May Day Celebrations

 

 

The fire of the sun

In a spray of bright flowers

Spring turns to Summer

Petals float down from blue skies

Dancing with me in the breeze

 

May Day A spring holiday celebrated for millennia around the world, usually with flowers, crowning of a May Queen, and dancing around the maypole. Every country or region has its own specific customs.

Read more about May Day 🌺

Beltane An ancient fire festival marking the first day of summer (making Summer Solstice in June “midsummer” – Shakespeare, anyone?). Fires were used to represent the waxing sun and thought to provide protection and abundance for the coming season. The Green Man is often associated with this festival as are fairies and tree spirits.

Read more about Beltane 🌺

Lei Day In Hawaii, they celebrate Hawaiian culture and tradition with dancing and the giving of leis (necklaces made of flowers). Each island in this archipelago has its own distinct flower which is used to make the leis.

Read more about Lei Day 🌺

 

The May Queen

(an excerpt)

You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;

To-morrow ’ll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year,—

Of all the glad new-year, mother, the maddest, merriest day;

For I ’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I ’m to be Queen o’ the May.

~~~

The honeysuckle round the porch has woven its wavy bowers,

And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers;

And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows gray;

And I ’m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I ’m to be Queen o’ the May.

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson


Wishing you all joy on May Day!

🌸🌸🌸

 

My Candle Burns at Both Ends

 

 

First Fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

I could dissect this poem, line by line, pondering its possible meanings with regard to Edna’s life and writing. But this is not a lit class, it’s a blog. So I won’t. Also, I don’t want to.

It’s here today because the words are speaking to me and I need to share them.

Right now, I choose to see this poem as a reminder.

To a person who is working too much, overwhelmed and exhausting herself, who knows she cannot keep this up much longer, who addresses those who support her as well as those who do not. In the end, regardless of this knowledge, she cannot help but say how lovely it all is.

I feel these words deeply.

Watch as I go down in flames and see how beautiful the fire is.

How goddamn beautiful.

Life is difficult and stressful and a strange beauty emerges in those moments. If we look. And when we find it, we need to share it. Shout it out to friends and foes.

There is beauty in the moments of madness.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

 

Are you going through a difficult time? Have you taken on too much? Could you use a break? I’ve got nothing. Sorry. No tips. No fix. Just support, solidarity, and a little bit of poetry.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

sun-and-pine-tree_holidays-sig

 

Snow and Sun settle

Upon the slumbering pines

Yuletide gleaming bright

A winter haiku for you, gentle readers. May your days be merry & bright.
Wishing you all a Happy Holiday season! ❄️

 

There is a crack in everything…

 

 

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

 

These oft-quoted lines from Leonard Cohen are some of the most beautiful words to ever be strung together.

To me, they speak of hope. The full and complete appreciation of light when submerged in darkness. This is a theme I explore often—both in life and in writing.

Nothing is perfect. Nothing is flawless. And therein lies the beauty.

When we are broken, it is at that time and it is at the place where the break is, that the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen’s poetry and songs have touched many. His voice, singing his remarkable words, never fail to bring me to tears.

Things are broken. But now the light can find its way in.

 

Leonard Cohen: 20 Essential Songs (Rolling Stone)

 

Poetry is Every Day

 

Sarah B Natl Poetry Day - sig

Although National Poetry Day is a British holiday, I am honoring it anyway. A bit late, too.

Poetry is so diverse. It can rhyme. It can flow and roll or it can punch you in the gut. It can make you cry or laugh. Or both.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   

I can feel the rhythm as I read. And the words… Love. But who doesn’t love Robert’s stop in the woods that snowy eve? (Don’t answer that. If you don’t like this, I’d rather not know. I’m not sure we could be friends anymore.)

‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Oh, how many times have I warned my son to beware the Jabberwock, I do not know. But he was reciting it at 4 years old. All chortling in his joy.

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;

Let’s just bask in the beauty of these lines and not continue to the hateful fantasies Oberon plans to inflict upon Titania. Good times. Gotta love The Bard. (If anyone calls me on this being a play not a poem, I shall hex them with a ladybug infestation. You have been warned.)

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Ah, Dylan. I’m raging, dude. I will not go gentle.

Okay, let’s get serious. Because poetry is serious. Actually, it’s not. It is what it is. People say they don’t “get” poetry. I get that. I used to say it. But poetry is what you make it. It’s what you take away from it.

Shakespeare, Blake, Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Poe, Longfellow, Burns, Frost, Thomas, Browning…so many, many more. They each have touched me and changed me. It could be a single poem or a collection—doesn’t matter.

Emily Dickinson is the poet who has influenced me the most. Maybe because she’s awesome. Maybe because her words came along at the right time in my life to resonate deeply with me. I don’t know. But I have a book of her poetry with faded highlights from over twenty years ago. Those words are nostalgic and beautiful.

Sarah B Emily Poetry - sig

Poetry is everywhere.

It’s the clouds drifting through the sky, the squirrels scurrying up a pine tree, the leaves losing chlorophyll and blazing bright red, your morning coffee with steam swirling out of the mug, a hug from your child. It’s a book of words highlighted by your own hand twenty years earlier. Some writers can weave words so prettily it makes you cry. And I love them. But there are also words that fill your heart when you live in the moment.

Poetry is every day.

 

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost
Jabberwoky – Lewis Carroll
Midsummer Night’s Dream / Act 2, Scene 1 – William Shakespeare
Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night – Dylan Thomas
This is my letter to the World – Emily Dickinson

 

My Sunday thoughts in…way over 200 words.