But Soft What Spring Through Lovely April Breaks

Arise sweet spring for signs of you have sprung

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned I get to enjoy the sight of Venus in the late-winter, early spring mornings on my walk to the train station for work. It the very first sign of spring for me, but there are others.

The landscapers for The Commons around my job arrived last week. Gone are the winter evergreens, and the first shoots of the annual tulips are breaking through the ground. In another week or so the area will be awash in the reds, oranges, and yellows of tulips in the garden beds. With the addition of daffodils and lillies, the white blossoms of the dogwoods and always the pinks of the cherry blossoms the next few weeks will be awash springs bright colors. I will love it as I always do, but surprisingly, or not, for all the visual beauty that is the coming spring, it is not my favorite part.

My favorite part is aural.

The blocks I walk are tree-lined and have begun to bud in their own markers of spring, but it’s their occupants that hold sway for me. I step out my building, cross the street and there it is, a sweet trilling; the first calls of the day. Birdsong. For the next couple of week, my walk to the train station will time with the waking of the local flocks of pigeons and quarrels of sparrows. And as the mornings become brighter, if I’m lucky,I am also treated to flashes of robin and cardinal reds or the less frequently seen blue of a jay.

And yes, even the occasional caws of murdering crows and the conspiracy of ravens have greeted my mornings.

Oh, I am in no way, shape or form, an ornithologist. It is the decades of living in different NYC neighborhoods, and my penchant to look up, that have made me observant of more than just the people and pets that share the sidewalks with me.

The chirping of birds in my mornings is also a harbinger of the coming winter when their waking and my walking will again align, but we shan’t speak of such ill things right now. No. No. No.

This is the time for the most vernal of thoughts and I am here for it.

Let’s see how others are slicing it out this first Tuesday of April…

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Slice of Life Tuesdays
Writing Challenge

Two Writing Teachers

Calm in the Midst of Covid

I went to my office to work. On a much needed break to …

  • get coffee
  • rest my eyes and
  • absorb some sunshine to replenish my Vitamin D stores

… my work wife and I go to the only place that is open around the immediate office area.

Until this past weekend, we have had back-to-back rainy or at minimum dreary days. This did absolutely nothing to ease to ease the cabin fever that was beginning to sink in. Another reason I was grateful when my work wife offered a ride as she was going in as well.

Let’s see… Be in a car for 40 minutes with a person I know is not sick or spend over an hour on mass transit around who knows how many strangers who either are not able to observe the at least 6ft of social distancing being asked of us while riding the subway or who simply refuse to observe. I think you can guess which path I chose to take to work.

Three weeks ago in the New York City before Covid-19 there were scant signs heralding the early spring season; not so any more.

Tulips in The Commons ar Metrotech

The very first of the tulips planted annually had begun to bloom! Even better was the sight of these…

Cherry blossoms in The Commons at Metrotech

The Cherry Blossom trees had blossomed! I had not realized how much I missed seeing these annual harbingers until I saw them. For a moment it felt like a normal spring day. Then a masked person walked into view.

Still, I smiled at the reminder that THIS is what’s normal and we will get back to it soon enough.

Slice of Life Tuesday Story Challenge.

Slice of Life - Two Writing Teachers

Simple Joys

It is scheduled to rain this afternoon. It was overcast by my home when I got on the train early this morning to come to work. Thus, I was delighted to see El Sol was out and about when I came up from the subway near my job.

It’s the little things that bring simple joys.

El Sol giving me giraffe legs.

The Commons around my job have wonderful landscapers. There are seasonal plantings: various florals in summer and autumn, lights for the December holidays. Yesterday afternoon when I left work this plant box still held winter evergreens. This morning I am greeted by this unofficial but oh so important harbinger of spring: tulip bulbs! So come on rain and help out. I now look forward to seeing this and other plant boxes throughout The Commons ablaze in colorful tulips n a couple of weeks.

It’s the little things that bring simple joys.

It is Day 6 of the March Slice of Life Writing Challenge for 2020. Stop in and see how others are slicing it up today!

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A Long Season

Feeling every second of the long season, it had been an especially rough time for her these past months. She can, and has done little else but, imagine how his penchant to skin a razor with his trade likely had him meander a little too long. She knows it was not greed that delayed him, compared to the mediocre craftsmanship of what was immediately available, he knew what their wares were worth and would not accept a sou less than. She did not begrudge him for an instant for it, but winter had assailed the mountain early. Its velvety white touch unusually brutal and endless, it was unsafe to travel the passage.

She thought she would go mad stewing in helpless isolation with the same cask of chores to occupy her days. Checking the store of supplies, because how on earth did those darn insects keep getting into the flour was beyond her ken, as if there were aught she could do had she run out. Checking the flue near religiously because only one lesson of waking, and nearly choking, in a dark smoke fill room was enough. He usually did that – checked the flue among other things. God how she missed him! His bawdy laugh, his soft whispers, his strong hands.  Her one solace had been her sewing. As his lutalica was what made him a master craftsman in his trade, she was with hers. A massive quilt in shades of blue, with white stars and one small red comet, with coordinating pillow covers, now adorned the bed she wearily crawled into.

