Sunday, February 28, 2010

far and wee

in Just-
spring..........when the world is mud-
luscious the little lame balloonman

whistles.....far.......and wee

and eddyandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


Spring is slowly raising her head here in Sussex. She's a bit out of sorts this year, having been lulled by the easy rhythm of previous years, she allowed her hedonistic half brother, Winter, to seduce her into complacency and allowed him to run riot. She is just now opening a bleary eye and pushing up some tentative crocus, whereas, by now, the daffodils are usually in full bloom.

But where Winter is simply an opportunistic conniver here, in New York he is an absolute bully, beating down his frail sister with frozen fist, spreading his cold carnage over the land with malicious glee. In Upstate, Spring is a time of disappointment and false hope. Winter, the brute, teases Spring with the occasional peek into the world and sometimes allows her to place a tentative foot on the earth only to beat her back with the blizzard bat.

And when spring finally does escape his cold grasp, she can't frolic about the countryside in lazy abandon, instead, she bursts upon the landscape in a riot of color, because she knows her time is short. She has scant weeks between that happy day when Winter loses his icy grip on her and before she is lost in Summer's hot, humid and bug-ridden embrace. So she doesn't amble, she whirls like a dervish, spreading herself across the land until the earth explodes in color.

It makes for a vivid few weeks, a time of tulips and blue bells, when the air is fresh and the world is mud-luscious.

It usually happens around the last week of April.

But wherever you are, spring will arrive eventually. So I'll close now with that promise, offered in another poem by e e cummings:

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
........fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched

,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

to the incomparable
couch of death thy

.............thou answerest

them only with