THE EYES OF MARCH

Standard

don’t dare open the windows yet
though sun pours into the kitchen sink
and warms the cheek like a lover’s touch

fill the kettle and do not think
this morning’s glimmer is truly gold
for lenten tendencies tend to break

too suddenly from their prison hold
into a flirty madness that teases
toward a belief that spring has come

a phony fling of warmth that freezes
back into old disappointments of ice
toast the toast for it’s only March

posing as April oh so nice
but not yet real so continue to muddle
and wait for the full pink moon to rise

the last potatoes of winter huddle
still deep in the cupboard’s dark
making eyes
.
.
EYES OF MARCH

59 responses »

  1. Hi Cynthia, her in California March is wearing nature colorful blossoms welcoming spring.Else where the freezing weather still ,March is the master.Wonderful poem.Jalal

      • Hi Cynthia, thank you for your lovely words ,l will definitely read the legend of California.I feel lucky and blessed for living in California .Hope to see you in California.Sincerely jalal

    • . Potatoes are important in the counties to the north of where I live in Maine…..the youngsters even get time out of school in the fall to help in the harvest of the potato crop! I’ve tried planting potato eyes in my own garden, in the past, with some success….your recent post about your garden is lovely and made me remember former days when I did have a garden…especially all those beautiful, sun-warmed tomatoes….

  2. Oh, Cynthia! I just love this poem! Such a gem, the meter, cadence, the images, the noticing this moment, friendly feel. Sounds like you have survived this hard winter with humor…good!! I love the last three lines! what a great poem!

    • At least Cincinnati wasn’t hit as hard, this year, Julie, and I imagine your crocusses (croci?) will be poking through pretty soon. Our snowbanks are shrinking to unlovely dirtiness, but I do think we’re comin’ round the mountain! Thanks so much for stopping by to read and encourage.

  3. Love the way you used the meter and syntax to create a piece without punctuation! No loss of clarity and that last image does supply the necessary reverberation for temporary closure.

    • Can’t tell you how pleased I am that you noticed the “no punctuation” and think that the effort was successful…..syntax and meter—the absence of the sentence in a lot of poetry currently written—are things I wrestle with. So thank you! Very much!

  4. Wonderful Cynthia! It’s beginning to look and feel a little springlike here, but as you say it’s only March so let’s not get too excited too soon, although I always do.

    Love the potatoes making eyes, and the very clever title 😊

    • It won’t be long now, Chris, until you can be in among your flowers, communing with the bees. Glad you liked the title, and the potatoes “making eyes”.. that line was originally “growing” eyes, which potatoes do. But in keeping with the flirtation motif, I remembered that old song:”Ma, He’s Making Eyes At Me”, and obviously had to change it! πŸ™‚ ❀

      • ‘Making eyes’ fits perfectly! I expect the realisation to change ‘growing to ‘ making’ was very satisfying. I love it when something just slots into place seemingly of its own accord. It doesn’t happen often for me! πŸ˜„

        Yes! I am looking forward so much to the buzzing days of bee photos and just sitting among the flowers. Bliss 🌞

  5. Oh Cynthia, say it isn’t so – that the warmth is only here to taunt us. While we are now enjoying 60-70 temps, had word last night that we TX are in for another cold spell at the end of March as a cold cap is coming down from Canada, once again. Years ago when we moved into our house in Maine it was the end of April and there was still ice on the ground ~

  6. Another delight, Cynthia. I see wit has broken out again in Maine! I had noticed the punctuation-free lines and agree that they work here – unusual for your poems. I don’t know why people writing today are so keen on this, and suspect they might be hoping for a kind of chanting-reading, going for sound rather than comprehension. Not my thing. But you have given us musicality in the rhymes and assonance as well, which all sound just charming to the ear (especially when I listen to your reading), as well as the visual picture of it all. Lovely! And those potatoes are a perfect joy, huddling in the dark cupboard. They kind of represent us, I feel, symbolising our fear of exposing ourselves too soon to the bracing air..

