A Little Madness

But green after green after green!...
It's spring, Poem, take us outside....
~ "The Poem She Didn't Write and Other Poems" by Olena Kalytiak Davis


This week the cherry blossoms are peaking in Seattle, right on time for the Spring Equinox As we do every year, we took a picnic to enjoy under the indescribably beautiful trees.  Like Christmas cards, I can track our family year by year from the photos we take. 

Pale pink blossoms, universal symbol of the fleeting nature of time, they inspire me to read poetry. I got a little carried away - it can be a rabbit hole: one poem leads to another, which reminds me of a line I have to go chase down and then that one leads to a whole book and then, well, whole evenings can slide by in such a pleasant state...I thought I would select one perfect poem to share, but really, what is the point of restraint?  It is spring after all, the season of exuberance.  So below are a few favorite lines and two wonderful full poems to share. Happy, happy, happy Spring!


A little Madness in the spring
is healthy even for the King.
~ Emily Dickinson

Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
~ "The Trees" by Philip Larkin

In Just spring, when the world is mud-luscious...when the world is puddle-wonderful...
~ e.e. cummings

What is all this juice and all this joy?
~ "Spring" by Gerald Manley Hopkins




Another Spring

The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.

The white moon enters the heart of the river;
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.

The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.

O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
And moments that should each last forever

Slide unconsciously by us like water.

~ Kenneth Rexroth



    a black bear
      has just risen from sleep
         and is staring

down the mountain.
    All night
      in the brisk and shallow restlessness
         of early spring

I think of her,
    her four black fists
      flicking the gravel,
         her tongue

like a red fire
    touching the grass,
      the cold water.
         There is only one question:

how to love this world.
    I think of her
         like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
    the silence
      of the trees.
         Whatever else

my life is
    with its poems
      and its music
         and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
      down the mountain,
         breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—
    her white teeth,
      her wordlessness,
         her perfect love.

~ Mary Oliver

Sarah Burns