The World in May Is Leafing Out (again)

Around here we wait for Spring. We wait. And we wait. And it arrives — for a day. And back we go to waiting and waiting — and waiting. And then around the sixth week since the “Calendar’s First Day of Spring,” we see a few buds and some ferns begin to unfold, and a few pointed tips rise an inch or two above ground. A couple of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks show up at the feeders joining the Goldfinches, Chickadees, and the rest of the gang. And then one morning we ache our way out of bed and there it is — Spring — with its hushed landscape of blossoms.
Can we add this as a hopeful metaphor without spoiling its quiet arrival? Maybe not to the political landscape. Maybe for our battered inner landscape.

Here’s a repeat poem from this time last year…
The World in May Is Leafing Out 

It’s Matisse on a bicycle. It’s
a great blue heron coloring
outside the lines. The show’s
turned over to the aftermath
of buds. You can love
never thinking
this cliché could turn
to ice. Even nice
can be profound
as worry, even
the creek over the rotting log,
the pansy in the moss-covered
pot. The birds bulge
with song. Mary Cassat
throws open her windows.
Monet drags his pallet,
sits and waits for the paint
to spill across the patina
of his failing sight. Eric Satie
makes his joyous cling
and clang a counterpoint
to dazzle. The earth is rising
in shoots and sprays.
The sky’s as new as rain.
The stubborn doors swing open.

–Jack Ridl

First published in The Listening Eye, Kent State University

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14 thoughts on “The World in May Is Leafing Out (again)

    • Hi Dennis,
      Thanks, fellow member! So much. It means a lot
      to know that a poetry writer appreciated this poem.

  1. Thanks Jack. For some reason, your poem – perhaps the rhythm of it – reminded me of Yeat’s “The Second Coming.” But, of course the obvious contrast is that yours is full of hope. Good way to begin a spring-to-summer day.

    • Thanks, Tim. Maybe a bit of Yeats landed in me when Julie and I
      visited his tower. So glad you appreciated the poem. And here’s
      to savoring these blossom-filled days.

  2. The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

    Jack, you have Out-Hopkinsed Hopkins! AND the Celtics won.

    Beautiful poem. Joan

    • High praise indeed, Coach. And I’ll take it in with joy and gratitude!

      And let’s keep those Celtics rolling. Did you see that Brad got not a single
      vote for Coach of the Year and handled it with such Brad Stevens grace.

      With joy and care always,

  3. That’s exactly it. Stunning imagery that awakens our eyes, our noses, our fingertips, our hearts to those birds bulging in song, the earth rising in shoots and sprays, that stubborn door swung open. Thank you for you. Marsha

    • Ohhhhhh your comment dances! And brings me the best joy-filled smile.
      Thank you sooooo much.
      Oh, and isn’t a life in books, as you brought up at the workshop, more
      a life and move alive than what is imposed on us outside the world
      of books. And other than nature, it’s all made up, so books are the
      best of all. You know that, though.

  4. Will this spring after so long and harsh a winter be a spring to remember? A spring so powerful that no patches of snow will make it through the summer?

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