That First Crazy Optimist

For the Bird Singing before Dawn
Poem by Kim Stafford

Some people presume to be hopeful
when there is no evidence for hope,
to be happy when there is no cause.
Let me say now, I’m with them.

In deep darkness on a cold twig
in a dangerous world, one first
little fluff lets out a peep, a warble,
a song—and in a little while, behold:

the first glimmer comes, then a glow
filters through the misty trees,
then the bold sun rises, then
everyone starts bustling about.

And that first crazy optimist, can we
forgive her for thinking, dawn by dawn,
“Hey, I made that happen!
And oh, life is so fine.”

The Heart Will Open

It Was a Dream

It was a dream

We all carry with us this dream:

that something wonderful will happen,

that it must happen -

that time will open,

that the heart will open,

that doors will open,

that cliffs will be opened,

that springs will well forth,

that the dream will be opened,

- that we one peaceful morning will glide in -

onto a bay we had not been aware of.

    ~ by Olav H.Hauge

        ~Translated from the original Norwegian by Rolleiv Solholm

The Impeded Stream

Our Real Work
by Wendell Berry

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

A Flight Into Vastness

How Near to Fairyland

By Yone Noguchi

The spring warmth steals into me, drying up all the tears of my soul,
And gives me a flight into the vastness,—into a floorless, unroofed reverie-hall.

Lo, such greenness, such velvety greenness, such a heaven without heaven above! 
Lo, again, such grayness, such velvety grayness, such an earth without earth below!
My soul sails through the waveless mirror-seas.

Oh, how near to Fairyland! 
Blow, blow, gust of wind! 
Sweep away my soul-boat against that very shore!

Be the Cat in Catastrophe

Avoid Adapting Other People's Negative Views
By Sharon Dolin

                  ~   after Epictetus

To gaze upon the fatal
without commiserating gloom:
what every friend should be—
not one who rends her coat of doom
nor one who lets her ankle rankle
nor her dogged love to the hounds.          
Be the cat in catastrophe
who survives eight more dives.
Though in the clutch of damage
a dame must age,
in the crazy-quilt of guilt
it was never your fault.
In the company of morose
always pull out the rose.

April is Poetry Month

Marrying the Wind

I proposed to the wind and the wind said yes
but now we are encountering extreme difficulties

putting together our wedding registry.
The wind wants feathers, dust bunnies,

confetti. It has no interest in candelabras. The wind
wants only things that can be carried

on its soft voice. I want all the seasons
of Breaking Bad. The wind cannot appreciate

Walter White, but it may like to carry away a cloud
of smoke. I am unsure if my love can be held

in the wind’s arms. Nothing is softer than the wind’s arms
it loves to hold hands with my hair. But I want to fight

about this espresso machine the wind doesn’t want.
The wind cannot pick up the registry scanner

so I am forced to do all the booping.
Cornmeal boop. Flour boop. Wood shavings boop.

I buy a Diet Coke and the wind takes the receipt.
I scream into the wind and the wind screams back.

~ by Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

Cherry Blossoms

Abby and I spent a few days in DC at the start of the Cherry Blossom Festival. The trees were just starting to flower so we didn’t get the full effect. Apparently the blossoms start out white, eventually turn pink and then will be truly breathtaking.

The city takes the cherry blossoms very seriously. It was fun to see everything decked out for the celebration.