    • I’ve been dying to use my new phrase since last week when I read it on another blog by one of your compatriots…so when you say “it’s not my thing”, I will say I totally agree: “it’s not up my street!” It’s been a trend for some time to chant writing that resembles the shopping list and disconnected strings of surrealistic imagery as if they are poetry. The result has been that ordinary intelligent people have turned away from serious poetry. (The innocent who are still learning, think obscurity is the reader’s problem.) Another thing not up my street is the practice of using the word processor’s “center line justified” option in the attempt to make prose appear to be poetry. I guess there are a few things “not up my street,” but enough for now. I love your idea of what those huddled potatoes are about!

  7. Yes, another delight so beautifully complimented by your many readers. I loved the juxtaposition of foods, including those lovely potatoes, with the attempts of spring to return. Here in Texas my gardener sister maintains that there is ALWAYS a very cold snap in early March. Sure enough it happened this year. I suggest that the nurseries see it as a bonus when everyone has to return to replace all the nipped tender new growths. Ah well it won’t be long now Persephone.

    • That’s interesting about the nurserymen, Jane. I think you’ve got their number! Maybe your sister does too, and neither of you has jumped the gun….Persephone is a favorite of mine… I carry a pomegranate seed wherever I go….And now, besides adjusting from your recent sojourn in Honduras, we’ve changed the clocks….it takes me a while to get used to, and my pet critters expect to eat, sleep, and wake me on the old dispensation…..ah spring!

  8. Lovely, rhythmic, witty and such a true description of my current state of mind and activities. We had a couple of balmy [yes balmy, spellcheck, not barmy] days and rushed madly round the garden, then had to go out and drag leaves back over the exposed shoots before the next frost. I have seedlings growing in my cold greenhouse and have to swaddle them at night. I can’t make it April just by imagining it, but I can’t resist trying.

    • We just get so sick of winter that it’s hard to resist those deceptively delicious first hints that things are turning. The God Mars (March) is a violent God, but “violence” comes from the Latin “vis” which is the life force, wanting to burst through….I hope all your beginnings make it!

      (I have to laugh about spell check….my auto correct comes up with some hilarious corrections, sometimes…..I think it’s limited to 21st century cultural experience and at the same time a Victorian prude)

  9. Cynthia!

    Beware the eyes of March (or something like that–you didn’t think I’d forget my own* Julius Caesar, did you?). Clocks have face, potatoes have eyes, it’s all so confusing. I grow Mexican potatoes (jicama). Just to be different.

    * stolen shamelessly from Plutarch, but who’d notice?

    • ….and corn has ears, and wine (so I’m told, though I am no connoiseuse) has nose.

      I like jicama but there isn’t much available round these parts. Does it also make eyes?

      (I could be easily convinced that Plutarch himself stole it first. The only real worry about plagiarism, copyrights, etc….is when a goodly sum of money is involved—or maybe an oversized ego. We poets know the market for our wares is next to nil, and might even take a twisted pleasure in the knowledge that someone thought it worthy of pilfer)

      • Beware the ides of jicama… No, I don’t think jicama makes ‘eyes,’ as it is a legume. The seeds are very poisonous though, and so is the skin–adding a little challenge to the experience.

        I wonder if Plutarch had garden. Did he punctuate regularly?

        • Hmm…sounds like jicama is a good candidate for the m.o. in a murder mystery….My guess is that if Plutarch had a garden, he was not the one getting dirty hands to tend it….but he may have sometimes used some form of punctuation….marks for breathing and dramatic pausing did exist in his time. The change from declamatory to syntactic use is said to have started with Ben Jonson. Since the demise of the grammar school in our time, punctuation is pretty much governed by taste….and tastelessness. πŸ™‚

          …and both lettuce and cabbage have/are heads…

          • Ben Johnson, the sprinter? Was that before or after they rescinded his gold medal for ‘Best Use of Grammar While Effectuating a Baton Pass?’

            Next time you see Plutarch, ask to see his fingernails. Immaculate. Methinks he has a bevy of gardeners (or is it a brood of gardeners, I always forget) at his disposal -just look at that topiary!

            • Ah, my dear Prospero, you failed to notice that my Ben Jonson is the one with no “h”…(please say “aitch”not “haitch”) though you have indeed set me to wondering what was said over that sprinter’s swiftly passed baton.
              In the matter of topiaries, I imagine that yours, in the magician’s garden, are second to none…and when you tire of a bush in the shape of Mickey Mouse, you can change it to Bugs Bunny with your simple abracadabra!

