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
.
.
THE EYES OF MARCH

87 responses »

  1. So beautifully written. Such a tender way to address ‘this too shall pass’. You’re an amazing writer. I can only hope that one day my ability to share my word is but a touch of your ‘something special’. πŸ’œπŸ’œ

  2. ….oh, I do love this one so much. New Englanders –(most particularly those who hail from Maine, heh heh)–aren’t quite the patsies, say, New Yorkers are, and don’t go digging and unmulching and finding flipflops and shorts, but rather as you say, take another steamy sip while gazing up at what will yet be leaden and foreboden. I’m one of those Canadian patsies who can’t stop myself from raking and mucking around, even though…

    • I suspect you are not any kind of a patsy, Canadian or otherwise, Lance, but as a gardener you can be forgiven for jumping the gun on the season. I used to have a wonderful perennial garden at the front of my house, and veggies out back, when I lived in Boston. The excitement always began in March…the raking, the mucking around, dreaming over seed catalogues, making great plans far beyond what we—and the iffy weather—-could ever accomplish. Now I’m just looking for the first robin to show up in my back yard. Such excitement!

  3. “The lenten tendencies ” I like this . They are the way to spring , the renascence, Easter.
    About potatoes eyes , I can say i have some of those potatoes with growing eyes and I will start to put them in the ground …in March , after the 19 th ( I live in northern France ) .
    I have been charmed to hear your voice when you were reading your poem.
    Thank you
    Love ❀
    Michel

    • I’m happy to hear you will be planting your potato eyes soon. Here in Maine, we usually must wait until mid-April to plant. I was amused, when writing this poem, that I came upon the idiom “to make eyes at” which means to flirt….and March seems to flirt with us, doesn’t it?
      I am charmed by your comment about hearing the voice reading aloud. Just now I have a bad cold, and am not in my usual voice, but your compliment makes me feel better! Thank you, Michel.

      • About potatoes March 19th is a start and it is risked ( frost possible in beginning of May ) . So I plant only some .to respect the gardener saying : first potatoes at Joseph’s Day ( March 19) .
        And about making eyes meaning flirting, in the past we said the same in France ( elle me fait de l’ oeil =she make eyes to me ). But nowadays , I am not sure this idiom still is used ??
        Love ❀
        Michel

        • I think the idiom is rather old fashioned. I first heard it in an old song: “Ma, he’s making eyes at me” but I think that was from my grandmother’s era. I am happy to learn that it is also an idiom in French. My paternal grandparents were QuΓ©becois, but we never spoke French at home. (they spoke French to each other when they didn’t want us children to know what they were saying πŸ™‚ ). But I did go to a parochial school that was bilingual, and majored in French Language and Literature in college. Thus, all my French is academic, and I’ve not had much opportunity to speak it and learn everyday spoken French. Thanks, Michel.

  4. Of course it’s a little different in the subtropics–we have summer, followed by a long, never ending spring. Some of my plants would disagree with me on this, as they seem to go to sleep (a half-baked hibernation) for no good reason. Have you ever tried to argue with an amaryllis? Don’t even bother…

    • My dear Prospero, I have never argued with an amaryllis. I have reached the august age where I no longer argue with plants, pets, weather or destiny. People, sometimes. Maybe.

      • But there you’re wrong–there’s nothing as invigorating as having an argument with a dumb cane (and since you are sparring verbally with an unarmed opponent, you are almost guaranteed to win, except when the topic is pop music or something vacuous like that).

        • I am afraid that in any argument with me about pop music, teams of the National Football League, movies nominated for Oscars, “Great reads” currently being discussed by Book Clubs…etc. the dumb cane would win.

            • My forte is ice cream. Someone gifted me with an ice cream machine—the last thing I would have bought for myself—but I am becoming quite knowledgeable there. My best quart of the stuff so far has been Voluptuous Vanilla, but this coming week I plan to make Avocado Gelato.

                • Lucuma ice cream is very popular in South America (and in Maine, so they say). I’m not growing it, but don’t give me any ideas…

                • I’m working on banana/Inca peanut ice cream. If it’s a success I will retire and live the life of Riley.

                • Well, I would always wish you a life of comfort, Prospero….and now that I think of it, I did like peanut butter and banana sandwiches as a kid…but I was actually only reminiscing about the 50’s TV show called “The Life of Riley” wherein the hard-luck protagonist, played by William Bendix, was always saying…”What a revoltin’ development this is!”

