Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milkweed and Puritans

I found this milkweed pod on the sidewalk today.
It's too soft and green to have split open; perhaps some curious person opened it.

"Nothing yeildes more pleasure and content to the soule then when it findes that which it may love fervently; for to love and live beloved is the soule's paradise both here and in heaven."
--John Winthrop, from his sermon "A City upon a Hill", written aboard the Arabella traveling from England to Massachusetts, 1630

I've been reading about the Puritans, because they were big into communications.
They're fascinating, but they ruined their lovely ideals with their cruelty toward imperfection.

The year after he wrote "A City...," Winthrop recorded in his journal that Philip Ratcliffe was whipped and had both his ears cut off for "most fould, scandalous invectives against our churches and government."
(This poem doesn't really fit my photograph, but I like it.)

James Wright

While I stood here, in the open, lost in myself,
I must have looked a long time
Down the corn rows, beyond grass,
The small house,
White walls, animals lumbering toward the barn.
I look down now. It is all changed.
Whatever it was I lost, whatever I wept for
Was a wild, gentle thing, the small dark eyes
Loving me in secret.
It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world.

--by James Wright from The Branch Will Not Break, 1992


Anonymous said...

oOOHH! I LOVE YOU! Thank you for this wonderment! I was thinkin' your foto--(which is so excellent, you know)--casts the appearance of an eye, an egg-sac, a space ship from our own Mother upon the pod. I think the poem fits well with the pic.
Hey! Veriword="rebbinc"--(which makes me think of a rebbe's or a rebel's wink or ink or inc. Jesus or Che?! or the Buddha or some Hassid? your pic of the pod, glistening with humor. I was reading the two katzeles I'm sitting for The Cat In The Hat and One Fish, Two Fish in Yiddish, this a.m. after finding an intact, but expired, whole cicada on the way to the cathouse. 'Tis the season for cicadas and milkweed pods..hmmm... the Puritans, did they wink or even blink?
Let's go for a walk, when you can. I'm still here, even if I don't "say" anything.

Happy shvitzing!


poodletail said...

The pod looks as if it could walk. Nice poem, too. Wonder if you'd read it aloud for me sometime?

Margaret said...

I love the poem!

"Milkweed" would be a fantastic middle-name! . . .
(which is why I should never have a child; life would be long with a name like "Pesto Milkweed Shatner" . . . )

The pod is a BEAUTY!
But looks somehow dangerous;

watch yourself; sleep with one eye open; do not venture into canoodlings with it; take care what you reveal in nearby conversation; if you make eye contact, (for the have eyes where we can't see, Freska!), sustain it firmly and without blinking (like a Puritan).

Do not let the seeds run into water, but especially not into milk.

And if you find someone has kindly poured the milk into your cereal for you while you were getting a spoon, do not say "omg thx" and tuck in; throw it out the window - defenestrate it! - before you do such a thing.

If you notice the beginning of change in color / size / general disposition of The Pod, put on The Sound of Music and play the "Lonely Goatherd" scene at top volume - that has been known to wilt their powers, even as it has been known to wilt the powers of humans, (most notably the powers of patience and goodwill).

Finally, buy enough champagne to fill a bath tub;
submerging The Pod in champagne would cause some minor explosions, so for your safety, (which I see is already in jeopardy based on how close you must've been to take that picture), only do it as a last resort - if The Pod has you cornered and the Lonely Goatherd is far away.

The champagne is doubly-useful: you'll want to celebrate, provided you survive the night with all your limbs and no extras.

ArtSparker said...

Looks like a sleek spaceship to me.

Fresca said...

STEF: I imagine Dr Seuss invented milkweed!

POODLE: I will happily read any poem aloud, though I'm not very good at it.

MRET: I have survived! I am not a Pod Person.
(You know Leonard Nimoy was in the 1970s remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", right? In a perfectly creepy role.)
Champagne is standing by, unopened.

SPARKY: Spaceship, yes... I hadn't even thought of that!

Clowncar said...

Yes, a lovely poem, and I, like stefalla, think it fits the pic well ("The air fills with delicate creatures / From the other world")

and @margaret, milkweed is a great middle name. though I'd still like to change our daughter's middle name to "diphthong." so perhaps I'm not the best judge.