Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finding April

Finding April

In all the dead white
 no cardinals,
only snow like a memory pressed
over the face of earth;
the cold was too processed,
the cat was too patient,
the harbor was broken,
the river was hard.

White sky whispered
there is no  April
no sun
and only the snowmelt,
the quick changeling of thaw
remembered for me
what it is
to be alive.

~April 2014

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Challenge: Words Count With Mama Zen: April
The Mistress of Terse, Mama Zen(Another Damn Poetry Blog) asks us to write about what April means to us, in 66 words or less. This is actually (barely) less. I was considerably assisted in this poem by the above painting (top) by Ivan Bilbin, the great Russian illustrator.

Top Image: Spring, by Ivan Bilbin, 1900
Public domain via
Footer: Redbud on a Blue Day, (c) joyannjones 2014


  1. oh i am feeling a bit more alive these days....cold this morning but i think we are supposed to be near the last 4 lines of the first part hedge...the things you chose to include and their descriptors...very effective...and cool

  2. A beautiful poem, and the contrast between the top and bottom photos is wonderful and gave me some hope for April after all!

  3. "the cat was too patient." That is so perfect, so unexpected. Really enjoyed this, Hedge.

  4. It really does seem to be a remembering of life. All those months hibernating are ready to be flung out.

  5. Hi Joy--I have become rather a fan of snow, but certainly understand the feelings so effectively conveyed by this peace--and there is a paralysis of passivity or despair that can be very wintry. I especially like here the memory pressed over the face of earth, and then the remembering that comes up again at the end, as a new memory of sorts or a deeper memory reasserts itself - the changeling thaw is just a great phrase, I thought--and the idea of the cat too quiet, the harbor breaking, the river hard--all bring up that paralysis. The white sky is oppressive no matter the temperature. k.

  6. Mmm, the nature of nature! How interconnected our ideas of the natural and pristine, and how misguided. Lovely poem.

  7. It is the fever, the quickening, the "quick changeling" which says April to me too.

  8. This is lovely. And I'm so thankful for the changeling of thaw. It's been a tough winter.

  9. My cats really are more subdued when it is cold outside - (afraid I will toss them out, no doubt) This is pensive and I like the observation of "no cardinal" as I know when I see them, my heart flutters - they are a joyous sight… But alas, no joy in this poem.

  10. i like how April is shyly peeping in the closing lines....

  11. I agree with Mama Zen "the cat was too patient" was totally unexpected. Wanting spring and not having it arrive is a dark time as your poem so brilliantly conveys.

  12. I really love the list effect you used at the end of stanza 1. Each line delivers a clear picture which sets up the second stanza so well.

  13. this image works so well for me:

    only snow like a memory pressed
    over the face of earth

    I also like your choices for drawing and your photo - a transition, as it were. ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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