“The world’s favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May.” ~ Edwin Way Teale
photo by csoules
“It’s here, it’s here, that shocking time of year — when tons of little wicked thoughts merrily appear!”
Yes, it’s May, it’s May, the lusty month of May, as Vanessa Redgrave sang so joyfully in “Camelot.” So, are you ready to be wild and gay, go blissfully astray?
photo by boopsie.daisy
Well, I am. Just a few moments ago, I bathed my face in the dew of this fine May morning to retain my youthful beauty. This is something all fair maidens do. Tra-la! Wish you could see me, cuz I’m all shiny and stunning.
I took my cue from Mother Goose herself (May 1st is Mother Goose Day, don’t you know):
The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes the dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.
Okay, we don’t have any hawthorn trees — but the ones we do have are bursting forth like nobody’s business. I always forget how “sudden” spring is. Tiny buds drink in the raindrops, soak up the sun and explode into millions of pale green leaves. Our little forest is back!
by Philip Larkin
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.
Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.
Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.
I don’t want to alarm you, but if you see a streak of white flashing across your computer screen, it’s just me — frolicking and gamboling through the meadow clad in a diaphanous gown, a crown of ferns and roses in my hair . . . stopping now and again to toss a pretty poesy into your May basket:
by Lord Edward Thurlow
May, queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
In the green bowers.
photo by straightfinder
“Tis like the birthday of the world,
When green was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There’s crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers.”
~ Thomas Hood
photo by mix’s
On the first of May, the Earth has moved along its orbit to where the Northern Hemisphere is receiving an ever increasing flow of energy. The Sun has climbed higher in our sky, and everything is responding to its light.
photo by katarina 2353
“The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.” ~ Joyce Kilmer, Spring
Today, I’m thinking about Hawai’i, where it’s Lei Day. I’m also thinking of England, which shares a mutual admiration for celebrations, royalty and flowers. Two Hawaiian queens attended Queen Victoria’s Coronation Jubilee, and Olympic swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku, once danced with the Queen Mother.
photo by colleeninhawaii
photo by Kirk Siang
But most important, Lei Day grew out of the British tradition of May flowers and maypole dancing, which originated about 700 years ago. The crowning of a May Queen, and having a procession of young maidens (princesses) wearing flower garlands, continues in both England and Hawai’i today. But instead of weaving long, colorful ribbons around a maypole, the first dancers in Hawai’i wove long garlands of flowers.
“The May-pole is up,
Now give me the cup;
I’ll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown’d it.”
~ Robert Herrick, The Maypole, 1660
I picked these just for you:
photo by lookin glass
“When April steps aside for May,
Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;
Fresh violets open every day:
To some new bird each hour we listen.”
~ Lucy Larcom
by Sara Teasdale
photo by John & Fish
A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;
For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?
I wish you a glorious month! May you bloom with new adventures, spend many pleasant hours drinking in the beauty around you, and read and write new poems or stories that fill your heart to the brim.
photo by moonjazz
photo by dgans
“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
But mind where you go . . .
“Prithee, smite the poet in the eye when he would sing to you praises of the month of May. It is a month presided over by the spirits of mischief and madness. Pixies and flibbertigibbets haunt the budding woods. Puck and his train of midgets are busy in town and country.” ~ O’Henry, The Month of May
photo by aperture_lag
ON THE ALPHABET SOUP MENU THIS MONTH:
Madness, mischief, and merrymaking.
Children’s Book Week (May 10-17).
Asian Pacific American Heritageness.
Dylan’s birthday (May 24).
Flowers, flowers, flowers.
There could very well be tickling.
And poetry, of course.
Tea and sweet treats to go with it.
Cake, in particular, will probably make an encore appearance.
So join us, and we’ll go a’maying!
Maya Ganesan at Allegro is doing the Roundup today. Skip on over!
photo by sethladd
“Poetry is the silence and speech between a wet struggling root of a flower and a sunlit blossom of that flower.” ~ Carl Sandburg