Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Gentian weaves her fringes ...

This has developed into a three-funeral week --- two quite old but one cut short; an atheist and two believers, although the usefulness of that distinction, although interesting, eludes me. One too far away to attend (but there was a long and detailed report of old friends gathered), two others not.

So I went hunting for gentians yesterday afternoon, reassuring in times like these. And thought of Emily Dickinson, who pondered matters of the spirit often, but outside convention.

I have never found a Fringed Gentian, which Ms. Dickinson is writing about here as she says farewell to summer, in Lucas County; soil conditions are wrong I think. But Bottle (or Closed) and Prairie (or Downy) grow here, providing you're willing to look down, attune your eyes to blue and proceed carefully through the grass.

These are yesterday's Bottle Gentians, which confound human expectations by never opening fully; I'll go back in a week and scour the grass for Prairie Gentians; usually, they're the last to bloom.

The Gentian weaves her fringes —
The Maple’s loom is red —
My departing blossoms
Obviate parade. 

Rough Blazing Star, gone to seed.

A brief, but patient illness —
An hour to prepare,
And one below this morning
Is where the angels are —
It was a short procession,
The Bobolink was there —
An aged Bee addressed us —
And then we knelt in prayer —
We trust that she was willing —
We ask that we may be.
Summer! — Sister! — Seraph!
Let us go with thee! 

Prairie Blazing Star, a brilliant pink just weeks ago.

In the name of the Bee —
And of the Butterfly —
And of the Breeze — Amen!

Rattle Snake Master as first-frost nears.

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