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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Welcome Swallow


File:Hirundo neoxena risdon.jpg

Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), Risdon Brook State Park, Tasmania
: photo by Noodle snacks, 2010

Welcome, swallow,
though one
of you does not make a Spring

In fact it's freezing
mid the year's last night
and no birds sing

Cats all about
forms sleeping

Window frost
within the house
and without

Traffic racing past
to party
as though

Tomorrow will never know

File:Yellow-eyed Penguin crying MC.jpg

Yellow-eyed Penguin (Megadyptes antipodes), crying, Curio Bay, New Zealand: photo by Christian Mehlführer, 2008

File:Underwater mcmurdo sound.jpg

Ice wall and ocean floor at Explorer's Cove, New Harbor, McMurdo Sound, with visible species including Antarctic Scallop (Adamussium colbecki), Common Antarctic Sea Urchin (Sterchinus neumayeri), Bush Sponge (Homaxinella balfourensis), Brittlestar (Ophionotus victoriae), and Seaspiders (Colossendeis sp.): photo by Steve Clabuesch (NSF/USAP)


TC said...

We've seen plenty of evidence of climate change, but, as someone here asks, who'd have believed the ocean floor beneath the McMurdo ice shelf is actually strewn with used party hats?

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to you.

Traffic racing past
to party
as though

Tomorrow will never know

I love that and each of the photos. The party hats are indeed amazing and unexpected. I'll be printing out the Thomas Wyatt to read on the long afternoon drive. (I'm a passenger.)

I've decided I'm not smart enough to figure out climate change and too skeptical and distrustful of everyone (present company excepted) to listen as thoughtfully as I possibly should to their data, comments, etc. This was shown to me once again last night, but I let the moments pass and absorbed the rum and the other parts of the conversation and good cheer. This will give me more "free" time to work (such as I do) and read, so it's not all bad.

NO ONE on the roads in our parts, which was highly surprising, but the smell of gunpowder in the air from fireworks at midnight freaked the dogs out quite a bit.

TC said...

Well, I suppose if anything has a history of neutralizing the smell of gunpowder, rum would be the thing.

We had a pretty, what's the word... austere holiday, here. Continuous rain and cold, and of course bad northern California winters are hardly the stuff of Winter Wonderland.

The big drama of the holiday has surrounded the question of whether to leave immediately for the Emergency Room, or whether the holiday-joy gunshot wound, traffic accident, terminal drunk agony of this awful society will have so overcrowded the Emergency Room that about the only thing possible to do there would be to be annoyed, as you die.

On the other hand, thanks for the sanity, Curtis. I needed that. I do hope that long drive turned out to be as good as I am now imagining it...

Anonymous said...

I admire your calmness and ability to write beautiful poetry in the face of a trip to the emergency room. In our experience of local emergency rooms during the last decade (all in Rockland County, NY before we moved to "Killa--Delphia", which surrendered its Murder Capitol of America status to Chicago last year), annoyance is a guaranteed-delivery product (we had one devastating experience, which I hope never re-occurs), but the "awful society" factors are always pretty evident on multiple levels. Our New Year's Eve was peaceful, but unexpectedly festive -- quiet drinks and Jane's and Caroline's Christmas cookies at a couple of old friends' houses and then home. The drive today was exciting because I fell asleep and dreamed along Twilight Zone lines the whole way to New York, so I twitched at things other than road hazards on my side of the car and couldn't hear my fellow passengers laughing at me. Now we're watching (Jane's choice) Embarrassment TV: the "Worst Chefs In America" marathon. I can't tell whether it's a distillation or simply an accretion of Awful Society incidents. It's definitely one for the time capsule, though. I would like to know who conceived this and and got it produced. It's a sort of culinary Truth Or Consequences, a Bizarro version of Iron Chef, which is Bizarro enough. It's less cold than it was, still quite snowy, wet and unpleasant. I'll be shoveling all tomorrow morning.

Julia said...

Beautiful post, as always.
But what happened? I don't understand the reference to the emergency room... How are you, Tom?

I completely agree with curtis, I'm also sceptical. Though there must be some truth in all this fuss with climate change...


TC & CR,

Thanks for this exchange, which brings considerable cheer into this grey, cold, wet, windy morning (child who would cheer things up is gone, alas). Thoughts here of "printing out the Thomas Wyatt to read on the long afternoon drive" (then the news of falling asleep instead, dreaming and twitching), and New Year's Eve laced with gunpowder and rum and visions of the ER --hope the need for THAT has passed, as the time does here. . . .

TC said...

Well, what can one say but... happy new year, friends (such as it may be).

"this grey, cold, wet, windy morning"

Steve, ditto here, awful spell of weather, one feels two hundred years old, going on three.

Sad you've not had Johnny for the holidays (which are anyway as they say "all about kids," presuming, that is, they're all about anything.)

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

All the best to you, Tom, for the New Year ... beautiful poem. Hope you are doing ok.

The new health care thing out here, to avoid crowded emergency rooms but get instant, competent care, is "urgent care centers." We've been there twice in the past year (don't ask) and, though referred on to emergency rooms, the help was almost instantaneous and they called ahead to the ER to alert them we were on the way and that actually seemed to help. It really did help avoid the gunshot wounds and other horrors of modern city ERs. This is an example of one.

May we all try to avoid any of this in the coming year as best we can.


TC said...

Thank you Don, and I hope you and yours get the great new year you deserve. Many owe you much, may it come back to you some way some how.

The issue of the inaccessibility of health care at our low-end in the urban wasteland when without car or other ostensible help is looming -- as the times of urgent need multiply -- as THE issue here, alas.

This "holiday" has been a particular nightmare in that respect and as for what the future may hold... Welcome Swallow.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

I do understand. Hopefully, we can leave some of this in the rear view, at least for little awhile, and enjoy a bit of what is now.

Here it is a large clan of sparrows in a slowly (over the last 4 years or so) dying bush that bring a smile and a glimmer of what passes for hope.