Thursday, April 30, 2009


"DANCING THE CIRCLE" by Mickie Mueller
(The following is re-printed from
my blog post of 4/30/2007)
Tonight is the Eve of Beltane, one of the two most important Celtic festivals of the year, or, as you probably know it, May Day. It is properly observed from sunset April 30 to sunset May 1.
On Beltane (or Beltaine) Eve and its counterpart, Samhain Eve (or Halloween), the veil between the two worlds is at its thinnest. But unlike Samhain, when spirits of the dead roam the world, on Beltane Eve it is the fairies who are returning from their winter respite, carefree and full of fairy delight and mischief. Beware, tonight the Queen of the Fairies will ride out on her white steed to entice humans away to fairyland. If you hear the bells on her horse, turn your face away, or she may choose you!

"BELTANE" (artist unknown to me)
More properly, Beltane is a Gaelic festival, celebrated by those in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. (Other Celts, like the Welsh, had similar celebrations). The name Beltane means bright fire, bale fire, or Fire of Bel (Bel or Belinos being the Sun God). Halfway between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice, this day marks the beginning of the bright half of the year.

Preparations for Beltane began with gathering flowers for the Maypole and for wearing on the body and in the hair. Young men went May boughing or May birching, gathering garlands of hawthorn (Mayflower) and rowan (mountain ash) to hang over doorways and windows. On the Isle of Man, the youngest child of a family would gather primroses to throw against the door of the house for protection.

"THE FIREST OF BELTANE" by Jennifer Galasso
From the woods, villagers gathered nine different types of sacred wood. From this wood, two giant bonfires, or need fires, were built on top of a hill. The villagers drove domestic animals between the two fires to purify and protect themselves and the animals, insure their fertility, and bring luck. People also jumped over the bonfires (hopefully after they had died down a bit) in a fertility ritual. In Scotland, boughs of juniper were added to the fire for purification and blessing.

The Beltane celebration honored life over death and celebrated the rebirth of the world. Above all, it was a fertility festival, a symbolic union of the God and Goddess, of the divine masculine and the divine feminine. A young virgin, often dressed in white with a crown of flowers, was chosen to be the Queen of the May. Her consort went by many names, including the Green Man, the May Groom, the May King, and Jack-of-the-Green, often dressed in green and decorated with leaves.

"BELTANE" by Ric Kemp

In Scotland, bannocks (or oatcakes), were passed around in a bonnet. One bannock had been blackened by the fire, and the person choosing the blackened bannock became The Fool. It was the hope that all misfortune would henceforth fall on The Fool and no one else. Poor Fool, he also had to jump over the bonfire three times.
After the fires died down, the youth of the village would slip into the woods to go "A-Maying", to act out in reality the symbolic joining of the God and Goddess. No wonder they sing about "The Lusty Month of May" in "Camelot".

"BELTANE GROVE" by Mickie Mueller

May Day morning, the young people would emerge from the woods, perhaps mussed and disheveled, to dance around the Maypole, gaily decorated with colorful ribbons, flowers, leaves and garlands. Flowers were put in baskets and left on doorsteps for those who were too ill or too old to participate in the festival. From that, we get our modern day May baskets.

Beltane was serious business for the Celts. They believed that the wheel of the sky would not turn without their intervention, and they did everything in their power - with their fires, celebrations and rituals - to ensure that summer returned each year.
Beltane was celebrated in English villages up into the 1950s. The festivities came to include mummers' plays, Morris dancing, riding the hobby horse, feasting and drinking. Tonight, the Beltane Fire Festival on Colton Hill in Edinburgh, Scotland, will attract 12,000 to 15,000 people.

"BELTANE FIRE" (artist unknown to me)

There will be no May bonfires for me tonight here in Bismarck, and certainly no creeping into the woods to go "A-Maying." Instead, I will play "Huron Beltane Fire Dance" by Loreena McKennitt a number of times. Since I can never listen to this music without dancing, I'll do a little springtime dance of my own. Beltane comes only once a year!

