Tender Age in Bloom


Too soon.

Redbud and plum, a scattering of color along the roadside.  Daffodils in clumps,  revenants in the side-yard where someone once lived.  Red, the ugly cousin of Sugar, right behind.  Sweet yellow jasmine draped over yet-bare limbs, the witch’s apple to awakened bees.  Tender buds swell — buckeye, gum and poplar.  Sap rises, the pump that fuels the engine of life.  Soon muck-bottoms will no longer hold a boot print.

Easy for a man to walk along, whistling Satchmo:

When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along, along
There’ll be no more sobbin’ when he starts throbbin’ his old sweet song

Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head
Get up, get out of your bed
Cheer up, cheer up; the sun is red
Live, love, laugh, and be happy

Too soon.

February is not the time for these things, even in the Heart of Dixie.  What comes in like a lamb goes out like a lion.

Mother is hard on the tender things.  She entices and devours with the same toss of her head and a crooked smile.

The promise will be broken.

Purple and yellow blossoms scattered on the ground.  .

12 thoughts on “Tender Age in Bloom

    1. Thank you sir. The Redhead even liked this one, so there’s that…

      We’ve seen the 80’s here. A few more days of this and there will be no peaches this year. Just one night near freezing will do them in.

  1. Love this visual writing so that when I read the words, I see the picture and smell the jasmine. I cranked the mower and cut the wild onions yesterday while one lonely pink tulip watched with disdain from its too warm bed at the foot of the drive. Loved your words, but keeping my fingers crossed that you are a false prophet since I am a true optimist.

  2. Made me have to look up the word revenants. All to true. Think that frost will come very soon.

    On Tue, Feb 27, 2018, 9:23 PM Words Not On Paper wrote:

    > rayclifton posted: ” Too soon. Redbud and plum, a scattering of color > along the roadside. Daffodils in clumps, revenants in the side-yard where > someone once lived. Red, the ugly cousin of Sugar, right behind. Sweet > yellow jasmine draped over yet-bare limbs, the witch’s” >

  3. It’s painful to witness what a destructive cold snap that follows on the heels of a warming trend can do. Bowed heads of tulip tops and wilted greenery. Once promising buds that will never open even with the warmest of future days to come. Ahhh, but that’s Nature. Somehow she manages to rearrange our anticipations of color and fragrances but makes up for the disappointment in later seasons of the year.

    I enjoyed your correspondence Ray, and no, no connections at all to the South other than what I’ve learned through books. I discovered your blog through a mutual acquaintance who participates here. I’ll keep you guessing for a bit of who it might be…. I enjoyed your observant nature writings this morning as well.

    1. Well now, Leisa. That first paragraph shows me that you can “turn a phrase” too. I may have to nag you about starting that barn quilt blog.

      As far as the mutual acquaintance goes, that’s pretty easy to figure out. He’s the only other writer kind enough to give me some exposure.

      1. Darn, I was hoping you’d ponder for at least a long fortnight on the little puzzle I gave you. I met him on the central Plaza in Patzcuaro, Michoacán, MX a few years back, through a mutual friend but had been reading his blog(s) long before meeting. I doubt he recalls me. I picked up your writings thereafter. I could never blog…I spend way too much time putting a sentence together then to only dismantle it all and redesign what I was trying to say. Drives me insane sometimes. It would be a bi-annual blog, haha. But thank you kindly for the compliment.

  4. Once again, a beautiful and thoughtful and observant piece of writing from one of my fave new writers. Keep up the great work, Ray!

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