                • As television is such a recent development, I am not good with recognizing shows. But a life of comfort is a curse for the writer/artist.

                  I’m probably running out of space
                  n
                  o
                  w
                  .

  5. Wherever we live March, it seems, holds promise of what will be!

    In my three years of blogging I have become so much more familiar with the vagaries of the changing seasons here and in other parts of the world. This time last year I was readying myself for my journey to DC and Virginia and so aware that there was still snow storms coming through and that Winter had not yet relinquished her grip…………. Yet I arrived scarcely three weeks later to Cherry blossoms and mellow heat and all the signs of Spring having settled in comfortably……. It was warmer there than here – where today, it seems, Autumn has arrived and Winter is hot on her heels – and in usual inimitable fashion, your poem today has captured all my wordy [yet edited] rambling thoughts! xo

    • Funny, isn’t it, how these in-between seasons can be so pensive-making. As with you, my awareness of a larger world is one of the perks of blogging. When I went to put tags on this post, I realized that even a year ago I would have put “March” and now I typed “Northern Hemisphere” to go with it. I didn’t realize you were in DC just last year. It’s beautiful there in Spring, with all the Cherry blossoms. We get our magnolias and flowering dogwoods a bit later here, in the north. For you it’s autumn….that is my favorite of all the seasons.

      • Isn’t it amazing that we didn’t know of each other a year ago! Three of my friends, met through blogging, conspired and brought me to the US purely for the delight of actually meeting face to face and while there I met up with some others too. One in particular, Lisa whom you also know, has since become a real friend too. It was the most spectacular treat of my life πŸ™‚

    • The Ides of March isn’t until next week, but I did have fun with that, and of course the last verse too. It’s a treat, even for me, when a double meaning occurs and I don’t even notice until after I’ve written it. Thanks, Pauline!

  6. The huddling potatoes… I almost feel cruel and callous now, reaching into my potato box and separating a couple of spuds from their compatriots huddled in fear of the peeler… A poem full of hope and promise!

    • The title and ending were the best fun in the writing. I’m glad about the listening….I have a terrible cold, and hesitated about recording. Hope your weather….of every kind…is looking up, Hilary.

  7. Your poem took me out of myself and reminded me that people all over the world are experiencing different weather and seasons. We are about to welcome Autumn and today the humidity is 100.%.

  8. I think you’re having fun with those “eyes of March” making eyes at the faux spring. The humour in this poem is flirty, too, with double entendres (phony fling of warmth) and images like the sun pouring into the kitchen sink. And goodness knows what those potatoes will get up to huddling in the dark together and making eyes. After a hard slog in the salt-mines today, this poem was a tonic.

    • Well, you know Susanne, how Ides of March can easily become Eyes of March, and how “making eyes at” simply begs to combine with potato eyes, and sun pours, and flings are phony, and spuds huddle etc….etc. So glad this was a tonic after a hard slog in the salt-mines. Hugs.

  9. Oh Cynthia how well I can relate to your fascinating poem that muses about the tricky month of March – it teases like none other. Reminds me of when we moved into our home in Maine (middle of April) there was still ice on the driveway and front yard, my first taste of Spring in Maine (ha!). Before you know it a beautiful Robin will be stopping by winking and nodding their hello’s. Hope you feel better soon – time for another cup of steaming hot tea.

    • I do remember your tale of ice on the driveway in April, that year you moved into your home in Maine. How different is Texas now! I think blogging has made me much more aware of weather, not only just outside my door, but all over the world. Our friends in Australia and New Zealand are moving into Fall now….the mind boggles. Meanwhile it’s time for another cup of rooibos tea, with ginger, and lemon, and honey. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  10. There’s so much to unpack in this poem. You should know I threw open the windows today–and turned off the heat!!! Of course it will be back on with closed windows, but I wanted to seize the day. Your imagery in this is visual and tactile and the contrast of lenten discipline and whimsy weather is apt. I too love the potatoes making eyes and think there are more layers here than I can get in my short couple of reads. I will have to come back. It’s speaking to me.

    • I love the idea of “unpacking” a poem. So often we read things quickly and discard, but poems—at least to me—have no “sell by” date, if they’re good ones, and invite re-reading, not because they are obtuse, but because they are “packed” with meaning, sound, and imagery. So I am touched that you consider coming back for a visit with this one. I’m always experimenting, and with this one I wanted to see if I could get by with no punctuation whatsoever. Glad you could open the windows today. You’ll be seeing your spring, and your cherry blossoms, a bit sooner than I, but it will come…it will come.

