Day 307 – Early Summer’s Departure

Early Summer's Departure

Day 307

The Sun is gay or stark by Emily Dickinson

The Sun is gay or stark
According to our Deed.
If Merry, He is merrier —
If eager for the Dead

Or an expended Day
He helped to make too bright
His mighty pleasure suits Us not
It magnifies our Freight

Day 284 – A Bit of Relief

A Bit of Relief

Day 284

Common Cold by Ogden Nash

Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
I’m not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.

By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever’s hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!

Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Führer of the Streptococcracy.

Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne’er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.

A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare’s plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!

It is rattling in my head and rattling in my chest.  I have a cold or the flu.  You pick.  My head hurts, my ears hurt, my teeth hurt, my fingers hurt, my toes hurt.  I think my hair may hurt.  When I breath, there is a pleasant little whistling noise coming from my throat that accompanies each exhale and my nose is a fountain of joy.  And I want some Ben and Jerry’s.  Does anyone have a direct line to the Ben and Jerry fairy?


Day 274 – Winter Posing

Winter Posing

Day 274

images of snow – february 1996 by Rg Gregory

snow is a thousand flowers
the chinese probably said
hundreds and thousands this morning
drop their garlands on my head
last night the festoons started
long before we went to bed

snow is a white-furred rabbit
the chinese probably wrote
hedgerows and fields this morning
wear a similar fluffy coat
last night the winter danced back
with a white fur round its throat

snow is a treacherous fox-face
the chinese probably thought
it lurks in wait this morning
for the weak and overwrought
last night it laughed its head off
loving the fear it’s brought

Chionophobia is a fear of snow.  We have snow now.  If you are a chionophibiaist, you might want to avoid the Great Lakes region here in the United States.  The snow has fallen in fat cottony lumps on the tips of shrubs and trees and is coating the sides of trees.  If the sun would have shone today, I think everything would have had that sparkle that dazzles me and holds me transfixed for long periods of time.  So all of this snow begs me to make note of one, two or maybe more, snow facts.
  • Snow is transparent!  It isn’t white.  Honestly!  It reflects so much color that our eyes can’t translate and they see it as white.
  • Snow flakes are always 6 sided, though some of those sides can be quite misshapen.
  • Each snowflake is made up of 2 to 200 crystals which leads me to…
  • The largest snowflake!  It was found in Montana a long, long time ago in an era far, far away.  In 1887, a snowflake measuring 15 inches (!) across was found!  It was also 8 (!) inches thick.  How would you like that *little* bit of a snowflake hitting your windshield at 55 mph?
  • The average snowfall in my little part of the world is 70.8 inches per year.  If you are in the states, you can see your average here.
  • Matching snow flakes were found in Wisconsin in 1988.  So two snowflakes CAN be exactly alike!
  • You really should not eat yellow snow….
The snow has stayed long enough to pose for me.  Enjoy it today, because tomorrow it is planning on bowing its way out of here.

Winter Posing - Banker Street Road

Day 251 – It Has Teeth

It Has Teeth

Day 251

Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind by William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.Freeze, freeze thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As a friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship if feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

I am going have to think about how jolly I actually am tonight…  Jolly.  If I were on Jolly Road in Lansing, MI, I would be right smack dab in the middle of jolly, but I am just off Liberty Road and a bit down from Sunnyfield.  What does that make me?  Cold.  What do I expect though?  What I do expect and dread are the constant questions, “Cold enough for ya?”  (No, I could stand a few degrees colder and pray, give me a windchill of -15F), “Didja order all this snow?” (Yes, I did.  And I have a secret and diabolical plan to gain world domination with my weather machine), “When you gonna thaw us out?” (As soon as I accomplish aforementioned world domination, of course), “If you hate the cold so much, why don’t you move down South?” (I’ll get right on that tomorrow, as soon as my throne is constructed in the small duchy that has been languishing without my fabulousness and I get that relocation package for my family and my mom),  and “Take it back where it came from, willya?” (As soon as I get my anti-gravitation machine up and running, I’ll send the snow right back up to those clouds!).  Ah, the joy of seasonal cliché….

Day 247 – Something to Sink Your Toes Into

Something to Sink Your Toes Into

Day 247

Bogland by Seamus Heaney

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They’ve taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They’ll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.

Not that I would want to sink my toes into this cold mess, but I did sink my shoes into it as I wandered through this marsh looking for something different.  Alas, nothing different about tree trunks reflecting in standing water, but the time of year that I am actually catching this marvel IS different.  We should be buried in at least a foot of snow now, not mired in soft mud with the warm sun shining down on us.  Not that I am complaining – I’ll take the sun shining on my face any time!
And this photo, taken before I read One Order of Ordinary, Hold the Extra by the lovely Year Struck, of an ordinary tree in an ordinary swamp in and ordinary town by an ordinary woman, makes me very thankful indeed for the very virtue of ordinariness. And very thankful for someone who reminded me that being ordinary is a good thing.

