Dear April does photography lead to better seeing or just different seeing? while making breakfast, the garlic heads on the windowsill catch my eye: patterns of sunlight and screen shadow
it’s only after i’m done processing the photos on my phone that i look more closely and see the tip of a sprout poking up. how could i have missed that?
one garlic head’s
it occurs to me later that the resulting photo haiga is more than illustration, since the view of snow through the window adds an extra element for reverie that otherwise would’ve required a couple of additional lines. a tanka in other words
driving to State College for our biweekly grocery shopping, i’m a little shocked by how little snow there is in the valley
but by the time i get back two hours later south-facing slopes are already bare up here as well with temperatures climbing into the low 50s by early afternoon. sic transit gloria nivis
as i drove past the bottom corner of our old field a large white bird flew up from a patch of snow and circled low, its barn-red tail giving away its identity but it took a few moments to shake the initial startling impression that the snow itself was taking flight
on the way up i had the unusual experience of following a car that happened to be driving the exact same speed as me for the entire distance from Tyrone — got on the interstate ramp just ahead of me — and when they took the same three turns i take going to Wegman’s i actually wondered whether they were somehow following me even though clearly i was following them without meaning to
fortunately they weren’t actually going to the same store
and this is exactly the sort of extremely minor incident that can make diaries such a snooze, is it not
down hollow at mid afternoon to inspect the wildflowers. some hepaticas have lost petals but the majority seem ok. the black cohosh sprouts seem unfazed as do the wake-robins which the snow happened to catch in mid-unfurl
it was tempting to hang out beside the trillium patch and watch as they ever so slowly straighten up — something i identify with, though my own winter isn’t so easily left behind
i love folk holidays like 4/20. pity there isn’t a folk saint to go along with it (yet) but the story of how it got started by some high school students who would meet after school to get stoned reminds me of the stoners i went to school with—super-friendly working-class kids for the most part, and just about the only group that wasn’t a clique judging by their occasional overtures to someone like me, a total weirdo bookworm
i guess it’s good i didn’t let my loneliness get the better of me. then again i rarely do
climbing the ridge i keep stopping to nosh on garlic mustard leaves fresh from under the snow and still slightly damp like supermarket produce. not quite as tasty as rocket/arugula but in the same ballpark, spicy-bitter. a handful of snow to melt in my mouth and wash it down.
poetry as revelation, revelation as poetry: that’s what i’m ruminating on as i walk. charismatic creator figures who are somehow not female. faith as a willing suspension of disbelief no matter how its proponents like to dress it up as something more. and i remind myself that that not all creators are jealous, and most revelations from a professional diviner are going to be exactly as minor and personal as the subjects of most poems. prophets are basically griots who have gone rogue
or something like that
this morning in the bedroom i surprised myself by killing a spider i’d been watching, just crushing it with the heel of my palm. i started bawling out my hand like that was its fault—what did you do that for?!
it reminded me of a Lucille Clifton poem:
cruelty. don’t talk to me about cruelty
or what i am capable of.
when i wanted the roaches dead i wanted them dead
and i killed them. i took a broom to their country
and smashed and sliced without warning
without stopping and i smiled all the time i was doing it.
it was a holocaust of roaches, bodies,
parts of bodies, red all over the ground.
i didn’t ask their names.
they had no names worth knowing.
now i watch myself whenever i enter a room.
i never know what i might do.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- April Diary: premature encapsulation
- April Diary 2: talking frogs and brush strokes
- April Diary 3: stag beetle, wolf spider and fly
- April Diary 4: immersion
- April Diary 5: Dutchman’s breeches, sorcery, glutes
- April Diary 6: freedom, haiku, and Roscoe Holcomb
- April Diary 7: wolfish
- April Diary 9: sapsuckers, beginner’s mind, and Phoebe Giannisi
- April Diary 8: talking mushrooms, Utnapishtim, dead poet society
- April Diary 10: on not following myself
- April Diary 11: you may already be obsolete
- April Diary 12: flowers in hell
- April Diary 14: cardinal, coyote, owl
- April Diary 13: wildflowery
- April Diary 15: all my best friends are books
- April Diary 16: deer trails
- April Diary 17: comfort creatures
- April Diary 18: cruelest month, new Rumi, carpe noctem
- April Diary 19: onion snow
- April Diary 20: balancing on one foot, waiting for Armageddon
- April Diary 21: Where are the snows of yesterday?
- April Diary 22: serious riddles
- April Diary 23: earthy day
- April Diary 24: dueling banjos, a roomier Rumi, and some moving art
- April Diary 25: migration time
- April Diary 26: where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
- April Diary 27: half steam ahead!
- April Diary 28: failing upward, tumbleweed, new beasts
- April Diary 29: wildflowery
- April Diary 30: aging in place
- April Diary 31: in conclusion