"Huron Beltane Fire Dance" is on McKennitt's "Parallel Dreams" CD. Here is a video of Michael Flatley and the Lord of the Dance cast dancing to it:

Today is "National Poem in Your Pocket Day". For more information, to to Carol's blog at "Charli and Me":
Joann from Washington, who writes the "Pieceful Afternoon" blog, is going through a tough time right now. Her beloved husband, Don, has to have open heart surgery this fall and they have to raise $25,000.00 BEFORE he can have the surgery. They have come up with a way to help defray the expenses. Joann is raffling off one of her beautiful quilts, and her friends have contributed other hand-made items. Please check this out here:
I don't think I'm going to be around much for a while. I do not have home Internet at the moment (withdrawal is hard), and they charge 25 cents for each 15 minutes you use it at the library, so posting and commenting are going to plummet. I will, however, be checking my e-mails so you can keep in touch that way. Please don't forget me when I'm gone!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Not long ago I discovered a new blogger who is 1. my first Scottish blogging friend and 2. a really good artist.

Recently Ruthie held a drawing for the beautiful angel painting above, and I won the drawing. I was so thrilled, because I have always loved paintings of red-headed women. The painting is so beautiful in person. You can't see them in this picture - which I borrowed from Ruthie's blog, but there are gold stars against the dark blue background, and the gold is metallic.

In an enclosed note, Ruthie wrote that she had included some other "bits and bobs" from Scotland. Bits and bobs, she calls them? She sent me a CD called "Tribute" with music by her husband's Ceilidh band, as well as other samples of her own art. The Celtic mermaid, above, is shown on her blog. Being a lover of Celtic fantasy art, I wanted a print of it as soon as I saw it. Now I have one!

The mermaid, a stunning owl and a teddy bear like the white one shown below are featured on three note cards she sent. She tucked in a bookmark decorated with faeries wearing skirts made with real pansy petals. Then there was a wee friendship booklet, "Precious Things", with a thistle on the cover.

And last but certainly not least, two items from nature: A bunch of "lucky" Scottish heather, "picked of the brae at Cairnsmore of Fleet" and two seashells, "from the shore at Carrick Beach, known as 'pelicans feet' shells locally" (they really do look like pelicans' feet).
If I can't go to Scotland, receiving this parcel was the next best thing. Please check out Ruthie's lovely blog for more of her artwork:

Ruthie hopes to have an Etsy shop and her own website soon, but people can contact her directly for now.
I also recently received parcels from four other blogging friends that I have not acknowledged yet. Than you, Sheila from "Simple Pleasures" for thinking of me when you upgraded your digital camera and sent me the "old" one (not old at all).
Thank you, Leanne from "Somerset Seasons Dorset Days" for the signed copy of "The Magus of Stonewylde." How much trouble you went to, having Kit Berry sign it and posting it from England, and then - as I already told you - Gracie tore up the parcel and book before I even got home.
Thanks to Joyce from "The Secret Gardener" who sent me the Barbie Irish Step Dancer doll, just because I write about Celtic things. Joyce, you are a sweet Southern lady and like me, a lover of Irish things.
Thanks also to Janet from "The Lavender Loft", who sent me a "Pay It Forward" package that went far beyond the expectations of the PIF concept. She sent me a porcelain tussie mussie, an angel figurine and many samples of her gorgeous artwork. Yes, Janet is another very talented artist (and published in "Artful Blogging" - yay, Janet!). Since my scanner isn't working, I wasn't able to scan Janet's pieces but I am including her blog address so you can see her fine work and find links to her Artopia art blog and Etsy shop:
I can't believe there are such nice people out there in Blogland. I try to be nice in return, and to that end, it is time to announce the two winners of my art supplies giveaways. They are Annie from "In My Dreams", whose address I have, and Grendelskin, whom I don't know, so please e-mail me with your real name and address.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Quite some time ago, a blogging friend challenged me to a meme but I let it go so long that I can't remember exactly what the subject was. I know it had to do with reading, and I think it was about listing my particular quirks as a reader.

