I am fevered with the sunset

Do you like nonsense poems?

I have always loved them: The Owl and the Pussycat, a poem that makes Ian roar with laughter; Robinsons Crusoe’s Story, The Walrus and the Carpenter to name a few. I was a great fan of the long story poems of Dr. Seuss when my grandchildren were small and we spent hours reading The Lorax, Horton Hears a Who and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

I suppose I learned it early. My Dad used to recite the poetry of Robert Service when I was young and I love the music of the words, the rhythm, and the delightful, nonsensical images they all call up.

I am going to voice record a couple of my favourites one of these days and put them up here to see what you think.

But today, I don’t know what to do with myself. In the words of John Masefield:

I am fevered with the sunset,

I am fretful with the Bay,

For the wanderlust is on me

And my soul is in Cathay . . .

Springtime does this to me, but perhaps more this year due to the constraints on our freedom. Yes, I can go wherever I like, and I do, but I feel the limitations even when they do not affect me all that much. I want to get on a plane and fly to Vancouver to see the cherry blossoms. I want to drive to the Peace Garden and see the cactus in bloom. And I can . . .if I want to self-isolate for two weeks, even though I have had my first vaccination. But we are caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare that is tugging at my mind and pulling me into depression.

I refuse to give in, though. The cure is just footsteps and a change in the weather away. I can go outside and see the way the vines in my yard find their way towards the sky.  If you look at them carefully, you will see the tactics they employ to take them on their upward journey as they find vertical supports.

Each of these plants has developed it own strategy. The Virginia creeper has tendrils that branch out with a sticky suction cup at the end of each tendril to cling to whatever it finds. It prefers to creep, hence its name, but it also will climb if given the chance. Its cousin, the Engelman’s ivy, has little legs, like that of a centipede, that reach out and cling to the stucco of my house. The unknown ivy that I filched from a building in Ottawa long ago, has tiny feet that attach themselves to the wall. And the hardy and determined hops are twining vines that wrap themselves around anything they can find, including each other.

There are other magical happenings out there right now. The tulips are shyly poking up their pointed heads and the daffodils are lazily sending baby leaves languidly stretching into the cool air. The vigorous garlic chives are asserting themselves. I see the obstinate, pinkish heads of the fern leaf peony exploring the world above. The oriental poppies come up in a cluster, although small right now, all happily formed and hinting of the generous leaves they will soon become. The celandine poppies are well established and there is one lonely cilia exploring the world, bud tightly furled but eager to begin its brief life.

Some things, I cannot yet see; they are hiding under the debris of last year and I happily leave them there in case this early spring delivers a late surprise of shocking cold. The detritus of 2020 will provide them shelter from anything yet to come.

I have been watching to see if the Forsythia is ready to spring into bud with its yellow blossoms of hope, but nothing, although every day things change. Here in Manitoba spring is as violent, in its way, as winter. One day, it is a wasteland. The next, it is a budding green oasis, the third, a luxury of growth. You have to be on you toes to keep up with it all.

See? I feel better already, just thinking about it!

4 thoughts on “I am fevered with the sunset

  1. Merna Prentice says:

    Thanks Dorothy for this word “painting” of a Manitoba spring. Beautiful…..especially “hiding under the debris of last year”. It is the “debris” of the past that informs and nourishes our today.

  2. Helen Hogue says:

    As we slowly watch our gardens open up to Spring it is such temptation to get out there and clean things up, but we know it is still much too early to clean up yet, so I have only gently edged my gardens and already I feel better. The perennials and bulbs have started to appear and hopefully will be ok after these next few days when we hopefully, get our last look at snow. Then perhaps we will get the rain we so badly need to get things going.
    I placed some window bird feeders and a birdhouse on my windows the other day and as I sit watching the birds the Blackcapped chickadees are already coming to them. They are so cheeky. Welcome all to our gardens we are so ready.

  3. lbhogue says:

    Dorothy, Thank You for your beautifulllll writing, you perked me up…..I feel the same as you and everyone else at this difficult time.   The flower beds keep me smiling with the determination of growth of our hardy plants…Guess I need to go get the shovel out of the shed tonight…..Enjoy your evening.Alice Brandon MB 🌷

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