Sunday, May 31, 2009

The spring collection

We've had a couple of weeks of delightful spring weather - a little warm during the day, a little cool in the evening, rain every now and then. With the windows open, we go to sleep to the sound of crickets, and wake up to bird songs at dawn.

Last night, I saw fireflies. Just a few, a tease of fireflies, if you will.

With the demise of SK, other critters are more active in the backyard. A rabbit wandered in today. The cardinals and robins are there, of course, and occasionally I hear catbirds, although I haven't seen them. I assume the finches are still around, too, although I hung a finch sock for them today and haven't seen anyone come near it. Three starlings showed up the other day, talking loud and strutting around like they've had that last drink you can have before you get incoherently stupid. Fortunately, they also had a drunk's attention span, and after posturing for a couple of minutes, they wandered off. They look like badasses, though, so I'm going to keep an eye out for them.

T and I have been hacking away at the stuff growing in the backyard that we don't want growing there. Ideally, at some point, we will replace it with stuff we DO want to grow there, but one step at a time.

Meanwhile, indoors, I have been taking leisurely tour through "The Discovery Of Poetry" by Frances Mayes (of "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame). While it is described as "A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems", it is much more about reading and understanding poetry, with just a smattering of how to put that knowledge into action. It is also a simply wonderful collection of poems. Every time I take a half hour to read from it, I feel like I am a little better than I was before.

I don't know if this book had anything to do with it, but I went on a poetry writing frenzy today. I picked up a literary journal at the bookstore this afternoon, and the poems in it were awful. Really, really, awful. "Is that all it takes to get published in a literary journal?" I asked my friends. "I can do that in no time."

I picked a few random words out of the magazines on the table and started writing. (T gets special muse credit for daring me to use the word churlish. With pleasure, my dear - what a nice, juicy word!) Within an hour, I had written four poems, two of which were actually not too bad. It turns out that even when I try to write self-indulgent crap, my brain still tries to find a theme and put layers of meaning into it. That's me, always trying to make sense of it all.

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