She did not need a calendar to know winter was nearly over.  The winds were not so brisk. When she ventured out, the sweet scent of something green in the air adds to the warm sunshine finally reaching the foothills. With heavy lids she pressed her cheek to a star festooned pillow at last, even as she looked out of the window to the cold dark night and smiled with hope. The passage would be open and he would be home soon.


Seeing Stars, Charcoal – Karin Gustafson

Sunday Wordle #292
Sweet, Touch, Months, Adds, Sunshine, Stew, Cask, Red, Velvety, Smoke, Foothills, Long

MLMM Wordle #148
Cheek, Heavy, Insect, Skin a Razor(Drive a hard bargain), Instant, Greed, Helpless, Meander, Assail, Mediocre, Passage, Lutalica{Lutalica: The Part of Your Identity That Doesn’t Fit Into Categories)

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

ManicDDaily – Seeing Stars, charcoal
This story was going to be something different, and from a male perspective until I saw Karin’s lovely art, then everything changed.

It’s Lamb Time!

Spring equinox 2017 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 6:28 AM on Monday, March 20 EST

I cannot lie, with the exception of the previous week, Winter 2016 has been relatively mild temperature wise. Granted there will be a couple more fights twixt lion and lamb for the next few weeks before we really feel like spring in our bones, but boy I am very happy to officially be on this side of the equinox at last.

Central Park Promenade in early spring

Central Park Promenade 1st Day of Spring 2016

Like most seasons some signs of spring appear before the calendar states such. The days are noticeably longer, grass has started to show its first shoots – though last week’s snow storm may have done a number on them, any day now I expect the landscapers by my job to start planting their annual tulip bulbs, there’s even the tiniest hint of what will be buds on the cherry blossom trees. Starbucks have the new coffee cup sleeves for spring and the annual joking, but not funny memes requesting people to please, for the love of all that’s holy, please get pedicures before breaking out the strappy sandals. Ahh spring!

To all of my southern hemisphere people, now entering autumnal equinox: may your coming winter be even more gentle than our past one. And please take time for Hygge.




Let’s see how others are getting through their First Day of Equinox:

10th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge! – DAY 20

I Think of Spring

A subtle intangible thing
These fallen leaves how they array
In autumn leaves I think of spring

Yellowed hues to the grounds cling
Bringing to thought vernal displays
A subtle intangible thing

I find my heart has taken wing
On how new blooms of crocus sway
In autumn leaves I think of spring

My eyes spy fall’s warm coloring
My soul denies thoughts of decay
A subtle intangible thing

A whim of my own soul’s choosing
This feeling does not go away
In autumn leaves I think of spring

I feel first hints of winter’s sting
Yet smile as I go on my way
A subtle intangible thing
In autumn leaves I think of spring


For the first dVerse Poetics of 2017, Mish offers us an array of art and asks us to use one as inspiration of  New Beginnings. My chosen image brought to mind the bright yellow of daffodils in spring. Spring is new beginnings in its own way, so that’s where my muse went in the form of a villanelle.

dVerse ~ Poets Pub | Poetics ~ New Beginnings 

Too Early

With vernal equinox comes joy
I smile at the new buds it brings
Beauty to see walking the park
Belies the chill in sharp employ
I’m not ready to feel such sting
Much too early for autumn’s bark


Walking in Central Park felt more like October than April.

National Poetry Writing Month 2016 – Day 9

Today I bring an Italian Sestet

The original version of the Italian Sestet had no set meter, but after Spenser introduced it into England, eventually the poets there began to use iambic tetrameter or pentameter.
The rhyme pattern example is as follows (Using iambic tetrameter)

And It Was…

I have been one acquainted with the night
Under dark clouds as many can attest
That I was many things, but not my best
Then one spring Cupid’s arrow pierced with light
But spring love could not survive autumn’s blight
Yet your light lives still inside my breast
Helping me to fight back the dark’s behest
Until love again has me in its sights

To deny this hope I will not employ
For when heaviness pulls into the day
Like a quick cat that jumps upon a toy
Memory of spring flowers have their sway
And the thoughts bring me a sweet, easy joy
When I was young and loved, and it was May

National Poetry Month – Day 30

The Process…

And thus the process starts and ends with me
 I wake with the warmth of the new spring sun
 And break through my covers damp and earthy
 The first stages of life newly begun
Through summer I grow and
 Bloom; recreating myself and
 My brethren once more in the
 Flight of birds and bees.
From autumn’s wings we land upon the ground
 In winter’s cocoon I slumber once more
 Then like the phoenix rise again in spring
 And thus the process starts and ends with me


Theme – Thursday | Spring

National Poetry Month – Day 3

Springing for More Snow

♫ ♬ On the first day of spring Old Man Winter gave to New York City, more freaking inches of snow! ♫ ♪

Yo Demeter! Give the curmudgeon his exit papers already!


Let’s see how my fellow Slicers are doing on the 20th day of the challenge: