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Friday, June 28, 2019

daylilies and hummingbirds

PSA BEFORE WE BEGIN:  
Global Climate Strike scheduled for Friday, September 20.  Plan ahead to show that 
you accept that this is a #ClimateEmergency and that you don't accept government inaction! 

The pretty stripes above are a powerful graphic depiction of climate warming in my state of Maryland. Each stripe represents the average annual temperature of one year between 1895 and 2018. "These are just normal fluctuations over time," say the climate change deniers--but there is no doubt that the trend we see starting in about 1985 is a strong, consistent shift.  You can go to showyourstripes.info and get the warming stripes graphic for your location too.  Share the knowledge, friends.

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Why?  Why am I harping on?  Here are some reasons within my view this morning on my patio.
This particular bloom was a great triumph, because our daylilies were not doing well until we cleared out the avalanche of trumpet vine that was choking it.  Then, just as they were getting ready to finally pop, Fiona and I met a pair of young stags on the road behind us, and we are 99% certain that one of them bounded back through our yard and stopped for a tasting at our Daylily Buffet!  Of the 18 stalks that had flowers developing, there were only 4 left the next morning.  Here's my daylily poem:




orange daylilies stand
long-necked in creeks of green
along every road
flocks of June herons

ours haven’t landed yet
late bloomers
just opening their beaks
©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

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I'm harping on because as I'm sitting here, this appears:

blue-grey buzz of 
long-beaked hover
coming back
hanging just 
out of reach whenever
I think you've
gone
instadraft ©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

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I'm harping on because we poets, "we love the Earth...we love our planet...we love the Earth...it is our home." (You might like to watch the amusing and not very "clean version" of the not super-poetic music video below, which seems aimed at 12-year-old boys.  You have been warned.)



I'm harping on also because see, L'il Dicky knows that if you want to capture the attention of 12-year-old boys, you put foul-mouthed animated pigs and farting skunks on YouTube, because it's likely that many of those kids have not noticed a daylily or seen a live hummingbird or pig or skunk to fall in love with.  We all of us are losing daily touch with nature, or if we're touching it, it's encased in plastic or it's 2D on an electronic screen.

As spring came on in 2nd grade and we spent more time outdoors, I found myself having to explain to 8-year-olds that they are SUPPOSED to actually TOUCH nature, get dirty, get scraped and bruised and sweaty--"it's how your body learns about the world," I said.  They all just wanted endless band-aids.  
I finally decided to provide unlimited, self-determined band-aids (but not unlimited visits to the nurse!).  And Karen Boss's DMC Challenge over at Today's Little Ditty with Michelle Heidenrich Barnes gave me the perfect opportunity to expand on a new, more powerful purpose for band-aids.  Thanks to Michelle for featuring this at her blog; now you can read it here too!

©Heidi Mordhorst 2019

Thanks to Buffy over at Buffy's Blog for hosting us today.  I hope you get a little dirty and hot and bruised on your way over and that your path is lined with daylilies and hummingbirds and not animated expletives.  And don't forget to start thinking about what you can do to make a noise on September 20.  #ThisIsZeroHour.

Friday, June 21, 2019

hallelujah solstice

PSA BEFORE WE BEGIN:  
Global Climate Strike scheduled for Friday, September 20.  Plan ahead!

I like to say that here in Maryland, just outside DC, summer lasts from May to October, meaning you could comfortably eat outside at your patio table at any time during those 6 months.  But of course, technically, summer doesn't start until June 21stish or until school is out, by which time the longest day of the year is already arrived.

In our family we celebrate the solstices (and with less established tradition the e*uinoxes).  So I know that today is called Midsummer or Litha by our neopagan friends.  I try to resist the feeling that summer has peaked before it's begun, and to remember that there are 94 whole days before the fall e*uinox (and a pause to note the rolling on of the Wheel of the Year on August 7, when neopagans observe the halfway point called Lammas)--but it's hard.

And being a teacher, it's hard to remember in May as the days lengthen to Be Here Now and enjoy those extra hours of sunlight even though "summer doesn't begin until school is out."  In fact, this year even the impending END of the school year felt uninspiring.  I kept waiting for that wide-open "Friday afternoon feeling" of weekend anticipation to take me over, and all I got was that "Sunday evening feeling" of dread and anxiety that summer will soon be over and school will start all over again.  *SIGH*

Sounds like it's time for a change of scene, right?  Send up your message to the universe that Heidi needs her groove back, and let's see what shifts. EDITED now that I can share the news: a change of scene is exactly what I'm getting!  The universe has shone upon me and I will leave 2nd grade to teach pre-K next year!!!  Yay yay yay!!!)

Now the school year has truly ended, now I have enjoyed my first day of true rest & relaxation, and I'm in a better place to Be Here Now.  You know, like the sun does--hour after hour, day after day, eon after eon.  The seed of this poem came from a kindergartener's words back in 2011.


Belly of the Summer


hallelujah sun
you have eaten up

leaf and land, sand and snow,
ocean vapor, lava flow

now your belly glows
so full and fat

that you have to lie back
in your blue hammock
your many arms thrown wide

and just shine


revision ©Heidi Mordhorst 2019


Our round-up host today is my dear friend Linda Mitchell!  Join her at A Word Edgewise for summery poems and a very fun "clunker exchange"!