The Super Moon of May

I went for a walk last evening (alone, in the almost-dark), out in the park by my house. To the west, there was this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But to the east, the east in the evening, there was this glorious sight:

    It was more coral than my camera would catch. My iPhone was a little better at picking up the tint, but not so good with the details. The moon sifted itself between the scattered clouds,     

 

 

 

 

and silhouetted the branches of trees:

And as I sat by my open window, choosing photos, the horned owl came by to hoo-hoo plaintively in the tree. Shortly thereafter, in response to a siren in the distance, a lone coyote howled in a plangent fashion, and I thought of Richard Wilbur’s poem, “Beasts,” with which I shall leave you:

BEASTS

Beasts in their major freedom
Slumber in peace tonight. The gull on his ledge
Dreams in the guts of himself the moon-plucked waves below,
And the sunfish leans on a stone, slept
By the lyric water,

In which the spotless feet
Of deer make dulcet splashes, and to which
The ripped mouse, safe in the owl’s talon, cries
Concordance. Here there is no such harm
And no such darkness

As the selfsame moon observes
Where, warped in window-glass, it sponsors now
The werewolf’s painful change. Turning his head away
On the sweaty bolster, he tries to remember
The mood of manhood,

But lies at last, as always,
Letting it happen, the fierce fur soft to his face,
Hearing with sharper ears the wind’s exciting minors,
The leaves’ panic, and the degradation
Of the heavy streams.

Meantime, at high windows
Far from thicket and pad-fall, suitors of excellence
Sigh and turn from their work to construe again the painful
Beauty of heaven, the lucid moon
And the risen hunter,

Making such dreams for men
As told will break their hearts as always, bringing
Monsters into the city, crows on the public statues,
Navies fed to the fish in the dark
Unbridled waters.

– RICHARD WILBUR

(https://werewolf-news.com/2009/06/beasts-by-richard-wilbur/)

#30Inks30Days 21 April, 2020; Goldfinch Photo Update

Note: From here forward, this story is being co-authored by Meredith Feiertag.

Diamine Cult Pens Robert

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The goldfinch finally let me me get some shots with my good camera. It started out posing in the hawthorn tree,

 

 

 

 

 

then went for a drink at the bar.

I really must get a bird feeder.

#30Inks30Days 20 April, 2020; A Morning Anecdote

Sailor Manyo Yamabuki


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On another note, I couldn’t sleep last night and, when the sun rose, I saw that the clouds were turning all kinds of pinks and were layered dramatically, so I decided to take a quick walk to the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw what I think was an eagle.

I saw the sun warm the sky,

and turn the mountains, still snowy from the last storm, rosy and coral.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw the sun burst slowly over the horizon,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and turn the trees to copper.

 

And I saw a small pyramid of balls, sparkling with frost.

   

I couldn’t read the note and, with the corona virus still rampaging, I didn’t dare touch it, but I think it was meant as a gift to encourage people who come to the park to enjoy.

I got scolded thoroughly by a raven,

and made my way home, where I found the grape hyacinths had emerged and were tingling with rime.

And then, as I turned to go in the house, I heard a goldfinch singing in our locust tree. I searched for it,
but it was tiny and high up in the branches. In those moments of searching, the sun inched up behind me, and then there it was, yellow-gold in the morning light, and I couldn’t get a decent photo of it. But the suddenness of the bird’s vivid visibility was like a revelation of something crossing from another world. First it was merely sound, beautiful sound, and then it was a gift of colour and light serenading the neighbourhood from our backyard.

Maybe it means something, this bird and its song in the morning. To me, it was enough on its own, a moment that transported my thoughts to a respite of loveliness. 

Eventually, though, I do hope to get a better photo.

While We Keep Waiting; The Peach Tree Chronicles, Part III

I found a panel in a comic that seems to encapsulate this moment:

That’s how I feel, too. (You can peruse the whole comic here.)

I keep reading on-line pieces here and there that are versions of “I didn’t want to talk about the COVID-19 situation, but…” (for example, go over to Mountain of Ink and read Kelli’s post on “Quarantine 2020 Ink Palettes.” Be sure to check out the link to the dreaming octopus, too. It’s amazing). I do want to talk about the coronavirus, but am having a difficult knowing what to say. I’ve been trying to walk some line between taking the pandemic seriously enough and not freaking out, but all the confusion, the almost non-existent testing, the lack of support for those fighting this disease, the lethal carelessness of the president and governors —well, freaking out begins to look like the reasonable response.