That's a list I will thoroughly enjoy composing.

1. I hate magical realism, as evidenced in books like "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"by Tom Robbins or "Like Water for Chocolate", by Laura Esquivel. Now, I have no problem with a book if I know there is magic coming, as in "Practical Magic" by Alice Hoffman. Or, if I know that time travel will be involved, as in "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger or "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon. As I learned in English lit classes, this is called "willing suspension of disbelief", a term coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

However, I can't stand it when I'm reading along, enjoying a book and everything is realistic, following the laws of physics and the universe, and then something utterly impossible sneaks in and ruins everything.

2. My all-time worst book is "Middlemarch" by George Eliot. You would think that I, an English major in college, would have loved it, but I found it dull, dull, dull. And I had to finish it because it was for a class. I recently saw a list on GoodReads of "Books You Were Forced To Read and Would Rather Have Had A Root Canal." Add "Middlemarch" to that list, please. I'm also not that into (shock, horror), Jane Austen. I think her books are dry and difficult to read.

3. Some books have been so heavily hyped that I purchased them and then regretted wasting the money. Two examples are "Paris to the Moon" by Adam Gopnik and "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers.

The most overrated book I have purchased is "A New Earth" by Eckhart Tolle. I have never cared much for self-help books but this one was hyped to such an extent that I though it must have value. What a bunch of psychobabble it turned out to be.

The most overrated book I have NOT purchased is "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne.

4. I have a passion for true crime books (and also a fascination with serial killers). The best true crime book I have read is "Strange Piece of Paradise", written by Terri Jentz, one of the victims of a horrific crime. While camping, Jentz and a friend were brutally attacked by a man wielding an axe. She spent years tracking him down, and though he has never been convicted, she believes she has found the right man. Warning, this book is not for the faint of heart. Jentz often revisits that blood- and gore-soaked night of two near axe-murders, and the portrait of the psychotic (accused) killer is very disturbing.


5. The first book I can remember owning is a Little Golden Book called "Baby Susan's Chicken". Unlike her siblings' chickens, Susan's chicken wouldn't lay eggs, but all's well that ends well: He turns out to be a rooster. In first grade, I won a blue ribbon in a county competition for my recitation of "Seven Diving Ducks." One of my favorite children's books was "Make Way for Ducklings". Did I have an obsession with fowl?

6. One of the best books my book club has read in the past couple of years is "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. One of the best books my book club is going to read this year (courtesy of moi), is "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows.

7. A book I have been pushing on everyone lately is "The Red Leather Diary" by Lily Koppel. Koppel, a NY Times Reporter, found an old diary written by Florence Wolfson when she was a teenager in the 1930s. Koppel tracks down Wolfson and finds her still alive and living in Florida. The book is a wonderful portrait of NYC and of free-spirited Miss Wolfson.

8. If you want to be in my good graces, don't ever combine the words "Danielle Steele" and "good writer" in the same sentence.

9. I loved Oprah's book club when it was in its heyday and for a long time I kept up with reading them all. If pressed, I would say the best among them include "Stones From the River" by Ursula Hegi and "Five Quarters of the Orange" by Joanne Harris. But Oprah did pick some doozies, including "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen.

10. In my teens and 20s, I loved Gothic novels and gobbled up every book written by Victoria Holt. I also loved Mary Stewart, who wrote more modern mystery/romance/thrillers, with heroines who were independent, intelligent and sophisticated. My first Stewart book at 16 - and still favorite to this day - is "The Moonspinners." Enticing locales like Greece, France, Syria, Austria, Scotland, or even good old England, created dramatic backdrops to the stories.

11. I love trilogies (and beyond), including the "Stonewylde" series by Kit Berry, the Fair Isle Sisters series by Susan Carroll and the "Odd Thomas" series by Dean Koontz. (I must be the only girl/woman in the world not to have read "The Twilight" series. But I will.) However, as much as I loved the previously-mentioned "Outlander", about a WWII nurse who unexpectedly time travels to 1740s Scotland and meets the love of her life, the sequels got progressively worse. I never even purchased the last book.