      • I go back to poems and read them again and sometimes see something completely different. It depends on what I’m bringing to it as well, but unlike novels, they bear multiple rereads. Sometimes I recognize a poem right away as a packed suitcase or a layer cake and go back to have another go. There’s a slow food movement and I think there maybe should be a lingering read movement as well!

  11. Beauty and wise words that supports the lion end of this month. Oh yes – between the lion and the lamb one can find snow.

    Did I sense a bit of a cold at your end? If so, hope you are feeling better.

  12. I do love March inasmuch as April follows on its “heals” ! Sweet poem and the “potatos making eyes” remind me of the rebirth of the world ! Thank you for publishing ! ; )

  13. Cynthia, another gem of a creation from you! And I enjoy Rooibos tea too! In Sydney the temperature was 29 deg C ( I don’t know in F) and one could have cut the humidity with a knife. I’ve noticed that the equinox will herald the change in season. Having said that, our winters are not as severe as yours, if the temperature dips to 4 deg C at night, we freeze!!!! Get well soon πŸ™‚

    • That Rooibos tea is about the only tea I drink, these days. I like that it naturally has no caffeine and I usually like it just straight….but I do love my coffee, too, especially in the morning. I think your 29C is like our 84F—-plenty warm. I don’t mind warm, but egads I hate humidity! It makes me feel like some aquatic creature suspended in ugly moisture without enough energy to even move or even breathe. We have an old saying here that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. It’s an interesting time of year no matter where you live, I guess. Thank you for your good wishes, Shubha!

  14. Excellent Cynthia! I was playing with the Ides of March myself and you have beaten me to it in such spectacular fashion (albeit our weather is promising cooler times and closed windows 😊 )!
    Always so much in your poems (love the rhyming scheme – know the style but cannot remember its name! ) – I’ve now lost some time on my book but so rewarded reading your poetry. Thank you!

    • Well, I shall look forward to your eventual March poem, Rob, especially since your March in South Africa is quite different in outlook from mine. I’m not aware that the rhyming scheme has a name; I just decided to do it that way as I went along, It would seem more typical to a layout of quatrains, but as tercets it makes for a different effect because the rhymes don’t clunk down in expected places. I also enjoyed experimenting with no punctuation or capitalization….usually that’s difficult to do and still make the meaning clear, but I like how it worked out here.

      I’m honored that you took time out of your own writing to come for a visit. Thank you!

      • Ah, well – name or no name, the rhyming style sings nicely! Also like how your ‘no punctuation or capitalization’ style works here – you effected it well, as you always do ! πŸ™‚
        I’m also interested to see my March poem πŸ™‚ – must cease the playing and get it down! πŸ™‚
        The honor is mine Cynthia – to visit and read your work – love it PLUS I learn so much! See you soon…

    • I haven’t left a comment yet, but I’ve been over to your blog enjoying the gorgeous photography. I think Ireland must be quite beautiful…like your daffodils in Spring. My maternal grandfather was from Ireland, and having quit school at an early age, his literacy left something to be desired, and even prevented him from ever becoming a US citizen…though he was a wonderful, poetic story-teller. I spent a good part of my adult life in Boston, which is terribly Irish too! There is so much of life that is like March…neither quite here, or there. Thank you, Inese.

  15. A nice poem, with some wise advice about March. I couldn’t help but feel I’d seen those potato eyes somewhere before – have they appeared in another poem of yours?
    I might have been thinking about my own childhood – we often had a set of old potatoes in a side cupboard somewhere in the kitchen, being ‘saved for mash’ my mum would say. Those potato eyes, if you leave them long enough, turn into creepy fingers…

    • This may sound familiar because I have posted it before, and you may have read it before. Some time ago I realized a few things about posting poems; 1. one cannot write them on demand, even though one is committed to posting on a regular basis, so sometimes it’s good to re-post . 2. the blogging community is ever changing and often a re-post is read by a majority of folks who never read it before; 3. poems ought to bear re-reading yet people rarely check the archives; 4. one hopes a poem doesn’t have a sell-by, expiration date. πŸ™‚

      And you’re right….those potato eyes can get mighty creepy!

      • You’re right, of course. All the best poems are ones that you will come back to again and again.So poems shouldn’t have an expiration date, unlike those potatoes…

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