Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010



File:West European Hedgehog (Erinaceus  europaeus)2.jpg

The plum blossoms tumble

to the cold

north wind, all

through a long

slow spring. Older,

less wise. Someone

said simplicity

is the most complicated


File:Prunus mume 'Pendula'3.jpg

West European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), Emmendennen wood, Emmen, Netherlands: photo by Hrald, 2009; image by Papa Lima Whiskey, 2010
Prunus mume, "Pendula", Osaka: photo by KENPEI, 2008


human being said...

it really is!
'cause we tumble... but don't learn to be humble...




Thanks for these three, that sweet little hedgehog (I've never seen on and here they are, showing up almost every day, first Larkin, now here); only apparently simple whiteness of plum blossom "driven by a cold north wind" (and now it's raining again, here at least); Hamsun's meditation (which takes me back to reading Hunger in a class at Berkeley taught by Momaday, who seemed at that time to have first hand knowledge of the great mysteries) in which that sparrow appears; and Empson and Co. on pastoral, which I want to think further about now ---


first grey light in clouds above blackness
of ridge, song sparrows calling on branch
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

think of touch, that another
felt it is thought-out

saying in the sense of sound,
itself “there,” silent

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
sunlit white cloud against top of ridge

TC said...


yes, and after that we bumble...and stumble...


Beautiful poem, this one of the series really shines out amid -- as I first read it over a few times now, after a "lost" day here -- nocturnal cold and gloom (match-flare in the eyes' dark).

Love those brave song sparrows, vocalizing come what May ('nt?), and especially feel the continuity here between ongoing ambient narrative of landscape and internal bracketed "abstract" meditations, thus sensed through not just contiguity but lyric elision, in the whole.

Though of course it IS only a part; as things/life continue to go along, in place. Yet also thus curiously generalized -- I mean, in the common literal/local understanding of nature's way. (What oft was thought yet ne'er so well expressed?).

The silver/white lustre feels Beatific, La Vita Nuova-esque almost.

(Have been browsing in Renaissance book of essays on colours, each preceded by an interpretative sonnet on the colour with a final couplet returning to the heraldic silver and gold, the shining threads in the weave... and was reminded of the morning light in your series.)

About the animal emblem.

Well, that hedgehog -- it's his story (like they say). Not that there was emblematizing intent... I don't think.

(With intentions any more I'm like the squirrels here with donated peanuts, able to stash 'em but later unable to find 'em; or even worse, to dig 'em.) (Up, that is, I guess.)



Thanks for all such thoughts, very much appreciated in the midst of not knowing whether anyone is there (reading/noting). . . . The first silver edge of the sun suddenly 'appeared' above the ridge a while ago, it's moving north (you an SEE it, from day to day, at least when it's not behind clouds -- more often than not these days), so May (almost on its way out) may be about to begin. . . . What a turnaround yesterday, from downpour w/ thunder to clearing blue skies, white clouds stacked up on the horizon. . . .

TC said...

Yes, cold as a winter morning here but bright sun now breaking through the cloud o'er yon hill.

This is going to sound pretty funny, but the Farmers Almanac longrange forecasts from a month ago said all this unseasonal weather was going to happen exactly as it has.

(You don't want to know what they're saying about next month.)

aditya said...

The mercury has had some mean gravity working underneath it, in this part of India, Tom. 44 degrees.

I wish i could tumble a little in the cold north winds.

It rained today. It was a sloppy imitation of the rain, rather.

Humans have grazed on simplicity better than most other things. If you know what i mean. I guess you do. Its mandatory to do the uncoiling when you meet someone.

Realized this over a beer, sans the uncoiling, with an old mate from the school today.

Nice poem.

CJ said...

I love the little hedgehog! So cute; but maybe that's not really your point, right?

TC said...


It is two degrees warmer here than it is in India. No beer, though.


What is not to like about a hedgehog??

They do not have it so easy, alas.

I have learned these things.

Until in 2006 McDonald's changed the design of their McFlurry containers, hedgehogs were in the habit of getting their heads stuck in the containers as they tried to lick the remaining food from inside the cup. Then, being unable to get out, they would starve to death.

Domesticated hedgehogs display this behavior by getting their head stuck in tubes (commonly, toilet paper tubes) and walking around with the tube on their head. Hedgehog owners often refer to this as "tubing" and promote the behavior by supplying clean tubes. Most owners are considerate enough, however, to cut the tubes lengthwise so as to prevent the hedgehog from remaining trapped against their will. Curiously though, some will still knowingly get themselves stuck for a few hours.

As if all that were not bad enough, hedgehogs also face a famous dilemma.