12. I am known as "The Book Nazi" by certain members of my book club who get upset that I chide them for not reading the book (not finishing, or worse, never even starting it). When you are in a book club, you read the book, right? Isn't that a given?

I recently made a concerted effort to push my GoodReads list over 1,000. I think I have 1,025 books listed now. This link will take you to my list: I still haven't finished going through all the stacks in my house, and I'm having a hard time remembering all the books I read before I lost my possessions in a fire in 1982, but it's a start. It may seem like a lot of books, but considering that I was a pretty good reader by age 9, that's only about 20 books a year for 50 years. Even these days, I read closer to 40 books a year.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


With a huge sigh of relief, and grateful thanks to Patty ("Autumn's Meadow") who found it on bloglines, here is the post I lost (all re-typed 'cause Blogger won't let me cut and paste anymore):

I have mentioned here before that I felt like Persephone this past winter, spending the last five brutal months underground. Do you remember the story of Persephone?

In Greek mythology, Persephone was a young goddess, the daughter of the goddess Demeter and Zeus, king of the gods. One time when Persephone was playing in a flowery meadow with her companions, she was seized by Zeus' brother, Hades, and carted off to the underworld to be his bride. Her mother despaired at her disappearance and searched for her throughout the world.

When Demeter learned that Zeus had conspired in her daughter's abduction she was furious, and refused to let the earth bear fruit until Persephone was returned. Zeus consented, but because the girl had tasted of the food of the underworld - a handful of pomegranate seeds - she was forced to forever spend a part of each year with her husband in the underworld. Persephone's annual return to the earth each spring is marked by the flowering of the meadows and the growth of new grain.

Hades, of course, is another word for hell, and hellish is an apt adjective to describe my feelings this past winter. It was a time of depression and darkness. I was not merely cocooning; I was trapped in the cocoon, in the dark, as blind as a vole. I was shut down, going nowhere, merely existing, it seemed.

But I have discovered that my time underground was not totally fallow.

I have a question for you:

"What seeds have been planted in you, that have been laying asleep in the winter, have just moved on their own in your life? Can you sense an impending something in your life? Is there something that is yet to manifest above ground into physical reality, yet lies there just sprouting under the dark covering blanket of Earth inside you? How can you nurture this seedling in the coming days and months?"

~ Sig Lonegren

There was something lying dormant in me that did begin to sprout in late winter and now is a sturdy, strong seedling. I began an online writing project with a friend that has become one of my greatest pleasures. For now, this project is private, and it may remain ever thus.

This project involved a lot of research, both online and in reference books. When I emerged into the light of day this spring, I was surprised and proud to discover how much information I had absorbed during those seemingly dead days.

And, in my newly awakened state, I have discovered that my true calling is the written word, and not the visual arts. To that end, I am divesting myself of a lot of art supplies. I am making up a couple of Giveaway Grab Bags (or boxes, I should say) of art materials. Here's a just a sampling of what will be in each box: beads, ribbon, watercolors, embellishments, stencils, colored pencils, pastels, art papers, rubber stamps, lettering, glitter. This is nice stuff, not old junk.

Is there a dream, a talent, a poem or story, an aspiration - something inside you that was lying dormant and is now just emerging? I would love to hear about it. Post a comment here and I'll enter you in the drawing. Or, just leave a general comment telling me how much you'd love to receive a box of cool creative stuff! Please indicate which type of Material Girl you are: "Artsy Fartsy" or "Scrapper".


Hooray! The first flowers of the year! Yellow crocuses have been spotted in Bismarck, peeking through last autumn's dead leaves. With the help of three days of temperatures in the 60s and 70s F, spring is FINALLY here. The snow is gone, except for a few ice piles pushed up by plows in parking lots.

Although I have not been writing about the flooding situation, it - unlike the snow - has not gone away. Just a couple of days ago, every county but one in the entire state was under a flood watch.

