May New Moon Sonnet

Hail, bright crescent: shine on ten thousand greens,
purple trillium and poison ivy.
Beneath a canopy of trees, life teems,
each with its peculiar sort of savvy:
six deer bound by on their evening commute;
Jack-in-the-pulpit hides where forest thins.
Rabbit nests her den beneath maple root;
brown water shadows a river trout’s fins.
Jewelweed, chicory, water arum,
anemone and eastern starflower:
Each plant holds toxin or healing serum,
a strength the wise may harvest for power.
On willow-lined stream, herons hunt their prey,
taking some now while others flee away.

I found a fox skull in the woods yesterday. More specifically, the team found the fox about six weeks ago. The fur was already coming off and the maggots made my skin crawl, but we checked in with it every three or four days to see how decomposition was going. The kids were both revolted and fascinated. I was, too. In any case, the skull is clean enough to bring home, so I did.

The other neat thing that happened yesterday is that the team reached the end of the Red Trail, which runs through the back part of campus, and we were hanging around by our neighboring school’s hockey rink. The kids were down in the rink parking lot and my co-coach was facing them. I was coming up toward her on the hill when six deer, one after another, burst out of the woods, bounded across the road, and vanished into the woods on the other side. Neither my co-coach nor the three kids sitting with her saw them; nor did the kid coming up the hill behind me. A shockingly personal visit from Nature in the middle of a crowd. Wow.

As said, I’m terribly busy these days. I have comments to write, exams to create, give and grade, graduation weekend (and pre-weekend-activities) to get through, and today is Alumni Day. The whole campus is filled with my former students, or will be later today.


It’s one thing to say that I’m this busy because I took on a third sport in the fall. But I don’t think that’s it. I think I’m genuinely more busy than I ever have been before, and I find myself wondering why. Part of it is that I’ve left all sorts of things until the last minute this spring, and so they’re piling up. Part of it is that I took on a sport in the fall, and I fell behind on grading things, and never really caught up. Part of it is that I’m working for the Boy Scouts this summer, and I’m doing some prep work for that. Part of it is that my co-coach on sports has not been, until this week, a great source of ideas about what we were going to do each day — and a lot of my spring sports plans centered around having a co-coach who could teach us all to fish one day a week. But I don’t fish, and neither does my co-coach, and that was a talent we didn’t have time to learn on our own.

I’ve fallen down on my tai chi commitments to myself, as well. I’ve been doing it intermittently, but I’ve been having occasional twinges in my left leg around my knee and ankle, and I need to go get checked out by a doctor. I need a lot of things — a dentist visit to fix some decay on the upper left hand side, a new tire (possibly two tires), a doctor’s visit for these twinges, the school to approve the cost of going to Coaches’ College, time with Leah, poetry time, time to unwind — and I don’t seem to be getting much of what I need these days.

School ends soon, and then it’s a week of writing comments, a weekend in Concord doing the RiverFest, and then who knows what. Somewhere in there Leah and I have a vacation to plan.

on my friends list posted a list of ten things she believes about ten unnamed people on her friends list. She says she won’t answer prying comments about any of those things, and will neither confirm nor deny whether they are about any one specific person. Reading through her list, I’m fascinated by the way her thoughts simultaneously could refer to everyone and to no one. I’m not sure I could do such a list of ten things, but it’s both humbling and delicately delightful. The most interesting thing to me is how my heart and head zeroed in on the more ‘negative’ comments, and thought, “if that’s about me, how would I go about fixing it?” The one that nailed me pretty hard is the the comment about arrogance. I don’t think of myself as arrogant, but it’s a charge that’s been leveled at me before, and all I can say is that I’m working on it. Really.

2 comments

  1. Wonderful sonnet, as always, dear.

    Yay for dead things! ;o) Ok, so maggots aren’t anyone’s cup of chai. Even She-Who-Plays-With-Dead-Things (me) would have gone a bit green. If you find something like that again, you can also bury it in a sandy-soiled area and let the ants do the work. Should be ready in 2 to 3 months.

    I’m glad you had a visit from the Deer. Deer speaks of innocence and gentleness, tells you to pay attention to your thoughts and perceptions.

    I wish your life were simpler… I cherish that mine is.

  2. Wonderful sonnet, as always, dear.

    Yay for dead things! ;o) Ok, so maggots aren’t anyone’s cup of chai. Even She-Who-Plays-With-Dead-Things (me) would have gone a bit green. If you find something like that again, you can also bury it in a sandy-soiled area and let the ants do the work. Should be ready in 2 to 3 months.

    I’m glad you had a visit from the Deer. Deer speaks of innocence and gentleness, tells you to pay attention to your thoughts and perceptions.

    I wish your life were simpler… I cherish that mine is.

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