Friday, May 29, 2009

At last , a naked truth


Amazing how over time one forgets things, well this one forgets things.
For years my son would greet any UPS employee with the question "How's Santa?"
The mystified UPS man would usually answer something like "fine".
Now you might well ask why he would ask the UPS man/woman that question, I certainly would, and inquiring UPS employees who have remembered it for years have asked.

The answer is. I informed my usually naked son that the UPS man worked for Santa, and if he saw him naked that Santa would bring him only clothes for Christmas. Worked!!! even on a 3 year old.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Its Magic


It was cold last night, really cold, the kind of cold that makes me think about putting socks on. I loath socks, better to build a fire again after a very long season of fires I had hoped was over.
The first fire in the fall is a magical experience, as if I were discovering it's warmth and light for the first time, the sweet scent of woodsmoke, before a long nights slumber.
By the time February gets here, the fire is still warm and comforting as the wind howls in the chimney and the snow piles up, I am wondering if I will ever see green leaves again. It has become second nature to tend it there is no more day dreaming as I gaze into the flames, I see no dragons and castles and viking ships, or sounth sea beaches, just ashes to empty.
With the lilacs in full bloom, and the tomato plants shivering in the summer kitchen, there is no
reason not to think that this will be the last really cold night. I can enjoy my coffee and may-be even read, no it's much more fun to day dream.


Friday, May 15, 2009

lilacs


Whilst I was surveying the work that needed doing in my flower beds, ambition having overtaken me, again. I heard a voice behind me say " If its a good lilac year, its gonna be a good garden year."
I stood up and waved, not sure who this person was, and not wanting to be rude. He continued walking down the highway, which is what you do in a town with no sidewalks.

It might be true, there was no frost to kill the developing apple blossoms, perhaps the beechnuts and other fruiting plants would benefit also. But the lilacs are Amazing. Last years early snow caught them with leaves still on, many of the ancient branches broke under the weight, but those that remain are covered with blooms, even the white ones which are usually sparse with their bloom are covered.
The aroma is rich and hangs in the air like a gentle dream, it surrounds me and carries me off to someplace lost in time, a still and quiet place, just me and the bees.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

ASPARAGUS MOON


I have been out standing my field. Nest to my Rototiller, the fabulous Tilly. Tilly was doing most of the work and I was doing most of the thinking. seemed fair.
This months moon post is a bit late, the full moon having come and gone, mostly shrouded in clouds when visible at all. Clouds sailing past the moon, one of the most beautiful sights in Nature brought back thoughts of one of the most beautiful love poems.


The Highwayman a poem by Alfred Noyes



The Highwayman

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding
Riding riding
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

He’d a French cocked hat on his forehead, and a bunch of lace at his chin;
He’d a coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of fine doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle; his boots were up to his thigh!
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle
His rapier hilt a-twinkle
His pistol butts a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard,
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred,
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter
Bess, the landlord’s daughter
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

Dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim, the ostler listened--his face was white and peaked
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter;
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say:

"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart; I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light.
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way."

He stood upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement! His face burnt like a brand
As the sweet black waves of perfume came tumbling o’er his breast,
Then he kissed its waves in the moonlight
(O sweet black waves in the moonlight!),
And he tugged at his reins in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.

He did not come in the dawning; he did not come at noon.
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon over the purple moor,
The redcoat troops came marching
Marching marching
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord; they drank his ale instead,
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets by their side;
There was Death at every window,
And Hell at one dark window,
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had bound her up at attention, with many a sniggering jest!
They had tied a rifle beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast!
"Now keep good watch!" and they kissed her. She heard the dead man say,
"Look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way."

She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years,
Till, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it, she strove no more for the rest;
Up, she stood up at attention, with the barrel beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing, she would not strive again,
For the road lay bare in the moonlight,
Blank and bare in the moonlight,
And the blood in her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot tlot, tlot tlot! Had they heard it? The horse-hooves, ringing clear;
Tlot tlot, tlot tlot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding
Riding riding
The redcoats looked to their priming! She stood up straight and still.

Tlot tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light!
Her eyes grew wide for a moment, she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight
Her musket shattered the moonlight
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him with her death.

He turned, he spurred to the West; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the casement, drenched in her own red blood!
Not till the dawn did he hear it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high!
Blood-red were his spurs in the golden noon, wine-red was his velvet coat
When they shot him down in the highway,
Down like a dog in the highway,
And he lay in his blood in the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.

And still on a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a gypsy’s ribbon looping the purple moor,
The highwayman comes riding
Riding riding
The highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard,
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred,
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter
Bess, the landlord’s daughter
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair

The Highwayman
Alfred Noyes


Among the many names for Mays full moon are Milk Moon,Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, Corn Moon, Hare's Moon to which i would like to add Asparagus moon, this being the time when
my favorite vegetable erupts from the ground. I have a small raised bed in which dwell my asparagus plants, along with some stray garlic, chives and a dash of sorrel. It must have been 25 years ago, that The Old farmer and i planted our asparagus seeds, and they grew. His plants are still there, and will I hope return to their wild ways and not be mowed down buy the next owner of his land.
Even Tilly thought it was strange not to hear his familiar greeting, "We need rain, farmer." It was a little lonely out there she remarked with only the wind to keep us company.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, someone had to give the Moon these names, so I am now going to add to the list, Asparagus Moon.