I continue to use my camera to mark the days and to remind myself there is still much beauty in the world. The moon has gone from this,

to this,

to this,

 

 

 

 

 

and, finally, to this:

 

There have been sunsets drenched in all kinds of colours:

 

 

 

 

 

And after one, long, sleepless night, there was a magnificent sunrise.

It got caught in the reflection and frost on our car’s windows.

In my pjs and coat, I sneaked across the street to the park to watch the sun appear.

 

The park was full of crows. 

You can see one flying low across the field in these two:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sun tinged the mountains and clouds pink,

made the eastern sky flame,

and stained the tree bark and pine cones russet.

Frost rimed the grass and the soccer field sparkled in the sun.

Spring continues to unfold, just as if there were no corona viruses in the world. The daffodils are rising like the sun and my apple tree begins to put out leaves.

 

And while most of the blossoms on the peach tree survived,

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a few took a hit.

 More wintry weather is due this weekend.

I hope you all are staying well and staying at home as much as possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

#30Inks30Days 5 April, 2020

Organics Studio Limited Edition Jazz Hands 

Sorry about the disruption to the story. Maybe tomorrow my brain will come back.

Adventures Outside the House During Our Time of Isolation

Yesterday I ventured forth farther a-field than I have for three weeks. I had an health appointment and my son agreed to take me so I wouldn’t have to take the bus (I don’t drive). I thought I would be excited to leave the house, but in truth I was mostly nervous. I looked up how to make a mask from a bandana and hair bands:

You can find instructions on how to make your own COVID-19 fashion statement here. I had a hard time getting the elastic bands to stay looped over my ears, so when I got home, I strung three together, before slipping the bandana through the end two, to allow the elastic to go around my head. I haven’t tried wearing it outside as I walk around yet, but I have high hopes it will stay in place a little better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way in, there were some cars, but many stretches of the road were almost empty.

We passed my favourite pond. There were two grey herons on it, a bird I hadn’t seen there before. I hope they’re nesting. Someone pointed out to me that the birds have been loving the quieter days and the cleaner air, and since then I have noticed that there are indeed more birds around than we’ve had for a while.

 

      After my appointment, we had a couple errands to run, one on the pedestrian mall. It was stunning to see how empty it was. The homeless folk had gathered primarily in one area, but most were keeping several yards apart from each other and talking about the pandemic.

I was surprised by how many restaurants were not limiting themselves to take out or curbside pick-up. Quite a number were open for business as more-or-less usual. THIS IS WHY WE NEED A NATIONAL SHUT-DOWN, PEOPLE. We can’t count on folks to stay away from each other if it isn’t mandated as a necessity.

There were few shoppers around; many of them were wearing scarves or masks. We looked like a small convention of highway robbers.

Because I’ve been cooped up at home, my son and I took the scenic route home. We saw trees just coming out of dormancy, still all bones, but not for long.*

There were some mountains, too.

Honestly, I feel as if the world has undergone such a cataclysm that I wasn’t sure the Rockies would still be there. It’s like living in one of those SciFi movies in which most of the population has been swept away by a plague and everyone is afraid of everyone else, but it’s not a movie.

Be careful out there, folks.

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* Winter trees remind me of the first and last verses of Theodore Roethke’s poem, “I Knew A Woman”:

I knew a woman, lovely in her bones,
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;   
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one:   
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I’d have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek).
………………………………
Let seed be grass, and grass turn into hay:   
I’m martyr to a motion not my own;
What’s freedom for? To know eternity.
I swear she cast a shadow white as stone.   
But who would count eternity in days?
These old bones live to learn her wanton ways:   
(I measure time by how a body sways).
(https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43331/i-knew-a-woman)

 

The Peach Chronicles, Part II

Well, I am sure everyone had a sleepless night, worrying about the peach tree. I am pleased to offer a bit of good news: I think the lights may have worked! Take a look:

 

Not only do most of the blossoms that were there before seem to be there still, but there are even some new ones:

The foreseeable future offers some dips down to freezing temps, but no hard freezes. But then there’s the rest of April, squirrels (who literally will take one bite of a peach and then throw it as far as they can), bugs, birds…
Kinehora, all!