I’ve been remiss in posting for National Poetry Month, but wanted to share a Gwendolyn Brooks poem that was recently introduced to me.
Tag Archives: spring
“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now…”
A. E. Housman (1859-1936)
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
I’m cheating a bit, since his cherry blossoms are white. Right now white on trees is a little too much like snow. The cherry I watch every year (a little nervously the past two-the recent winters have left it very bent and twisted) has pink blooms. Light with darker centers, as if they’d been white but stained with cherry juice!
I’ve made pink pearl trees to try to get the feel of cherry blossoms, but I haven’t found any small enough to please me. I’m perpetually on the prowl for deep enough rose quartz, but this fall I stumbled on another option for cherry blossom pink stone chips. It’s called rhodochrosite.
In its pure form rhodochrosite is nearly rose red. The name comes from the Greek for rose and coloring. Its more common forms are pink and light brown, sometimes grey. Rhodochrosite gets its color from manganese, and the more calcium replacing the manganese the paler it is.
Rhodochrosite is fairly soft; it has a Mohs hardness of 3.5-4. That’s one reason it’s rarely faceted, and when it is it’s normally the purer red form for collectors. This does mean that it can be carved into wonderful figures and turned into decorative boxes. I think I first saw the stone with its banding on boxes rather than jewelry. The downside is that it isn’t a good gemstone for rings, and possibly not for bracelets, depending how tough you are on them.
It seems to form near silver mines. First it was found in Romania, then later banded stalactites were found in an old Incan silver mine in Argentina. They’d been forming since the mines were abandoned in the 1300s. Argentina is still the principal source of banded rhodochrosite, which is why rhodochrosite is sometimes called rosinca or Inca Rose.
The manganese content makes it difficult to refine silver ore so miners used to just dump the rhodochrosite. (*cringe*) Then collectors realized what was being lost!
Now it’s Argentina’s national gemstone, and also the state mineral of Colorado.
A few haiku and tanka that I was working on while watching Monday’s snow and ice. I prefer cool weather, but even I’m tired of winter at this point!
Snowflakes plop, ice tings.
The disgruntled molting of
a sullen season.
snow falls like feathers
dances like cherry blossoms
and coldly mocks spring
Inky sky, bright moon,
the luminous fields of snow-
ice on black branches.
Light and dark hold winter fast,
spring brings shades and is welcome
rain taps in Morse code
trees shiver and robins fluff
green willow whispers
the crocus pokes through dead leaves,
saffron anthers sniff for spring
I had a slightly early Spring/ really late is Winter over yet celebration with friends this weekend and went to a butterfly conservatory. It was a beautiful place, and totally distracting, somewhere between a photographer’s dream and nightmare.
I’m still trying to identify these species so if you know what they are please give a shout! I’d like to know names beside those fast little suckers, the bright ones that like to pose and the I looked up species common to conservatories and found a few names but not all.
Since it’s the first day of Spring (well, night already now) it seemed worth mentioning what the Vernal Equinox is. (Other than the day we tentatively take our scrapers out of the car and put them in the trunk as we hope to start the progressions towards more sun and less shoveling in the Northern Hemisphere.)
The word equinox comes from the Latin for equal and night, so we tend to say it’s the date where day and night are the same length. The way our atmosphere bends light makes the day appear a little longer than the sun is over the horizon.
An equinox is when the Earth’s equator faces the sun directly, rather than at an angle. So speaking of equality, it’s also the only time when the North and South Hemispheres get equal amounts of light. Makes sense when you think about it, the Earth is facing the Sun head on.
I’ll point you over to EarthSky for more in depth information and explanation!
wind and rain
a semblance of life.
hope rises before sap
the world begins to grow.
Spring wire wrap and spring poem. The season’s been a long time coming. (Still waiting actually…) The crocuses are finally out, but pretty much everything else is still gray.
This started out as a tanka, but one syllable was sticking every time I read it and things felt a little out of place. So it went freeform.
Someone on dA recently expressed surprise at the fact that I’d written a villanelle. (I wrote it several years ago when I still had delusions of improvement and publication…) Villanelles are in some ways a more recent structure form. They were supposedly inspired by medieval troubadours and ballads, but the ossification of the structure didn’t actually occur until the 19th century. Practically an infant form compared to the sonnet! The most famous example is Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.
I am certainly no Thomas, but it’s one of the few more formally structured poems I’ve managed and been relatively pleased with the outcome. Given that it suits this time of year, I figured I’d share it on here.
The cold brown earth melts and heaves,
dries from the effort, cracks with thirst.
And I wait for the first green leaves.
The wind howls every night, it grieves
the lost winter; this waiting time is worst.
The damp brown earth swells and heaves.
The last snow melts off the sloping eaves.
On bare branches forsythia bloom first.
And seeing them, I wait for the leaves.
Squirrels scurry and dig like comic thieves,
trying to retrieve food winter dispersed.
Under their paws the brown earth turns and heaves
On rough skinned trees a small spider weaves.
Spiral buds are swollen, about to burst.
And I wait for the birth of the leaves.
I am the audience who perceives
the play unfolds, eternally rehearsed.
The soft brown earth swells and heaves.
And I wait for the pale green leaves.