The focus has shifted away from Bismarck and Fargo. Now, the city of Jamestown is besieged by the James River. The pretty little city of Valley City and the town of Lisbon are being ravaged by the Sheyenne River. Valley City State University has closed for the rest of the year. To the north, the Souris, which means mouse in French, has become The Mouse That Roared.

Locally, Apple Creek has turned from placid stream to torrent, and all roads to the city of Lincoln were closed. This little town five miles southeast of Bismarck is where my sister lives. She and the other residents were basically stranded for a time and still have to take long detours to get to Bismarck!

This week, I saw a sight I never thought I'd see. Interstate Highway 94 was closed, not due to a snowstorm (a common enough occurrence), but due to water washing over it!

Many, many of the state's secondary roads were washed out or weakened by the flood waters. Hundreds of baby calves died. One man drowned. The property damages will run in the millions of dollars. It will take a long time for our state - and our people - to recover from this.

Friday, April 17, 2009


This evening (it is 11:02 p.m. here on Friday evening in the central time zone) I wrote a post which has completely disappeared. I know it was posted, because at least one person (JoAnne from Washingon state) read it and commented on it. But it has completely disappered. The title was something like, "Persephone emerges with an urge to write, and a giveaway".

If someone has it saved on bloglines, please send it to me. And JoAnne, I am so sorry, but can I ask you to repeat your comment (as close to the original as possible). I am even more upset about a lost post than usual, because it was a giveaway.

Hoping someone can help,


Friday, April 10, 2009


German Papier Mache Egg Candy Containers

Even though my knee is recovering nicely, I still can't go up and down my basement stairs, so my collections of Easter decorations will be staying down there snug in their Rubbermaid tubs. I do miss those wonderful harbingers of spring. The more I began to collect Easter decorations, the more I turned toward vintage decorations, which in my definition can mean anything from the 1950s back to near the turn of the 20th century.

It's these vintage decorations that I miss the most, so I thought I would share with you pictures of the types of vintage Easter items that capture my heart. There's just something about them. I think it's because they are beautiful without being cutesy. The paper items were printed by a process called chromolithography, which was invented early in the 20th century. The colors were surprisingly vivid for such early technology, and remain vibrant today.

In my mind, Germany was the best producer of vintage paper and papier mache decorations. Unfortunately, war with Germany stopped the importation of these fabulous goods.

I am glad I amassed my collection when I did, because I could not afford them anymore. Most are now sold on eBay rather than in the places I found them, in local flea markets and antique stores.

I do not mind reproduction Easter decorations, as long as they have that indefinable vintage look. The Victorian Papers catalog is a good source for these fine reproductions, as is the German Country Store, which you can find online.

What modern resin chick figurines could compare to these great old Lefton china chicks?

Gurley, manufacturer of famous vintage Christmas candles, also made wonderful Easter candles.

I have a couple of German papier mache rabbit candy containers similar to this one, which is going for $75.00 on eBay. These are among the most expensive of the vintage Easter collectibles.

These colorful lithographs, called scrap, are actually reproductions. (For those of you who think scrapbooking is a relatively new hobby, I'll have you know that people have been making "scrap" books since the Victorian days.) These scraps are made from the same plates used to make the originals. They're available from the German Country Store. There are other styles to choose from, and they are very inexpensive. (They have been photographed on a background, but actually they are pre-cut and are just connected by those yellow "ribbons" which can be easily cut away to make each piece individual unto itself. )

In addition to scraps, there were die-cut decorations which were made into cards. Because of my previous post, you know about my collection of vintage Easter postcards, but I also have some of these vintage Easter greeting cards, and a few precious Easter booklets, usually religious in nature.

And last but certainly not least, these vintage chenille chicks, which I hate to say are from my childhood. Hate to say, because that makes me vintage too. How I loved these little chicks, which I purchased at the five and dime store. I loved their puffy little chests and orange feet. I especially loved the ladies in their fancy hats, and those sporting feathers. I still get a little thrill upon seeing one today.

