Sunday, miscellany



Outside, a scattering of purple crocus, white Snow Bunting crocus by the front door, stray saffron yellow in pots. And hanging in the kitchen window, the one looking northwest, looking towards the snow-covered mountains, a clump of crocus fixed in mosaic glass. In early evening, the light comes through them.


All night I kept waking. What was I hearing? I thought I was hearing something in the gutters John has been clearing of winter detritus washed down from the roof. Weasels? In spring they race along the edges of the roof, in and out of the flashing, they pause in the dog rose canes by the bedroom window to peer in briefly, they find an opening and come into the kitchen, and we sweep them out again. So maybe weasels. But just now, we watched two dark animals, larger than squirrels, bound across the driveway and up the mossy lane beyond the vernal pool. Mink? It wasn’t until later that I remembered the small dark animal hiding between the two compost boxes, the summer that all the grandchildren were here, and how we stood a distance away, looking at it, and how it looked back.


When I was awake in the night, there were stars. What was I hearing? A loon back on the lake after winter.

As bamboo chill drifts into the bedroom,
Moonlight fills every corner of our
Garden. Heavy dew beads and trickles.
Stars suddenly there, sparse, next aren’t.

Fireflies in dark flight flash. Waking
Waterbirds begin calling, one to another.
All things caught between shield and sword,
All grief empty, the clear night passes. (Du Fu, trans. David Hinton)



When I went out to see if the crocus in the garden had opened yet, wanting a photograph, I saw the rhubarb unfurling. Looking ahead, I am thinking about crumbles, pies, jam with ginger, and compote to have with yogourt.


tiny daffodils

I can’t look at daffodils without remembering Narcissus. Because I have been writing about love and obsession, it was fitting to find a few bright flowers on the edge of the garlic bed, far from a pool, and how they are blooming as though unaware of their beauty. Old boots and kettles, a Chinese pot of bamboo, the stories alive on the edges of the garden.


Unweatherbeaten as the moon my face
Among the waterlogged, the commonplace,

Old boots and kettles for inheritance
Drifting into my head on the off-chance –

A wide Sargasso where the names of things
(Important guests at all such christenings)

Submerge in mind and pool like treasuretrove.
My face as sole survivor floats above.

–Michael Longley

2 thoughts on “Sunday, miscellany”

  1. Thanks for this much-needed glimpse of Spring from here where all is white and beige and brown and taupe. Even the creatures who visit are in the same colourway: the young mule deer and the lone snowshoe hare whose feathered toes are just beginning to turn cinnamon. I’m impatient for rhubarb!

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