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Sunday, June 23, 2019

Summer Breezes

No sheets flap to the rhythm

of today's summer breezes.

No shirts dangle from their tails,

sleeves twisting like acrobatic arms

beside the collared neck.

 

No. We're a civilized tribe now,

eschewing contact with nature

whenever we can in favour of convenience.

Each generation teaches the next

so that soon there remains no racial memory

of how to clip the sock toes, paired;

how to overlap the tea towel edges

for greatest efficiency;

how to choose the sunniest spot,

the sunniest hours of the day;

and how to watch the Western sky for signs of rain

so all the hanging wash can be gathered in,

safe and dry,

before the opening clouds

spoil the day's labours.

 

 
Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog: http://fastandfearlesscooking.blogspot.ca
 

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Learning by Heart

I like minimalist poets and short poems so I can make it through to the end in one go. I am abashed to admit that the very act of reading poetry makes me lose interest in reading poetry.

 

I want to love poetry. I want to have a mind filled with lines—whole stanzas, even—of poetry to entertain me

when I can't sleep or should I ever find myself in solitary confinement—though I'll admit that at this stage of my life

being in solitary is less likely than the possibility of a sleepless night.

 

A year or two ago, in response to Kim Rosen's Saved by a Poem, I determined to learn by heart "The Art of Losing", by Elizabeth Bishop. It's a poem I adore for its cleverness

of form, among other things. I worked and worked and worked on learning that poem by heart. Here's what I remember: "The art of losing isn't hard to master . . ."

 

That's the first line. The art of losing is even easier than Ms. Bishop imagined, if what you're losing is your memory.

 

 
Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog: http://fastandfearlesscooking.blogspot.ca
 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Regret

I refuse to believe what someone just told me: that regret is the final emotion. I will not let my whole life be boiled down to that sad feeling. I'm helped in this resolve, of course, by my failing memory, which even as it limits my recollection of joyful and beautiful occasions, events, and people, also rids my mind of a lot of those more painful episodes—the kind that lead to regret.

 

So I can't say that I have no regrets. If I set my mind to reviewing my history I can find quite a few. But I won't go there. I won't ruin my final two, five, ten, or whatever years by dredging up my failures, my sins of commission and omission, my days of self-inflicted sorrow. I'm letting it all go. And instead I'll pay attention to spring.

 

In this most beautiful spring ever encountered, I find walking easy. I let the joy of smelling a lilac bush push me on to the next one, each step propelled by the expectation of yet another lilac. Sometimes, in between the lilac encounters, I come to a bridal wreath spirea, trailing its stems full of tiny white blossoms down to the ground. So, a lilac, a spirea, another lilac—and thus I walk in beauty from home to my destination.

 

With Georgia (10) last week as we approached her house I saw a large lilac bush ten feet away and was moving toward it when I saw another (albeit smaller) at the edge of her own yard, and closer to the street. I went to it and smelled it, exclaiming over the scent. Georgia followed me over and smelled it. I was trying to explain that it is essential to smell any lilac bush you come across during this long and lovely spring because the flowers don't last. She had trouble with the concept that the spring flowers—so present in May and June—will actually disappear. The shrubs will remain, but the flowers—and the scent—will disappear until next spring.

 

Since we were approaching her front door as I was (preachy Nana) explaining this, I'm not sure I got through to her with the need to inhale as much spring as we can while it's here. I'll re-emphasize it next year if the topic arises.

 

 
Copyright © 2019 Ann Tudor
Food blog: http://fastandfearlesscooking.blogspot.ca