It's remarkable how quickly the oaks have grown their new leaves. They are already making a fairly dense shade, even though the days have been coll enough that we really don't need it yet. The cats and I all seek the sunny parts of the yard, though when summer comes I'm sure we'll all be glad of those leaves. For now it's nice to bask in the bright afternoon for a few minutes at a time— I don't want to be getting sunburned— and listed to the bugs buzz. When evening comes everything is shade, but I can sit on the porch where the sun has warmed the cement, and I listen to the frogs and the rustling of young leaves. I expect crickets any time now. And all I have to pay for this abundance is a few pollen-induced sneezes. A bargain.
And Yet the Books
by Czeslaw Milosz
And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings,
That appeared once, still wet
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn,
And, touched, coddled, began to live
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up,
Tribes on the march, planets in motion.
"We are," they said, even as their pages
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more:
Nothing happens, no loss, it's still a strange pageant,
Women's dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley.
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born,
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.