It’s strange reading this birthday post from last year, because so much has changed, and yet so much is the same. It’s my birthday tomorrow. I have no profound thoughts, other than offering a poem and an image, and perhaps a suggestion that you can join me in my birthday gift to myself by donating money to Yad Vashem (or The Donkey Sanctuary, or anything else that reaffirms our humanity, if only for a brief moment).
The Garden by Moonlight
By Amy Lowell
A black cat among roses,
Phlox, lilac-misted under a first-quarter moon,
The sweet smells of heliotrope and night-scented stock.
The garden is very still,
It is dazed with moonlight,
Contented with perfume,
Dreaming the opium dreams of its folded poppies.
Firefly lights open and vanish
High as the tip buds of the golden glow
Low as the sweet alyssum flowers at my feet.
Moon-shimmer on leaves and trellises,
Moon-spikes shafting through the snow ball bush.
Only the little faces of the ladies’ delight are alert and staring,
Only the cat, padding between the roses,
Shakes a branch and breaks the chequered pattern
As water is broken by the falling of a leaf.
Then you come,
And you are quiet like the garden,
And white like the alyssum flowers,
And beautiful as the silent sparks of the fireflies.
Ah, Beloved, do you see those orange lilies?
They knew my mother,
But who belonging to me will they know
When I am gone.
Image credit: A Parisian Flower Market by Victor Gabriel Gilbert.