Startlement as mountain lion streaks by,
with only swaying grass to mark her trail.
Mockingbird chuckles his distinctive cry,
but slowly falls silent as stream-beds swell,
and beeches shiver, casting off much rain.
Young cardinal and goldfinch learn the land;
their peregrinations prove red hawk’s gain,
who steals new lives before they understand
how fierce talon and curving beak can be.
Starflowers fade as oxeye daisies rise,
while flock of sparrows force one hawk to flee.
Indian pipe thrives in maple’s demise.
Life’s small wonders begin in dark places,
and spider web nets of minute graces.
Today is the feast of Vesta’s Cleansing, when the shrines of the house of Vesta, Jupiter Capitolinus, and other major temples in Rome were stripped of their furnishings and thoroughly washed. The spaces would be left empty until June 9, when the fire of Vesta would be re-lit, and the flame carried first to all the temples and then to all the houses in the city. This is going to be my last order of business tonight — to clear and clean and wash the household shrine, and get it ready for a new fire kindling on Friday.
There should be a poem later tonight or early tomorrow on this, as well.