No matter how I dream of you when the nights are long
and the air is devoid of song and frozen, you never fail
to exceed my expectations. You come with your flowers
and perfumed breath, with the songs of a thousand birds
in tow. And the earth wakes and births miracles. And hope
sings again in the morning skies, and love falls in raindrops
and dances in the sun all around us. And I cannot help
but think that I have tasted heaven in your hours.
It is no wonder that the sky itself weeps at your going,
no wonder that fresh flowers open to offer you their thanks.
My own heart flowers with gratitude, too; my own eyes
weep at your passing. But my tears are more in joy than sorrow,
because you brought me hope, and life, and love.
Farewell, sweet May, until we meet again. Farewell.
Someday, eons from now, when you are sitting
with fellows who rose from worlds afar,
and they say to you, “Earth? What was that like?”
may you tell them what the woods were like in spring,
how, in the blink of an eye, plants the color of emeralds
sprung from frozen soil in a thousand shapes and sizes
at the feet of ancient trees. May you tell them
of the flowers that wore all the colors of the sky,
from its palest dawn to its most splendid sunset,
and how butterflies floated among them in soft air,
and how the air was filled with birdsong and perfume.
Tell them how these things kept you true,
how they made you believe in Goodness
and in the Great Yes that gave rise to their being,
and how their songs still live in your heart to this day.
The peonies float on the afternoon light
as if they were boats on a deep green sea, their scent
rising like prayers from their luminous centers.
As May’s final days come to a close, she offers these
gifts as her farewell, placing them with love
on the altars of our hearts that we may carry
her blessings and her joy in our memories
until she makes her return. For always,
she will bring renewal; always, she will usher in rebirth.
And so she sings, “Be merry, my children.
Let hope be your guide. For always,
you are cherished. Always, you are loved.”
My sweet little ducky loves me!
I asked her, and she said Yes.
It must have been the dance I danced,
and my feathers fine and bright.
Or maybe she heard my heart sing,
or saw the gleam in my eye.
Whatever it was, when I proposed
that we would make beautiful babies,
she quacked her Yes. Now she is mine.
And I am the King of the World.
When the hot winds blow, child,
when the ice returns,
when the world feels barren and bleak,
in the midst of the darkest nights
when fear or pain engulf you,
recall these petals, so soft and sweet,
and remember how tender
Love can be.
When the rain clouds parted, a narrow shaft of sunlight
found the corner of the garden where a solitary iris bloomed,
bronze in color, as if it had purposely come to touch
the flower’s heart. And a wind came, riding on the sunlight,
and the petals of the iris opened to its kiss, exposing
the flower’s secret soul. And the sunlight entered in,
and the iris knew that this moment was the whole reason
for its being—this touch, this love, this light.
The afternoon is moist and drenched with the fragrance of lilacs,
and low clouds hang in sky. The world feels dreamlike,
its colors muted, its birdsong subdued. Rainstorms are coming,
but not until nightfall. You can feel their approach in the air.
And something else, too, is approaching, but you can’t say what.
All you can do is stand there, still, waiting, watching.
From the corner of your eye, you catch a movement,
a dark, darting streak and you turn your head to see, there,
on the peony leaves, a damsel fly, the year’s first, its tail
an iridescent turquoise and blue, its sheer wings black
in the day’s low light. It seems a sign somehow,
a signal that magic is afoot. Quick! Make a wish!
Ask to hold onto this moment forever.
I stand in the deep vegetation at the creek’s edge
stunned by the countless shades of green
and by the tangled lushness of it all.
A mere six weeks ago, I was hunting
for the first wild flower, hoping one had poked up
through the still brown and matted grass.
And look now, what the spring has wrought
in what feels like a blink of my awestruck eyes.
God, I love May! How could You write Your Yes
more clearly? How could one see this
and doubt Your being!
Regardless of the world’s confusion,
its violence and evil and pain,
on this clear May morning lilacs blossom
and swallowtails, newly emerged
from their dark cocoons, flit in dizzy joy
to sip the nectar.
Here is your reassurance, dear child.
Here is proof of life’s renewal.
Here is proof of grace.
As far as the ferns are concerned,
they stand in the center of world,
their roots in the earth, their tips
reaching to the stars, and everything
else radiating out from this core place
where they have their being.
They know, of course, that everything
else has a story all its own, with itself
as the center, the ferns playing only
a part, perhaps a significant one,
perhaps not. That doesn’t lessen
their awareness of their own place.
It simply leads them to suspect
that, somehow, all centers converge.
Whatever the truth, they trust
that things are as they should be.
So they hold to their own centers,
spread their fronds and dance.