The rosebuds I gathered on Sunday while pruning the church garden have opened in a little bowl on my kitchen table, I am glad to say!
And I cut back the blooming mums at just the right time, too, the purple ones with yellow centers, as everything was nipped with frost again last night. So the mums are in a crystal vase, a wedding present nearly 22 years ago!
This painting, by John William Waterhouse, in the public domain, is titled Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May, a quotation from the poem by Robert Herrick about enjoying youth and beauty while you can.
Today, another "bright sunshiny day" but colder than yesterday, I celebrate ekphrasis (poetry in response to painting) in addition to this painting in response to a poem! Ekphrasis journal, which gave me the Ekphrasis Prize for my poem "Repose," has honored and delighted me again by now nominating it for a Pushcart Prize. I am so grateful to editors Laverne Frith and Carol Frith for this special attention to my poem. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.