The birds gave autumn up

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The birds gave autumn up for dead
But made a song before they fled
Here are the words they sang and said:

Oh, no, it’s the end of the world!
Oh, no, it’s the end of the world!
Oh, no, it’s the end of the world!
Let’s scatter the nests and fly away!

The frogs have sunk and turned to stone
The seeds are sleeping, each alone,
The rest of the world may do as it pleases
When we are gone, gone, gone, gone.

But Spring hatched from December’s nut;
The grass turned green and the ram sprang up;
The birds returned from where they’d flown
Acting as if they’d always known;
The frogs from their stony sleep uncurled
And the birds made song for the beginning of the world.

 

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To Tempt Spring to Return

After Han Yu

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The low grasses, the tall trees: which of them tempts spring to return?
In fall, the trees flaunted their dying leaves; the grasses withered, leaving us melancholy.
Now they vie in beauty, tempting spring to return.
Even the poplar and the subtle elm offer up their pallid blossoms to the wind
To overflow the sky, to fly like snow, to tempt spring to return.

 

 

 

 
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The Geology of Slush

SONY DSCThe dirty snow
As it retreats
Leaves small moraines
Upon the streets;

But melt that flows
Into the drains
Deposits eskers
Not moraines.

A moraine (as the Encyclopædia Britannica reliably informs) is an accumulation of rock debris that has been carried or shoved, then dropped or abandoned, by a glacier. A moraine is a jumble, for all it may deposited more or less neatly:

Glacier National Park, Montana. Terminal moraine at the foot ...

An esker (says, again, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica) is a ridge deposited by a subglacial or englacial meltwater stream, with the deposited material generally sorted by grain size–the sort of attention to detail one would expect from flowing water. “Eskers may range from 16 to 160 feet (5 to 50 m) in height, from 160 to 1,600 feet (500 m) in width, and [from] a few hundred feet to tens of miles in length.” So:

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A tip of the hat to James Harbeck at Sesquiotica, for his learned discourse upon the history and flavor of the word esker.

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