The Sun


From these pictures you have an idea of how the glass sculpture in front of the Montreal Museum is mounted for the summer and put away for the winter.  Dale Chihuly is the master glass creator who made this piece.  It was bought following a spectacular exhibition at the Museum a few years ago.  It is wonderful, a masterpiece and a popular photo op sitting on the steps in front of the original neo- classical building.   You can see how complicated the piece is and what care and effort it takes to store, clean and set it up.

Today I went to the last day of a three-day fair at the Botanical Gardens.  We have a Garden that is justly famous for research, the horticultural school and the sheer size and diversity of the plants it houses.

They all depend on the sun, the natural sun, the sun about which we never give a thought.  The paths of the Garden were full of booths with vendors selling various plants, de orations for the garden, fertilizers….everything fanatical gardeners like me love to obsess over.  It made me think about the sun, about our gardens and how we love to imitate nature.  We are a bit pathetic but I have to admire our courage and inventiveness



Country mouse and City mouse


not a mouse1

No logical argument can change me from a person who fears mice into a person who can tolerate them.  In the city an errant shadow on the floor of my basement once had me racing upstairs, reaching for my car keys and cel phone.  The instantly hatched plan was to go sleep at a friend’s place/motel/youth hostel/homeless shclter/ doorway and immediately arrange for an eterminator.  My horror in the face of mice – in the city – is visceal.  This morning I saw a mouse flit across the floor of the second bedroom in the cabin where I am staying.  To my surprise, my only reaction was a startled squeak.  I was not revolted, terrified or panic stricken.  I know I really saw him and when I mentianned my little visitor to the daughter of my hostess she nodded and acknowledged that, “Yes, he was there before you came.”  Perhaps it is that idea that makes the prospect of him crying in a trap or, worse still, lying dead on the mat, more difficult to face than catching sight of him flitting to safety under a bed upon which I do not sleep.  However, he had better watch his step and not intrude too much or I might revert to my city hysteria.  It is a new and interesting experience not to be afraid of him and I think it has something to do with the closeness of other natural things.  Jays, wild turkeys, chipmunks, deer and this morning a mother loon and her many chicks are among the creatures that have delighted me here.  The country mouse seems to be just part of the gang.  But, as I said, logic has nothing to do with this.  I hope for both our sakes that I continue to feel this benign surprise toward my room-mate.

Man-made and unmade


Cars and houses and even an asphalt

street rolling on up that hill

wonders, real wonders for human beings

a whole world to fill.

Fashioning the world, drawn out, drawn, spun out

to some fantastic peak

Of art, of technology, of skill

of stubborn persistence, of flawless technique

Trial and error, over and over again

Rewarded by money, power and fame

By prestige, vanity and real interest too

The fullness of heart and intellect

That knows the triumph of doing it, getting it, knowing it through and through

Knowing that you can, that you do it

Better than anyone else.

Yes, Mr. Einstein, Mr. Edison, Mr. Faberge

Yes, cowboy, or doctor or builder of a great railway.

One who was called, “teacher, my teacher,”

by a student who got it, in whose eyes light dawned.

The acrobat, the soccer player, the toolmaker

Or are tools now made by laser?

A toolmaker as obsolete as an emperor.

But trees, no – trees live apart from us

Beside, parallel, apart from the asphalt street

From the wrist watch, the IPad, the latest sneakers on the feet

that walk the asphalt street.

Yes, clouds and trees

Look – a dark form, the early summer leaves

Oh, is it sun or rain or time that weaves

the formed dark silhouette or filigree pattern of the twigs

stenciled against the pale clouds?

Within the dark form, the trunk and branches

There creatures live, birds or squirrels, insects

Unobserved even at early morning

when the red-headed boy runs in the rain

that falls on the asphalt and down the city drain

The rain that falls into the river

on my red car or onto the muddy lane.

Come then, rain and wind.  Come clouds, come snow

Grow grass and trees, weeds, bushes, come seasons’ flow.

Fly birds, annoy me squirrels and mosquitos and flies

Charm me, butterflies and dragonflies and bees and wasps tight laced.

Live your lives, damn it.

Insist, as we insist on some crazy object

Arise moon behind the clouds.  Be perfect

As perfect as a Faberge egg?  Let’s troop to see that.

Let’s pay to see it, study it, marvel at it, guard it

photograph it, explain it.  Let’s just get it, shall we?

Do you get it?  Well, then, let’s lose it.

Let’s pick a leaf from some ragged lilac bush

Let’s stand and look at that dark shape.

An egg, a tree.  Where are we?