              • Jonson-Johnson, what is a couple of homophones between friends? And it’s one of those technical though nifty ‘aitch’ words that always seems to garner applause at parties ou bien aux soirΓ©es de grammaire.

                And, dear Cynthia, I am embarrassed to say (proud actually) that my garden is devoid of topiary. Instead I have ‘controlled chaos,’ somewhat akin to the type of result one gets from running a relay in complete darkness (which by the way I recommend in my capacity as life coach–an avuncular discipline directed at teaching young people, which is to say those under the age of ninety, how to live well).

                • Indeed, dear ancient uncle…and before the wordpress walls close in on us I must thank you for all I’ve learned—about cinnamon, chocolate, and now jicama. When we finally do get connected to Camel Express, here in Maine, I will provide you with a list of what to send from your garden, including coconut milk for my homemade ice cream…surely we will have summer here by then.

                • I know. Can’t we have a simple conversation without being squeezed out of existence? It’s a conspiracy to disallow good people (good being a relative term) to communicate freely. I’d register a complaint, but I get so much more pleasure from grousing about things and, quite frankly, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself without some sort of irksome event or situation endlessly clouding my judgment.

                  And while my power is practically limitless, I cannot easily affect the weather. You’ll have to speak with Ariel.

  10. I am always prepared for the snow…until the end of April. In years past, and since April is the month of my birth, I remember many a time when I awoke to yet another snow in what I had already thoughts was spring. I will keep my eyes out for the robins and other signs…I wish you a warm and beautiful spring and summer, too.

    • You are wise not to jump the gun, Anna. We have often seen spring snow here in New England, too…though it’s not discouraging as the heavy February stuff that piles high, day after day. But this morning, for the first time, I awoke to birdsong, and that brought hope.

      Since I now know you were an April baby (though I don’t know the exact date) I will wish you a most happy birthday here and now….and many happy returns! ❀

  11. Oh you have summed up how I feel! Having my young Jack Russell Terrier means out in all weathers so she gets exercised. I am so fed up of bracing my body against the wind that I booked a holiday to the South of France in May just so I can dream of warmer days ahead!

    • That is so nice, Karen. (I’ve always thought it would be nice to visit Nice!) And of course it’s a wonderland for artists. You will likely return not only refreshed, but with fine grist for the mill. Bon voyage!

  12. Wonderful imagery! The eyes of March indeed. Love the line about the pink moon rising, there’s been some beautiful full moons the past couple of months. Here’s to April! πŸ˜‰ beautiful writing, as always πŸ™‚ xx

    • Hello Becky! Yes, April….and you’ll be coming out of that glass dome in Wales. Being a consummate botanist, you likely know that the pink moon gets its name from the herb moss pink (wild ground phlox), our earliest widespread flower of spring. Some other cultural names for the April Full Moon are Sprouting Grass Moon and Egg Moon. At any rate, happy spring, and thanks for visiting!

      • Absolutely, I studied moon gardening in college last year and it was fascinating. I think once Easter is here it is well and truly spring – not long to go now! You’re very welcome, happy spring to you too πŸ˜€ xx

  13. I guess spring has not sprung yet!! πŸ˜‰ I know exactly what you mean about the phony fling of warmth (very good way to put it!) we had one of those for quite a while, and now it has suddenly turned quite cold, just when spring is around the corner. It often does that in Britain, our weather loves to be contradictory and surprise us all! So I take it from this poem, your snow has not yet gone? Or maybe I’m reading too much into this? πŸ™‚

    • Not only have the accumulated piles of snow not yet gone, but this afternoon—march15—it snowed again….big fat flakes, grinning devilishly at me! It’s a pretty good rule of thumb around here to expect snow around St. Patrick’s Day….so, here we are!

  14. Cynthia, on this side of the Atlantic too, March can be a brazen flirt with a cold heart – budding daffodils in sunshine, then a wild wind with lashing rain. Love the poem, especially the winter spuds making eyes in the dark…

    Yours,

    Paul

    • Hello Paul….thank you for your kind words. I notice that your poems lately are composed with an eye to public reading events. I’m doing that, too, with the publication of my book, and it presents a whole new dimension of putting one’s work out there, doesn’t it?….still, in my view, the best mode of flogging is blogging…..and getting to know lovely fellow poets….like you!

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