The smell of spring through open windows,
lilac, lily of the valley, fresh-cut lawns—
especially at sunset, if it’s warm, with a light wind;

especially on Friday, tired from a work-hard week—
it loosens clothing, talk and inhibition,
maybe with a clink of drink-to-drink.

But nothing lasts, especially to think of
beautiful deliverance from the past week, month
or year. Soon Saturday is here, with tasks

or obligations saved-up for the day,
for catching-up with housework or with friends.
Time spends itself so suddenly away

toward Sunday, when the rituals set in,
and panic petrifies the fun, the very thought of
the next unavoidable, ascending sun.

39 responses »

  1. Time. This poem really captures the feeling of Friday, to Saturday and then Sunday which is saturated with the impending next day, Monday, and the start of starting it all over again. But there is a lulling quality to this poem, comforting in its starkness. An interesting combination. (Here is a link I am offering as a connection to your poem: http://fromaflower.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/the-tirelessness-of-days/ , one of my own on time, The Tirelessness of Days. I enjoy how your poem suspends me above the passage of time even as I am also moving through it ; )

    • I’m glad this poem captures the feeling for you, Anna. I’ve been to read your poem, “The Tirelessness of Days”. It’s wonderful, looking at time “like the moon’s leash on the sea”….a spare and beautifully rendered image! Thank you for linking it here…I recommend it to others.

  2. Although I don’t work, I go through the same Friday to Sunday emotions–living for the weekends, and then–“time spends itself so suddenly away”. Some anxiety, mostly depression sets in Sunday night–silly, I know.

    • Not silly at all. You have a lot of company in that feeling….the Sunday evening feeling of ennui…By the way, I don’t believe you when you say you don’t work….you have a truckload of accomplished poems to prove otherwise…even though at present you are not employed (to employ=to use).

      • Ohh, what a blessing you are, Cynthia! Yes, it’s true that I have a full time “job” as a writer–just no cash compensation, but who needs gobs of money, eh? I’d only have to wonder and worry how to spend it!

  3. You’re so right. But if nothing lasts, then nothing lasts, and that’s even scarier.
    Weak ends are even scarier than weekends, which are scary enough.
    Thanks, Cyn, for a sorely needed glimpse into reality.

  4. I especially love the first verse. Wonderful way to start your poem and so very vivid in my mind’s eye. πŸ™‚

    • Ah yes, the fragrances of spring…even the first hint of spring, in mud season, is a sniff in the air, isn’t it? You must be enjoying it too, with all those flower photos of recent days! πŸ™‚

      • Cynthia: I always enjoy hearing you read your poems aloud. More, please. πŸ™‚

        BTW, Since you seemed so intrigued by the two gargoyles, I’ll post a photo of the building when I get a chance. I believe I’ve posted a photo once before. I’ll go look in the archives and let you know, It was originally built for the wealthy. Years later, Teachers College bought the apartment building. Today it’s used as a residence hall for the university students.

        • Thank you, Sweetie! I will look forward to seeing the building. I think that’s where someone very dear to me (now deceased) lived during the time she attended Teachers College, years ago, and anyway, those gargoyles are quite unusual I think…thanks again.

  5. I love the way you set your scene Cynthia especially the first stanza, but the first two really, then you get down to the nitty gritty of it all. Your sentiments in this remind me of the quote from (was it Heraclitus?) “The only constant in life is change”. 😊

    How’s Fra Pennafolio doing with his manuscript. Im eager to find out 😊 x

    • Thanks, Christine. I think we’ve had that conversation about the Sunday feeling.. And thanks for reminding about Heraclitus…yes, that’s him: “all is flux…you don’t step into the same river twice…”

      As for Fra Pennafolio, he’s still scraping away…..

  6. Ah I wondered about his name! Its a great name. And you have reminded me (as you always seem to remind me of something!) that when I worked many years ago, my boss used to ask me to go to the local bakery for him and buy him a raspbery millefeuille! I used to protest but in the end Id go and just started pointkng and saying “one of those things please”!! 😊. It’s a posh version of what we call a vanilla slice, but its much nicer and made up of three layers of flaky pastry with jam and cream. If i was working for him now I would tell him to go and get his own!! It wasnt in my job description – only joking, he was good to work for and we had fun too. He was a lawyer and I his very patient secretary or PA as they call them now!

  7. The smell of spring through open windows – what a lovely relaxing thought, and some very good points you’ve made! πŸ™‚ And strangely, I have that feeling of spring right now, it’s evening, but the birds are still singing, it’s been a lovely sunny day. But of course these feeling never last. Going by some of your comments here, I’m so glad it’s not only me who feels time running away! It’s a pity we can’t just manipulate it – just a little, when everything gets too rushed and stressed, and have that smell of spring moment just a little longer. πŸ™‚

    • How odd is it, that the days of the week may acquire colors and flavors in one’s mind. Sunday, for example, is yellowish and a day I have never really liked very much. (I’m discovering, from other bloggers–all female–that my dislike of Sunday is shared…how funny!) Such creatures of habit we can be! Thank you, Suzy for stopping by to read, and for your usual interested and interesting comment!

