Sunday, January 31, 2016

Last Day of January

I've been at home, inside, nursing an illness for two weeks. As I've watched from the window, the snow has been melting slowly but the ground is still mostly covered. The birds have kept close to my feeder, at times filling the boxelder tree beside it, chirping away. Here are some of the ever present house sparrows. It looks so colorless and bleak that I'm glad for their cheerful sounds.

The bare tree reminded me of this poem by D.H. Lawrence, written in 1916 (p.s. welkin = sky or heaven): 

         Winter in the Boulevard                          

The frost has settled down upon the trees
And ruthlessly strangled off the fantasies
Of leaves that have gone unnoticed, swept like old
Romantic stories now no more to be told.
The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,        
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter’s long, cross-questioning brunt.
Has some hand balanced more leaves in the depths of the twigs?
Some dim little efforts placed in the threads of the birch?— 
It is only the sparrows, like dead black leaves on the sprigs,
Sitting huddled against the cerulean, one flesh with their perch.
The clear, cold sky coldly bethinks itself.
Like vivid thought the air spins bright, and all
Trees, birds, and earth, arrested in the after-thought 
Awaiting the sentence out from the welkin brought.

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