Here on the border, New Hampshire and Maine,
I watch the brown world through my windowpane
begin to go green, to spring once again.
The mossy, rockbound, hilly terrain
of my yard, I can now ascertain,
is a moldy, crotchety, ugly domain:
dead leaves, fallen branches, have lain
under snow the whole winter. Now a toy train,
a split frisbee, odd stones, compose the moraine.
I sigh.  I wish by some legerdemain
I could clean it all up, simply ordain
a neatness.  Sure, and order the sun, the rain.

The dried bamboo sticks, it’s plain,
are mocking me now.  I will not profane
the air with my curses, but those are the bane
of my landscape:  cane after cane, after cane,
their invincibility drives me insane.
What’s more, they remind me how arthritic pain
has me hobbled, three-legged, constrained
to walk with a stick.  Perhaps I’ll never regain
my gardening self.  Someone else will maintain
my grounds.  That’s that.  No use to complain.

What else can I do?  Order out for chow mein,
wash it down with champagne,
try to treasure whatever obtains,
accept the inevitable, ultimate reign
of the gods, however arcane.

24 responses »

  1. Wonderful, I hear and fell the moan of oh no not another Spring clean-up. I like your idea of how to tackle it. Here in TX tree leaves fall from November straight through February/March and we end up raking nearly every single weekend, once April comes around I don’t care if I never touch another rake. So flowers are my reward – for you it’s the lovely champagne as you watch someone else take on the chore, I do like that idea!

    • You’re right…I don’t really miss the back breaking work of spring cleanup. The photos of your flowers on your blog tell me you did great work..those blooms are enviable. I am especially moved by the magnolia …a tree like that once bloomed just outside my window in the happy years when I lived in Boston…Happy spring, Mary

  2. love the rhyme scheme. Spring is more like fall here in Pgh. these days, so I relate well to the hybridity of the weather, esp. these days. Remember that time when I rhymed both ends of the line? “rash grown feathers ingrown, damned, my dear”? Your creativity knoweth no bounds, howsoever. . . .

  3. Great poem. I didn’t know that there were so many words to rhyme with Maine. It is well executed for the rhyme is not strained – each thought logically following its predecessor even down to that champagne and the arcane gods. I wonder whether you started in the middle with the cane and worked outward? Enjoy your spring – it is the best – we are already beginning to launch into the “long HOT summer’ here in Texas.

    • Nope, didn’t start in the middle, but at the beginning, and just kept going. Thank you for adding the word “strained” to the collection! Hope the unpleasant heat doesn’t descend on you too soon.

  4. Bracing and astonishing in its hubris (moraine?) until I saw once again that you impose these forms on yourself in a spirit of rivalry. You will NOT let these repeated sounds drain the immediate sense of actuality! There’s a Yeatsian rage here that I quite enjoy.

  5. Well worth an airing! ! I love the way you move seamlessly from your bamboo to yourself. 😊
    by the way my Book of Forms arrived! Couldnt get it on kindle though, but I have a book stand so its not the end of he world! It looks very “meaty”. Im looking forward to learning – hopefully!! Or getting more confused, one or the other 😊

    • That’s lovely, Christine…..just take it slowly, and above all, have fun. (fun as achievement, rather than carnival fun) otherwise, it’s not worth it. I’m looking forward to what you make of it!

  6. What a pain; I can’t refrain, in the main, from commenting in like vein. (I think you’ve started something here, that’s plain!)

  7. As we descend into October, I wanted to return and reread your poem about the springtime. Your sentence structure is so witty; I love your selective use of enjambment. Have you thought at all about publication beyond this site?

    • Funny you should ask….I’ve put off the idea of traditional publication for a long time–for a myriad of reasons you can probably guess, knowing as you do, what’s “out there” to contend with. But finally, a few months ago, I decided to go the way of a limited edition hardcover in a small run, with little ambition for marketing, just some nice books to give to interested readers, the local library, etc. It’s a good way to force me to organize all the paper around me, and a small comfort that my poems won’t find their only home in the dumpster when I turn up my toes. The book should be coming out in the next couple of weeks. (I dread the web site with the pay pal button, but I’m going that route instead of Amazon for the time being…once the hordes are clamoring, I’ll think about all that). Anyway, my dear Natalie, I was going to surprise you with a complimentary copy…but now it won’t be a surprise. I assume you’re at the same address? If not, please advise.

  8. A remarkable poem! It’s one that I relate to well. And as for the champagne: the news yesterday says three glasses a champagne will keep alzheimers/dementia at bay. Of course, you have to drink it for it to work, so have fun!

    • How nice to find your comment here, Cynthia (such a nice name). I have been aware of your visits to a few sites we follow in common, but haven’t found the time to check out your own up to now….something I will do very soon. My own mobility, increasingly compromised as time passes, has me traveling —and doing everything else—more slowly these days…as this poem will attest. I’m so glad you like it, and that you came here to say so. That news item about champagne….hmm I like it. Thank you for stopping by!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s