Day 242 – Up and Over

Up and Over

Day 242

Over the fence by Emily Dickinson

Over the fence —
Strawberries — grow —
Over the fence —
I could climb — if I tried, I know —
Berries are nice!

But — if I stained my Apron —
God would certainly scold!
Oh, dear, — I guess if He were a Boy —
He’d — climb — if He could!

It is so bright, bright, white all around.  I am so ready for the greens, the warm yellow light, the purple flowers that dot every ounce of space that the tall spring grasses haven’t claimed.  I am ready for my bare arms to feel the kiss of the sun.  I am ready to feel warm rain on my face, to feel the river current washing over my bare toes, the sound of peepers breaking the silence of the night.
And no matter how ready I am for it, Old Man Winter isn’t ready to relinquish his cold, white grip on my world.

Day 241 – Cold is Laying Hard on the Land

Cold is Laying Hard on the Land

Day 241

Late, O Miller by Robert Louis Stevenson

Late, O miller,
The birds are silent,
The darkness falls.
In the house the lights are lighted.
See, in the valley they twinkle,
The lights of home.
Late, O lovers,
The night is at hand;
Silence and darkness
Clothe the land.
I have been taking a bit of a break from being online and even skipped out on my camera for those two days.  Could I be lazy, or is it just that I feel a bit burned out?  Maybe a bit of both.
I had to take Booker the cat to the vet today – she is losing hair and has open sores from the damned fleas that we can not get a handle on.  She got a shot and some new meds and I came home a steamed the entire house again.  Poor little cat is allergic to the dratted bugs.  I hate them and I hate chickens.  Enough said.
Now the spousal unit and I are getting ready to head out for a date.  Short but sweet, but that is my day.  Have a great night, dear friends.

Day 237 – Cold Rest

Cold Rest

Day 237

Blue Winter by Robert Francis

Winter uses all the blues there are.
One shade of blue for water, one for ice,
Another blue for shadows over snow.
The clear or cloudy sky uses blue twice-
Both different blues. And hills row after row
Are colored blue according to how for.
You know the bluejay’s double-blur device
Shows best when there are no green leaves to show.
And Sirius is a winterbluegreen star.
I am supposin’ that winter really should be my favorite time with all of the blue that it hogs up from the rest of the year.  It is just too stinkin’ cold for me to feel any real affection for it though.  I had thought that this might be the year that the cold would be my friend since the Hot Flashes came to visit my house, but they cleared out of town at the first sign of snow and left me to suffer this by myself.  The capricious Hot Flashes will probably come back just in time to enjoy summer with me and then over-extend their visit.  Obviously no one has told them that company is like fish – it starts to stink after a week.  If you happen to run into one of the Flashes, let them know that my spare room is already reserved…  In the meantime, I have my extra blankets, my lovely heated seats and layers of clothing.  And with all of the extra layers, I am starting to resemble the Michelin man.

O, wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

Day 236 – It’s Colder Than a Frog.

It's Colder Than a Frog.

Day 236

When Cold December by Dame Edith Sitwell

When cold December
Froze to grisamber
The jangling bells on the sweet rose-trees–
Then fading slow
And furred is the snow
As the almond’s sweet husk–
And smelling like musk.
The snow amygdaline
Under the eglantine
Where the bristling stars shine
Like a gilt porcupine–
The snow confesses
The little Princesses
On their small chioppines
Dance under the orpines.
See the casuistries
Of their slant fluttering eyes–
Gilt as the zodiac
(Dancing Herodiac).
Only the snow slides
Like gilded myrrh–
From the rose-branches–hides
Rose-roots that stir.
It is just too cold to write tonight.  In fact, it was almost too cold to post this and that is why it came in after midnight.  Hey!  I’ll take any excuse for my procrastination!  Toodles, poodles! Muah!

Day 224 – Its Season Has Passed

Its Season Has Passed

Day 224

Winter Scenes by Karen Stephens

I have

               seen Winter; its cold, grey mornings,

Its frozen mist-drops clinging to yielding tree branches,

Its glass-like tears sparkling in the short noon sun,

I have seen Winter.

I have

               heard Winter; its fast-moving wind noises,

Its sharp voice piercing the solemn quietness of the day,

Its crunch where the crusty snow gives way,

I have heard Winter.

I have

               touched Winter; its frosty whispers on my face,

Its white, wet iciness in my boots,

Its fresh, clean air, breathed in deep draughts,

I have touched Winter.

I have

               known Winter; in its most violent tempers,

Through its placid dreamings,

In its soothing vastness,

I have known Winter.

 I am de-Christmased.  The ornaments are tissued and boxed.  The lights are rolled and bagged.  The tree branches are sorted, bundled and packed away.  My home has a certain strangeness to it now that the clutter and bright lights of Christmas are gone.  It looks naked.  I like the nakedness of the house now, though it could certainly use a bit more stripping.  Now the bleak cold of January can take over.  And that means that Spring is inching ever closer!

(today’s poem is brought to you by my lovely friend, Karen Stephens)

January Will Have its Way...