I hope you enjoyed these vintage bits and I want to wish a Happy Easter to everyone, and Happy Spring to my pagan friends.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Those of you who know that I adore vintage holiday postcards will guess that I have a collection of vintage Easter cards. I do. Easter postcards used to be very reasonably priced so I was able to compile an extensive collection.

I am glad I purchased them when I did, for there are never any postcard vendors at flea markets or antique shops any more. Like so many antiques and collectibles, these wares are now almost exclusively sold on eBay (at higher prices, might I add). What fun it used to be to go to the flea market and pore through the boxes of postcards.

I have cards that run the gamut from religious to secular, and even some in German, this area of the state being settled in great part by Germans from Russia. I have cards featuring bunnies and eggs, spring birds and chicks, and all the flowers associated with Easter, from Easter lilies to daffodils to apple blossoms to passion flowers.

My favorite cards of all are those old German postcards featuring dressed rabbits, often seen decorating or delivering painted eggs. I dunno, I just have a thing for rabbits in clothes. When I was in elementary school, I made a paper doll from a coloring book rabbit, and designed all sorts of costumes for her. She "lived" in my desk, where I had fashioned her a pretty paper bed.

Now I wonder if my teacher ever looked into my desk and saw my rabbit and her costumes. What must she have thought. But I am vindicated, because I see I am not alone in thinking that rabbits - especially the European hares - look wonderful in clothing! The images in this post are some of my favorites.

Friday, April 3, 2009


It's official. I have changed Gracie's name to Marley, after that naughty dog of the book and movie fame.
I was going to re-name her a few weeks ago on a Saturday afternoon. I had shut her up in the kitchen so that I could get in a nap without her scratching at the bedroom door. No sooner had I dozed off, it seems, than I could hear her scuffling around the door. I thought maybe she had at last gotten over the baby gate (previously she had gotten herself hung up on the gate, half on one side and half on the other). But no, not that. Instead, she had chewed off both ends of one of the wooden posts of the gate and managed to squeeze herself through.
But this evening, she finally, truly earned the designation. Gracie - and Penny when she was alive - had the habit of barking at people when they walk by on the sidewalk. Gracie always goes a step further and races to the bedroom to get a further look at the "trespassers" as they get past our arbor. Just before 7 p.m. this evening it was still light out and Gracie was perched on a chair before the living room windows, this being her guard post. Someone walked by and Gracie barked like crazy, as usual, then launched herself into the air, as usual, prepared to race to the bedroom.
The only thing is, this time she caught her back foot in the cord to raise and lower the blind. The entire blind was torn off and trailed behind her as she ran. It scared the beejeezus out of her. The look on her face was hilarious. I was laughing so hard I couldn't scold her, even when Dan told me the top of the blind is broken and he may not be able to re-install it.
So, meet Marley II, maybe the second most destructive dog in the world (second only because she hasn't chewed up any walls yet).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009



This poor little meadowlark came back to ND too early and when she got here she received a cruel greeting: "April Fool from Mother Nature and Old Man Winter".

Out of all the words that have been said about the flood, the ones that have stuck with me the most are the words from a counselor being interviewed about the psychological stress and strain flood fighters have been enduring. "You can't control the blizzards. You can't control the waters. Concentrate on what you can control."

Those words have certainly stuck with me. Sometimes lately, as I have been pulling myself out of a snowbank, or watching the bills mount up, or being cut back to two days of work a week, I think that my life is spinning out of control.

But I, too, can concentrate on what I can control. And for me, that's my attitude. So I am thinking positive, and I am thinking spring. And that attitude is not only going to be reflected in my life, but in this blog. I changed my banner this morning, and my Picture of the Month. I am going to write posts about Easter, and spring, and happy things for a while. (I do know that a lot of you have been following our situation, and if our "under control for the moment" changes, I will let you know.)

