Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Maybe Spring

Exciting news on the collaboration front. The broadside print of Sage with artist Claire Owen is being proofed as we speak. We should have it in hand in a month or so, and it will be for sale on Claire's website, Turtle Island Press.

But in the meantime, something old/new...

While poking around my parent's bookshelves a few years back, I came across a copy of Darwin's On the Origin of Species that had belonged to my grandmother. On the flyleaf was written her maiden name, Sadie Kesselman, 1919. Each page had a heading that extracted some important phrase from the chapter.

I wrote a series of poems with titles drawn from these page headings -- things like "The Importance of Barriers" or "Long-Lost Characters." This was my first foray into a body of work that shared a theme, a process which has proven to be a consistent way of working for me.

Recently I was looking over some of these poems and found this one from 2006. After a roller coaster week of snow, 80 degree weather, and violent thunderstorms, this one seemed fit for the season.

I also send it out to my daughter, born on the Ides of March, a young teenager when I wrote this, now turned 20.

"Effects of Climate"

The pendulum sun swings further
each day, gives way to gravity
and lands back home by dinnertime.

Spring wears me out.

All that potential requiring constant vigilance.
As if it's my job, my responsibility
to see each leaf, each blade of grass,
safely to the solstice.

March takes and gives -- the way
nursing a baby leaves you sated
and drowsy and ravenously hungry
all at once.

We are guardians lulled by new warmth,
caught unprepared when the sun burns
with hot June adolescence.

What did we know of this --
late snows, growling thunder, false spring.
How could we have known all it takes
to grow a canopy of green?

(c) Beth Feldman Brandt 2006

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