Posts Tagged spring


Best not step anywhere —
whatever new life you didn’t crush
just means you’ve crushed another
— so dense our biosphere
in the temperate rain forest of Appalachia.

New flowers push up
from the forest floor

from the composting transmutation
of leaves and branches not dead exactly.

A few (money) plants set at the top edge
spill wider and deeper every year,

compounding, while feeding and sharing sex with butterflies.

Thousands of them are marching now,
the apples of May,

but these were the first.

A predictable perpetual surprise.


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The awakening.

The last moments before springs blows open.

Spongiform moss thing.

Burst chestnuts, gone purple.

Chestnuts, burst, natural.

Before the leaves.

Where grass-like weeds once thrived.

Mossy carpet.

Carpet close.

Weeping cherry, self-selected structure.

The white-bellies that fly in the night.

Just is.

There’s no explanation.


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Blooms and bird calls.

Spring overwhelms, reeling from so much at once.

A blurred yellow cartoon appears across the room,

fluffed out double size,

reverts to goldfinch when the preening is done
and I’ve stepped too close.

Behind the dense butt of Mr. Tom,
testing the grass, Lady Claudia Cardinal.

I’m not where they think I am.

Hornbeam fully leafed out, just in time for the hummingbird nests
of the first dozen or sixteen who’ve settled in this week.

Sugar maple seeds shower in astonishing profusion, likewise pinecones.
As every seed is sacred, we must plant them all.

Hawksbeard everywhere, a bumper bloom.

Money plants, in the pre-currency, violet phase.

Azelea not distressed at all by last week’s frost.

17 of the 20 blueberry bushes we planted 40 years ago
still flower and bear fruit.
This year we will implement some simple sharing rules
with the jays and crows and turkeys.

Dogwoods have become scarce, since the blight,
but a few young trees hang on.

Leaves ascending to the ridge.
By next week, an apparent mass of solid green,

but in the hundred shades of spring yellow greens
gradually coalescing into the grayer summer palette
of fewer darker hues.
And that will sign the end of spring.

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Here and there, the business of spring getting done.

New arbor for the remote rose,

replacing the rotting and crumbled wooden slats
with a mosaic firefly top.


The glassy glint from the gravel under foot,
was a thumb-sized hunk of mica
that sheared into a hundred pieces at a touch.


The older bloom of the kitchen amaryllis.

The new bloom.

Little violets in the grass, in patches here and there.

The queen of weeds, ruling a million sister blooms.

Plum gnarly.

Several human spirits are trapped under the bark,
rather lumpy spirits.

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Spring back, fall forward.

Yesterday, snow blew down all afternoon, all night
with wind louder than jets,
like freight trains colliding overhead;
and last night the temperature bottomed at 26°F
for an hour or two.

Today it was sunny and 62°F, to make a mowing and pruning Sunday.

But for our transient little turkey clutch,
the proof of spring,
is the mating dance, display full-on.

A couple days ago, before the freeze,
Tom was grazing solo, a little shy,
hoping for a little cracked corn.


Today he’s pumped
but the three hens he brung
have drifted off to clean up under the feeders.

So, all this is for me.

You got your chest fluffed, your back ruff raised,

your wattle blood red, your whole head a rather freaky blue,

wings down, pumping and dragging, the beard atremble,

tail feathers high, wide spread and snappy

all while wings brushing the ground,
gobbble-gobbling sweet nothings.
An’ he could he would perform all these at once.
But he has to settle for two or three
rotating through his display menu.

Meanwhile a mini-Monarch moth,
about an inch each way

has lit to prove spring’s here to stay.

No more frosts, no more freezes,
no more wintery mix.

Just the spring.
April is the cruelest month,
if you don’t know,
ask the blueberry bushes.

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Snow dusted cusp.

Stepping forward and back over the equinox.

Full bloom yesterday.

Half way to full.

Bulbs are up & out.

And perennials are being what they are.

The herb sagacious.

While randomly walking by,
our cracked corn tom, proves as camera shy as huge.

Brought inside to save them from the frost.

We had to kill them to save them,
though it did not hurt us more.

This way we may enjoy their last days close up.

Four inches of snow fell here today:
the first two vanished as they landed,
the third sank slowly into the ground,
but the fourth covered everything
as the temperature fell under freezing.

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The planted bulbs are up,
each clump in turn as ordered by the hours of sunlight.
You can almost see the bee.

The buds at the branch tips

are set to explode,

some into flowers first,

some first into leaves.

