Thursday, April 8, 2010

faces called flowers

as spring unfolds and the warmer days meld
with cooler rainy nights,
my thoughts become filled with the prospect of gardening.

i never achieve as much as i plan
and it's probably in the planning
that i gain the greatest satisfaction
(in almost anything)

advice that i treasure
that my grandmother
and my father both said at times in my past.

"always leave a place for the fairies at the bottom of the garden"

helen allingham cow parsley and bluebells

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having -
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
- it's april (yes, april; my darling) it's spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving -
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
- alive; we're alive, dear: it's (kiss me now) spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living -
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
- it's spring (all our night becomes day) o, it's spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing; are dancing)

---e.e. cummings


Elisabeth said...

A perfect place for fairies here, Steven, and so uplifting.

'Oh to be in England now that April's there.'

NanU said...

I like the idea of space for the fairies at the bottom of the garden. I think I've got fairies blooming there already, blue & yellow hiding in the remains of last years unmowed grass. Spring is coming on!

Dave King said...

We all should heed the advice of your wise parent and grandparent. I shall try to do from now on.

steven said...

elisabeth, the bottom of my garden has a rough area where the animals like to hang out - domestic and otherwise. i'm hoping that the fairies aren't intimidated by their antics. steven

steven said...

hey nanu - pink rabbit could live down there . . . no flowers yet but the stories are pretty good i hear! steven

steven said...

hey dave - as you know, there's so much simple folk wisdom that has a ring of truth to it. it's often a good call to heed it. steven

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Ahhh - the mountains are dancing and we're alive and giving is living. Wonderful steven.

I think I am going to memorize this poem - the delightful cadence should make it easy to do.

Thank you!

ALeks said...

What a beauty!!! I did not knew but I did that all along on my balcony,this morning fairies woke me up with a wonderful surprise,bluebells,wild wood hyacinth I had forgotten all about,lilac and white,and even 2 shy narcissus,were waiting for me! It is my moms birthday today,so I will go now to phone her and send her photos which I made of it.I love the poem as your choice in painting,have a beautiful day!

willow said...

I love the notion of fairies in my garden!

Golden West said...

Planning a garden is most enjoyable! I've spent many a winter hour in front of a blazing fire, thumbing through flower catalogues and visualizing where to tuck new plants into existing flower beds. Seeing the first bulbs break the ground is even more exciting than the blossom that follow.

I read recently that scientist have discovered that turned soil releases properties that induce a sense of well being in humans, which may account for so many happy hours spent gardening.

ellen abbott said...

Oh yes, the flower fairies.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh yeah - ALWAYS leave a place for the fairies. How great that you received this very sound advice. Excellent!

Linda Sue said...

We regularly left butter out for the fairies, sometimes they left fairy money in it's place (that required a little help from the human to lift the fairy money for them and put it into place) I did read somewhere that fairies move at a different frequency so to actually catch them in sight is tricky.Just another one of our short fallings- and then we say that they do not exist to justify our inability. I am pretty sure you see them ...

Jenny Stevning said...

So beautiful!!
I adore the ee cummings poem
Thank you!!
When gardening time comes, I do hope you will be sharing lots of photos.

Dan Gurney said...

steven, thank you for sharing your grandfather and father's wisdom on gardening.... and also that amazing eecummings poem. Oh that poem! It speaks so eloquently to the aliveness and wonder of the world. Thank you. I've shared it already with one of my poet friends.


all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing; are dancing)

hope said...

I like that advice! And I will consider that one odd spot in my flowerbed which doesn't like to grow, the spot for the Fairies to play. :)

Pauline said...


Helen said...

I keep a lawn elf in my garden .....

BT said...

Oh joyful spring indeed. Now you KNOW how I love my garden and working in it. My back is complaining of the stress right now but it makes my heart soar. Tonight I had a bonfire and in the dark a Lapwing was singing its courting song. It was so beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky and the stars shining to light my heart.

I have a 'Fairy Hill' too.