Since April is National Poetry month, I have found some poems to share about April and/or spring.
Like us, New England poet John Greenleaf Whittier has experienced a spring that's not spring-like:
" 'This the noon of spring-time,
Yet never a bird In the wind-shaked elm or the maple is heard;
For green meadow-grasses wide levels of snow,
And blowing of drifts where the crocuses should blow;
Where wind-flower and violet, amber and white;
On south-sloping brooksides should smile in the light,
O'er the cold winter-beds of their late-waking roots
The frosty flake eddies, the ice crystal shoots'
And, longing for light, under wind-driven heaps,
Round the boles of the pine-wood the ground-laurel creeps,
Unkissed of the sunshine, unbaptized of showers,
With buds scarcely swelled, which should burst into flowers!"
-John Greenleaf Whittier, "April"
And sometimes spring's a mess, especially if you have dogs:
"You can always tell it's April
By the sound of falling rain
That mystic, mournful music
As it trickles down the drain.
We're told that we should be thankful
For the kiss of April showers
As it washes all the grass clean
And prepares the soil for flowers.
There's another side to April
Which doesn't bode us good,
When that mini, manic maelstrom
Turns the lawn to liquid mud."
- Thomas Vaughan Jones, "O' To Be in April"
It's not spring yet here, but I can dream:
"Once a day and sometimes more
I look out my daydream door
To see if spring is out there yet
I'm really anxious, but mustn't fret.
I see the snow a melting down
and lots of mud and slush around
I know the grass will surely sprout
and birds and flowers will come about.
But why oh why does it take so long?
I'm sure the calendar can't be wrong.
Sunshine fills my heart with cheer
I wish that spring were really here."
- Edna T. Helberg, "Longing for Spring"


Some may think, as did T. S. Eliot, that:
"April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain."
- T. S. Eliot, "The Waste Land"
When meadowlarks come back to ND too early, they probably think April is the cruelest month - or do they?
give lusty cheers
when spring appears
when spring appears"
Buds and seeds
prick up their ears
and blades of grass
show eager spears.
And only icicles
weep tears
when spring appears
when spring appears."
- Aileen Fisher, "When Spring Appears"
This poem reflects my attitude about a North Dakota spring:
"When March goes on forever,
And April's twice as long,
Who gives a damn if spring has come,
As long as winter's gone."
- R. L. Ruzicka
And then, all of a sudden, it happens!
"April comes like an idiot,
babbling and strewing flowers."
- Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Hark, I hear a robin calling!
List, the wind is from the south!
And the orchard-bloom is falling
Sweet as kisses on the mouth.
In the dreamy vale of beeches
Fair and faint is the woven mist,
And the river's orient reaches
Are the palest amethyst.
Every limpid brook is singing
Of the lure of April days;
Every piney glen is ringing
With the maddest roundelays.
Come and seek together
Springtime lore of daffodils,
Giving to the golden weather
Greeting on the sun-warm hills."
- Lucy Maude Montgomery, Spring Song.
"This I saw on an April day:
Warm rain spilt from a sun-lined cloud,
A sky-flung wave of gold at evening,
And a cock pheasant treading a dusty path
Shy and proud.
And this I found in an April field:
A new white calf in the sun at noon,
A flash of blue in a cool moss bank,
And tips of tulips promising flowers
To a blue-winged loon."
- James Hearst - "In April"
"Winter's done, and April's in the skies,
Earth, look up with laughter in your eyes!"
- Charles G. D. Roberts, "An April Adoration, 1896"
Someday, someday I hope to see spring in England, too:
"Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
And after April, when May follows,
And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows
Hark! where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge
Leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops - at the bent spray's edge
That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
And though the fields look rough with hoary dew,
And will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children's dower, -
Far brighter than this gaudy melon-flower!"
- Robert Browning
True, it may not be spring here yet, but I am keeping spring in my heart:
"The roofs are shining from the rain,
The sparrows twitter as they fly,
And with a windy April grace
The little clouds go by.
Yet the back yards are bare and brown
With only one unchanging tree---
I could not be so sure of Spring
Save that it sings in me."
- Sara Teasdale, "April"