first flowers

Now is the globe shrunk tight
Round the mouse’s dulled wintering heart.
Weasel and crow, as if moulded in brass,
Move through an outer darkness
Not in their right minds,
With the other deaths. She, too, pursues her ends,
Brutal as the stars of this month,
Her pale head heavy as metal.

Ted Hughes, "Snowdrop."


From top:
Galanthus Nivalis postcard, ca. 1915-1930.
Maja Fjaested (Swedish, 1873-1961), Snowdrops.
Snowdrop cigarette card, from the George Arents Collection in the NYPL.
Theodorus van Hoytema (Dutch, 1863–1917): Mice and Snowdrops, 1911 Calendar: February.

'no room left'

No one in either kingdom could remember why they had so many spears, rock throwers, bows, arrows, daggers, and slingshots. And they had been making them for so long that everyone had forgotten how to do anything else, like gardening, weaving, or playing games. This was just as well, because there really was no room left even to bounce a ball, let alone plant a garden or set up a loom. All the food came in cans, and people wore armor (which was extremely uncomfortable) instead of suits and dresses.

William Wondriska, The Tomato Patch. Discovered thanks to Michael Dumontier / stopping off place.

sunday tune: squeeze - up the junction

I'm having a moment with songs from 1979. 

'the brightest object'

This story, about Fayes Khamal, a ten-year-old-boy in a Rohingya refugee camp who collects plastic bags, trash, and bits of bamboo, to make into kites for younger children, had me crying in the car.

The reminder that humans have the capacity, even in terrible circumstances, to use the broken and discarded pieces of the world to make something beautiful and joyful, to find ways to give and help, was wonderful and almost too much to bear.

And this child, who has found his own way to make something intolerable a little better, is, of course, exactly the kind of person the Trump Administration wants to ban from coming to the United States: young, male, a Muslim refugee, someone from a poor country. 

Meanwhile, native-born American men keep finding weapons and murdering schoolchildren, people at concerts, people dancing, people praying, people watching movies ...


Detail from a photo by Allison Joyce for NPR.