Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013

daffodil, forsythia, irises

Easter today, and all around us life is stirring out of the cold dark winter's earth.  Soon Spring will fill us, all around.

M told me about the title of the journal that he edits, Spring.  Norman Friedman, David Forrest, and Richard Kennedy met to discuss the idea of starting a literary journal about the poetry and work of E.E. Cummings on a day in New York City that was very cold.  They met at Sweetwaters Cafe, they decided they would do the journal, they could not find a title, and on the way out of the cafe, back into the sleet-filled streets of New York, Norman cried, "SPRING."

The journal continues today, so many years later.  You can take a look at:    SPRING  .

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Daffodils, oil/canvas

This painting, which is quite large, has become apart from me; I cannot remember my imprints upon it.  Still, exuberant, with joy it is; "It takes my place" here!  

Here is a wonderful poem, a paean of spring, by Tomas Transtromer, Morning Birds .
The translation is by Gunnar Harding and Frederic Will.  Such ordinary-seeming views: this poem takes my breath away.

I wake my car.
Its windshield is covered with pollen.
I put on my sunglasses
and the song of the birds darkens.

While another man buys a newspaper
in the railroad station
near a large freight car
which is entirely red with rust
and stands flickering in the sun.

No emptiness anywhere here.

Straight across the spring warmth a cold corridor
where someone comes hurrying
to say that they are slandering him
all the way up to the Director.

Through a back door in the landscape comes the magpie
black and white, Hel's bird.
And the blackbird moving crisscross
until everything becomes a charcoal drawing,
except for the white sheets on the clothesline:
a Palestrina choir.

No emptiness anywhere here.

Fantastic to feel how my poem grows
while I myself shrink.
It is growing, it takes my place.
It pushes me out of its way.
It throws me out of the nest.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

crest-less cardinal

We have seen a male cardinal in our yard that has no crest feathers, no bright red triangle on top of his head. Sometimes this baldness is due to an unusual molt.  For two reasons, I think our friend has some kind of mite:  because I saw him this way in the autumn, and also because I see some squirrels in the yard with bald fur patches.  This bird could probably preen and catch the mites on his other feathers, but getting them off his head must be difficult.  Or the scratching to get them has caused some feather loss.
Imagine this cardinal with his new crest feathers!
He seemed undiminished in his flight and song, and since he is around again this spring, let us think of him as a resplendent red cardinal going through a minor patch of misfortune.

This photo is by Greg Dodge, from a fine blogsite which you can reach here: