What do you do to fight the rainy-day blues,
To push through the mud, the flood, and thunder
When it’s always spring but never Easter?
At the window watching lightning flicker—
The power, too—feel the pane as it shakes.
What do you do to fight the rainy-day blues?
New life for flowers, snails, mushrooms, and you?
You search in hope for new growth but it seems
That it’s always spring but never Easter.
Each drop’s surface tension is soft heartbreak,
Alone, trapped from within and without, but
That’s how life is with the rainy-day blues.
Like March, love warms and cools and warms again
And the future is clear as mountain fog
When it’s always spring but not yet Easter.
Glory in the mundane. Praise faithful work.
Do the next thing. Rest in what’s done for you.
That’s the way to fight the rainy-day blues—
For right now it’s spring, and soon it’s Easter.
Image: Redbuds, Walker County, Georgia, March 2020.
Saint Patrick prayed, “Christ, protect me today
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,” finding
Jesus behind him, Jesus within him,
Beneath, above, right, left, before, with, by,
And I wonder why this bit of truth is
Buried in context of shamrocks, green beer,
Cabbage, corned beef, Guinness, and potatoes.
But torrid mid-March is also longing,
The throes of Lent, writhing in Christless dark,
Silent, waiting for a break in routine
Between ashes and tombs and quarantine.
Is it only the dead, voiceless prophets
Who now behold wonders and rest from fear?
Image: Wakerobins, Hamilton County, Tenn., March 2020.
Each courtesy I am accustomed to
Becomes an act of thoughtless violence,
Posing threats to all save a trusted few.
Streets and schools become a pool of silence.
To stay at home and read a tome or play
A game or bake a pie or pause to cry
Or break a dish or eat a fish or pray
Makes no change to the gray and lukewarm sky.
Lenten paths of mourning lead to brooding,
Rustic joys like bread, butter, and laughter
Keep a light on, my soul now concluding,
“Look up, beauty is now and not after.
What is true is sad; what was good is bad,
Find some fearful symmetry or go mad.”
Image: Fungus, Branch, Moss, Snow—Hamilton County, Tenn., + original watercolor, February 2020.