Once a peach, this stump’s done,
the trunk become new wood for carving or for fire.

Blessed by a working bee.

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On the cusp.

The bulbs push shoots up, invisible until they blow apart.

The lichen population is not impressed by spring stirrings.

Boiling, freezing, drought or flood, they’re good, they’re perpetual.

On the shadow side, north facing, the last snow patch lingers.

The branch roars, swollen from the recent rain and the recent snow.

Passing cataracts and icicles,

from the twin springs just below the ridge, down this far,
down to the branch, on to the Mississippi, to the Gulf.

The crocus bulbs have called spring!


The light stripey ones,

delicate and bright,

already sticking to the bee’s knees as she crawls inside

to work, drunk on the golden pollen.

The deep purple clump

And the grandest bloom of all,

serene, imperial,
except for the pollen knocked around her ankles.

Rapture and ravishing.

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That one plant.

Most of the year an amaryllis is dormant,
doesn’t need water, doesn’t need light.
One by one they wake
of a sudden thirsty for water and for light.

They push out a leaf, or a few leaves,
and push up a center stalk absurdly tall
with a bulb the size of a human fist.


Sometimes there are two bulbs and two huge showy flowers open.


Just for kitchen company,
a rare blue Valentine’s Day orchid.


This plant flowered two weeks
before any of the others woke up,
in defiance of last week’s snow.
Necessarily one of them has to be first,
not infrequently way before the rest.

Like the dove let loose from the ark,
looking for enough muddy ground to build a nest;
or, for the amaryllis, sufficiency of sunshine.

Orchid blooms blue and precious beyond imagining

unless it’s from food coloring.

The little buds will tell.

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At the tips.

Half the year we have leaves,
in Western North Carolina,
half the year we do not.

We’ve just about finished with the not part.

A week ago there was a chill hold.


Trees of wood, trees of shadow.
Projection on the ground, not real at all,
except everyday it’s closer to blooming.


Along Church Street, south-east forty miles, in Asheville,
an espalade of tree tops in perfect conic sections.


There are no leaves yet.


But the tip of every branch trembles
ready in silver or in gold.


Bloom, any minute now.


Any second.


Even the ever-cautions hornbeam is at the edge.


A few more minutes of sunlight in a day,
warmer by two or three degrees,
not just one trigger is cocked.


The whole hillside. Ready at the tips.
Doesn’t matter if you are ready.

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Sorry, groundhog, it’s already on.

Somebody’s always got to be first,
no matter the risk,
so comes the crocus.

Another killing frost to come?

Of course.

But, hello, for today.

Leftovers under foot.

Step gently because it is all alive.

Even the rocks, digested by their dressings.

Quartz born in fire, resting on the loam.


 Quartz born in fire, washed by the waters.

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Recollected and prospected.

The first tomatoes last spring were a handful of cherries.


Then the season and the vines got serious
and five gallon buckets spilled out on to full-size cookie sheets.


By the middle of November,
the final fruits, two little bowls. The last tomatoes of 2014.


Only one month more now ’til spring,
ever new.

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Petals and pistils, pedals and pistols: stories from the wild.

time of year has come: riotous abundance, whichever way you look.

Bottom of the lawn.

Native flame azalea.

The astonishing strategies evolved to propagate as each generation pays forward for the next.

Potted plant.

Gerbera daisy.

There’s manipulation, of course — to enlarge flowers or fruits or flavors — bending the wild beginnings. And there’s cultivation — to optimize conditions for growth.

The low bush.

Calycantha (plural?)

When you build a book, the wild world is everything you’ve ever seen, your inventory of images and persons and events. Of course you can make up stuff, if it’s true. The work of writing is to manipulate and cultivate the wild ingredients until you’ve folded them in and teased your new story into being. Your story is from the wild world, but not of it.

Low bush.


When you think you’re done, release your story back into the wild to test if it still is true. Probably it needs work. Probably a lot.  Rinse, repeat, rejoice.


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Just-happy-to-see-you pas.

Joy just is. Probably there is a reason, but the reason is not the joy.


Gonna get lucky.

Do you wish your line was this open and clear?
There’s somebody, somewhere, someday, who already thinks it is.
Be prepared, but be aware it will cost your head.

For she has all who ate her mate.

Three weeks it will be spring, when the multitudinous cees bust loose.
Cees come right after Bees, you will need to know this.

But you do, already, in perilous perspicacity. Halleluiah.


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