      • Interesting about the dislike of Sunday, I used to loathe Sunday’s too! I worked out in the end it was the feeling of Monday, it was too close! πŸ˜€ The reason was actually to do with school, I hated school intensely, and the thought of only a few hours left before I returned, left me with a feeling of dread. Even in my 20’s I still felt unhappy about Sunday’s. After years of acknowledging and largely ignoring the feeling, it finally left – Sunday’s are lovely now!

        I’ve not experienced the colour association with days, but it makes sense. I’m taking a guess here that yellow is not your favourite colour? I would have definitely called Sunday yellow , it’s never been a colour I like much. πŸ™‚

        • I love how your mind works, Suzy! Actually, I love all colors, when I’m messing about with watercolors, but if forced to choose a favorite, it would be blue…..I may have associated sunday with the sun, which mostly seems yellow, as you guessed, nowhere near a favorite except in tulips, sunflowers, butter, etc…etc. πŸ™‚

  8. Exquisite! Now that I’m officially retired the days all blend together. That is even when, as now, I.m working on a house,.(these almost pro bono jobs take so much time) and watching two very active grandchildren for the summer Congratulations! I think that you captured that weekend with poetic prevision, Cheerio, also JMS

    • Hi Jane–The days do blend,once retirement is achieved…sometimes I’m not quite sure what day it is, and have to think about it. I like it that way, though! Whenever I did pro bono work as a calligrapher, I found it a bit frustrating….something about lack of clarity as to limits, which wasn’t a problem in a more business-like situation.
      How nice to have grandchildren for the summer. You’all will get to really know each other. (Of course, I’m told one of the fine things about being a grandparent is that you get to enjoy the children but then send them home to their parents!)
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I treasure your words and appearances here.

  9. completely captures how my weekends tend to pass – Friday evening is the best… relaxed on the porch with drink in hand and all the summery smells and sounds to enjoy πŸ™‚ wonderfully done!

  10. As I read this, Cynthia, it is about regret that time is passing:
    panic petrifies the fun, the very thought of
    the next unavoidable, ascending sun.
    We start in beauty:
    The smell of spring through open windows,
    lilac, lily of the valley, fresh-cut lawnsβ€”
    especially at sunset, if it’s warm, with a light wind;
    But then comes the realization of how
    …nothing lasts, especially to think of
    beautiful deliverance from the past week, month
    or year.
    Saturday obligations followed by Sunday, and another week, another slice of time in a too short live gone! There is, as Anna Mark noted, starkness in this poem, and, of course, unflinching truth. I illuminates humanity.

  11. Really, it is kind of strange how time slips away, but time knows its job and we cannot interfere in that. Alas, sometimes I have no rest even on a Sunday, the most awaited day for others to unwind. But I am compensated with an off some other day, but there is no Sunday feeling in that other day.

    • Isn’t it funny how certain days have a feeling about them…here in the U.S. we have “blue Monday” (sad) and “black Friday”, and Wednesday is called “hump day”. I hope you have at least one day with that holiday feeling, Ramu, whichever one it is!

  12. “. . . Time spends itself so suddenly away . . . ” oh my, this is as facund as it is stirring. In contemplating this spinning of the clock hands–the evaporation of weeks, dissolving of months–I recall that childhood agonizing wait after Halloween for the coming of Christmas. Time stopped, dragged itself through the sunrises and even made Advent Calendars feel sodden, stuck. And it is all because then we had no life experience. Everything was now, every minute was ‘this minute’, a full sixty seconds of newness. And with the gain of experience comes the diminishing of the ‘now’ as the same now as the ‘back then’ now. And so days are passed like the trucker coming into the roadstop diner and saying, ‘Trixy, give me the usual’, when really, nothing is ever the usual or the same…ever. And brings to mind an elderly Irish parishioner I’d visit who dourly recited each time a stanza of ‘Abide With Me’….”Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou Who changest not, abide with me.” But now, today, if I begin contemplating all of that, I grow confused and return to being the child who does not know. Your work inspires thought(s), always, Cynthia. Such a pleasure.

    • Oh my…I am very touched and humbled to have prompted your comment, which is, in itself, wonderful poetry. That change is all around us, is the truth and it is to our sorrow that we crave what abides. To me that is the greatest irony of the human condition…we want to hold, keep what we love,we want to feel secure that it will abide forever—such is our impossible desire in a world of constant change. I have been re-reading an old favorite by Alan Watts “The Wisdom of Insecurity,” which speaks eloquently to all of this. As you undoubtedly know, since you have the soul of an artist, to have glimpses of what it might be that abides within change, without ever trying to hold it, can be a suffering, but also a consolation. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. It made my day.

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