume of love.


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Again. Again.




Almost every spring, I forget them,
the six packs of cosmos starts on the porch.
All it takes is one cold night,
an innocence of frost.

By dawn, the buds slightly droop.
By noon, the leaves hang darkened and limp.
By the next day, they’re black.
And dead.

It’s a familiar story. How one night
changes everything. How one day
I’m blooming, thriving, alive,
the next all I’d grown is gone.

I used to believe all was lost.
I used to throw the whole plant away.
But I learned what is dead serves as a blanket
to protect whatever still lives.

Wait, and in days, a tiny green filigree
emerges from the base.
In a month or two, it’s a bask of blooms,
no trace of how bleak it was.

Such tender study, the cosmos.
Blame is no part of their process.
They let what’s been lost be of service.
They know they are here to grow.

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Today, I notice something green
spearing through the dirt
in the garden, and only
because there are eight such spears
rising in perfect rows do I vaguely remember
last year I planted bulbs there,
but I don’t remember what they are.
How much of the beauty we plant
do we forget?

There is so much in me that grows
because of words you have sown.
I doubt you remember them,
I don’t remember them, either,
only that your words were kind
and now they have taken root.

Who knows what the flowers
will look like? I water them, though,
trust I’ll be delighted when they bloom
into a garden of beautiful I don’t know.

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This Difficult Day

Today the prayer is words
I can’t yet find,

words that flit away
like spring juncos, like chickadees.

Today the prayer I wish for
is not the prayer that finds me—

less like the perfume of a fully bloomed flower
more like the dank and fusty scent of spring.

Some days when I forget how to pray,
if I listen with my whole body,

the world reminds me how what is used up, spent
is also a vessel for the holy,

as dry leaves become a nest
as bare branches hold the sunrise.

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on the way to the graveyard
taking a few detours through spring—
trill of red wing blackbirds

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with a line from “After the Japanese” by Jack Granath
 
 
A warm March day
and the blue sky
slips itself
into the list
of things to do,
and I would have to be
deaf or just plain stubborn
to not hear the call
to play outside—
and damn, but
I’m stubborn,
so the world
sends a bobcat,
a red-tailed hawk
and a whole herd of elk
to the yard.
What’s a busy woman
to do
but surrender?
I don’t.
Head down, I get
the work done.
I put on the blinders
of responsibility
until a poem says to me,
You do the right thing,
citizen, and my chest pounds
in urgent code:
that. means. you.
and I put down
the work and walk
into the day
to do my duty,
which is to meet the world
that will never
send an email,
the world
that will never knock,
will never call,
but will always
say welcome,
citizen, welcome.

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IMG_6026

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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