Thursday, April 28, 2016

In "Spring 1967" Hayden Carruth writes, "Rain / soaks the fish-scale snow, the bloom / of beer cans emerges beside the road. / Another spring."

No rain or snow here, though. Our beer cans bloom in the dry ditches, among the blackened fronds of last year's goldenrod, the bleached labels of cigarette packs, the stubbled shards of gravel and chipped asphalt.

"You laugh," says Hayden," "calculating the nostalgia / of people fifty years from now."

Oddly enough, it is fifty years from his "now," and I am still laughing at the nostalgia of those people of the future. Laughing and not laughing.

* * *

The weather in Harmony has been ridiculous--low 20s in the morning, mid-40s in the afternoon, and a chill breeze all day long. In addition, the soil is dry, dry, dry . . . not a spring shower to be seen, and it's nearly May.

As a result, I've done very little planting (some lettuce and radishes, some peas). Spring garlic shoots and rhubarb and sorrel and green onions are only half-visible. Asparagus is dormant, grass is brown, tree buds are silent, daffodils are withering in the cold. I've given up hanging out laundry because my hands get too stiff. So tomorrow, as we head south for stage 1 in my older son's graduation festivities (the screening of his film), I'll be hoping for portents of real spring. Even 50 degrees and a south wind will do.

* * *

In "Thaw," Hayden writes,
fuzzed snow browning in lastyear's haystubble the pasture's winter-starved moss
lionskin flung rumpled, moist, eaten, crushed eyes in the mage-fur
of old leaves
Wet is the optimal word in images of northern spring: snow, rain, snow, rain, thaw, damp, rot. So this year's dryness is unnerving. My friend Sue and I walked down through the woods to look at the stream, which should be a torrent of snowmelt. But instead it is brown and feeble, barely filling its banks.

* * *
Stones, brown tufted grass, but no water.
It is dry to the bottom. 
--from Hayden Carruth's "The Ravine"

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