The bright, chill world (from which I am withdrawn) spills through my window, but I ignore it. The last few leaves are gone from the single thin branch of the mulberry tree to which they clung until this frigid air stunned them. The early-blooming camellia is turning brown, and its petals falling to the cold cement. But in the valley, the oranges are frozen on the branches and soon to rot. I have even seen a photo of an ice-encrusted fountain in Pasadena. Oddly, here in my neighborhood there has been no actual freeze. I look for ice on the cat's outdoor water bowl each morning, and the surface has so far remained liquid. This one spot in all of California seems to have been spared the coldest of the weather. Even the other side of town (lower in elevation though it is) has suffered frost. Here we only hover at the edge of freezing. I wonder how long this will last?
Sonnets From the Portuguese, III
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Unlike are we, unlike, O princely Heart! Unlike out uses and our destinies. Our ministering two angels look surprise On one another, as they strike athwart Their wings in passing. Thou, bethink thee, art A guest for queens to social pageantries, With gages from a hundred brighter eyes Than tears even can make mine, to play thy part Of chief musician. What hast thou to do With looking from the lattice-lights at me, A poor, tired, wandering singer, singing through The dark, and leaning up a cypress tree? A chrism is on thine head, --on mine, the dew,-- And death must dig the level where these agree.