Tag Archives: clematis

Summer: Poetry, Flowers, Fruit

I thought I would write about poetry.  This idea didn’t just come out of the ether.  My friend Pat recently sent me Billy Collins’ poem “Forgetfulness” (published in Questions About Angels, 1991). I think the poem perfectly delineates the waning of my once (if I do say so myself) prodigious memory.

Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Here’s the link to Billy Collins’ website: http://www.billy-collins.com/.

Along with the poem:   Some people seem to enjoy my photos, so I am enclosing some recent flower photos:

butterfly and black-eyed Susan

butterfly and black-eyed Susans

clematis, H.F. Young

clematis, H.F. Young

gomphrena

gomphrena

scaevola

scaevola

black-eyed Susan vine

black-eyed Susan vine

The words that have been going through my mind the most, though are from John Prine:

Blow up your TV, throw away your paper
Go to the country, build you a home
Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches
Try an find Jesus on your own

From “Spanish Pipedream (Blow Up Your TV), John Prine, 1971;see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9RBgfUvymM or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG0-iWCKjsw, for example.

Do I dare to eat a peach?

peaches #1

peaches #1

peaches #2

peaches #2

peaches #3

peaches #3

Flowers, various (for January)

It’s true that I slipped on the ice walking on the Thumb Butte Trail (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/prescott/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=67469&actid=50) yesterday, but mostly the weather has been mild here in central Arizona. I have had to retrieve my hiking hat from my suitcase and I am going to dig out the sunscreen.  On our hikes–more like little walks–I have been working on desert plant and geologic formation identification, However, it has come to my attention that our family and friends in the East and Midwest are freezing. Here are some flowers for January, with love:

spring, Charlottesville, Virginia

spring, Charlottesville, Virginia

clematis, H.F. Young, Charlottesville

clematis, H.F. Young, Charlottesville

spring flowers, Denver Botanic Gardens

spring flowers, Denver Botanic Gardens

iris

iris

peony

peony

roses

roses

water lily, Scenic Lake, Michigan

water lily, Scenic Lake, Michigan

Rocky Mountain summer

Rocky Mountain summer

coneflowers

coneflowers

morning glory, Denver Botanic Garden

morning glory, Denver Botanic Garden

Denver Botanic Gardens, 5.12.12

Denver Botanic Gardens, 5.12.12

asters with bee

asters with bee

dragonflies

dragonflies

marigolds, Denver Botanic Gardens

marigolds, Denver Botanic Gardens