Saturday, April 18, 2015

Poetry Saturday: The Ides of April

What a week it has been:  for me it's been a week of travel, back from the other side of the planet and back to work.  For others, it's been a week of numbers, counting how many students actually attended classes.  Many of us had to do our taxes.

I thought it might be stormy today--it's the time of year when weather systems are on the move.  But it looks like next week will be when the rains roll in.

I think of an earlier poem I wrote.  I don't have as much time to write an essay today, so here's a poem for our Saturday, which captures this mid-April mood.  We talk about the ides of March, but it seems to me that each month has its danger points.

The Ides of April
Mid April, when bills come due and debts
must be paid.  Both winter and summer battle
for dominance and rip the landscape
with tornadoes and late spring snows.

Good battles evil, captives set free
by way of forced and bloody frenzies.  Refugees
driven from their homes trudge down dusty
roads towards a desert destiny of freedom.

A gospel of radical love battles entrenched
orthodoxy.  We must sacrifice our lust
for structure and rules, our yearning
for punishment.  We must arc our minds
towards grace and unconquered redemption.

We must be as flowers who battle
against the frozen ground, who thrust
themselves towards a distant sun
in the hope of a future warmth,
a profuse explosion of fiery blooms.

And here's a photo of a fiery bloom from my recent trip to Hawaii.  We were surrounded by floral loveliness, but this plumeria/frangipani tree captured me like no other:

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