The Lavish Land

“April is the cruelest month,” Eliot told
Pound all about it, Easter tide out,
but why brood on our days
unless we are made
of dry wood and worry,
each ring a memory of rain?
Does any month feel pity?

You called her a primrose,
your spiral spring shell.
The land tired of playing possum
opened in lavish blossom.
Meantime, you go from a funeral
to a game of chess?
No wonder you’re so depressed.

Hurry up! Indeed, it is time,
and there is no more time
for revisions of decisions and such.
Spit it out, that tooth that broke
on the hardtack bread.

Yes, the river, its currency
seems to bother you,
crossing the rough bar
in your tipsy canoe,
sipping sweet wine from a shoe.

Why do you drift so? Maybe
it’s time to seize the falling
yellow forsythia, catch and bundle
the candied pink camellia calling
a day a day alack-a-day day.

No, I won’t say we’re wasting time,
working up a dry thirst over an old city,
lamenting the past. We might have called
Big Dada and asked for a blessing,
a holy water sprinkling, and asked,
“Dada, how’s Nana?”
“Dada! Dada! Dada!”

Maybe we’ll see you in May.
Hopefully you’ll be feeling better,
and we can all spend a day
going a Maying,
if Corinna comes to town, everyone
looking forward to ordinary time,
the grassy bed spread with garlic greens.


  1. philipparees says:

    Since you are all lounging around this pool of a poem, with time to mention me in dispatches (very kind, or I have not opened the others) could I induce you to repair to the Jury room where sumptuous comestibles are laid out? Make yourselves comfortable and adopt any postures in the comment boxes. Involution Odyssey waits upon a verdict on the first charge. Please feel free to invite friends who may wish to participate ( and avail themselves of a free ebook if willing to read and review). I look forward to fly on wall eavesdropping and while you are engaged I will work on another poem to reward you all. I leave you to appoint a Foreman but have a suggestion (if she is willing since she is well acquainted with the book) that Ashen Venema might be prepared to serve? May I usher you through?


    1. Joe Linker says:

      On my way to deliberate now.


      1. philipparees says:

        And you shall wear the laurel, sir. Intrepid and the first!


        1. Joe Linker says:

          I see Ashen got there first. I was still deliberating. But I don’t see my response. I assume it’s being held for moderation. Let me know. And thanks for the invitation to Involution!


  2. Susan Scott says:

    Lovely thank you, and thanks to Philippa for sharing!


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks, Susan!


  3. My garden looks at me – lavish – a green, grassy spread – spiralling shells – forsythia blossoms crowding branches – blackbirds fishing for worms … though I miss my bright tulip friends, who, apart from one, only open empty green mantles, having had their bulbs gnawed at in the dark by – well – some kind of pussum creature.
    Still, it’s Maying :)


    1. Joe Linker says:

      It’s a lovely garden full of birds, shells, worms, but I think I might know what got the tulips. William Blake did a study:

      The Sick Rose

      “O Rose thou art sick.
      The invisible worm,
      That flies in the night
      In the howling storm:

      Has found out thy bed
      Of crimson joy:
      And his dark secret love
      Does thy life destroy.”

      But Blake knew such symmetry, that also this:

      Earth’s Answer


      “Earth rais’d up her head,
      From the darkness dread & drear.
      Her light fled:
      Stony dread!
      And her locks cover’d with grey despair.

      Prison’d on watry shore
      Starry Jealousy does keep my den
      Cold and hoar
      Weeping o’er
      I hear the Father of the ancient men

      Selfish father of men
      Cruel, jealous, selfish fear
      Can delight
      Chain’d in night
      The virgins of youth and morning bear.

      Does spring hide its joy
      When buds and blossoms grow?
      Does the sower?
      Sow by night?
      Or the plowman in darkness plow?

      Break this heavy chain,
      That does freeze my bones around
      Selfish! vain!
      Eternal bane!
      That free Love with bondage bound.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Blake, she’d have liked to meet him …
        And something is transformed again by this dark secret love …

        She writes through the soil
        branching to dark solitude,
        birthing the unknown.

        At times I glimpse her
        from the corner of my eye
        in the garden chair.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah. Spring is finally springing but a bit early for the May! 😃


      1. Yep feeling groovy 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  5. philipparees says:

    Some wonderful lines, and overall a celebration of acceptance. Timely for me today! To be reminded of glory.


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Yes, glory in peace.


  6. johndockus says:

    Just lovely, breezy and light, naturally flowing, some wordplay, and funny too. Your own personal genius is definitely in this poem. It’s what caught my eye when I first visited your blog, this kind of wordplay and lyricism, the intelligence presiding over it. The very title of your blog speaks to me. I got a thing for Toads. I used to hunt for them as a kid. Now it has a curious hold on me as an occult symbol. Also if not for you, I’d never have met the formidable and marvelous Philippa Rees, and by extension to her, the sagacious metaphysical and visionary writer Brian George. Good things meet in this crossroads, Joe, in the graciously giving and downright playful spirit operating in your personal genius.


    1. Joe Linker says:

      Thanks for the reading, John. Yes, Philippa is a gem. I think I’ve seen some toad related creatures in your art work. You might consider doing a drawing with an emphasis on the “jewel in his head.” And then there’s “the jewel in the lotus.” Back to the garden, a garden of crossroads:

      “At last the hour for the banquet began to draw near, and Toad, who on
      leaving the others had retired to his bedroom, was still sitting there,
      melancholy and thoughtful. His brow resting on his paw, he pondered long
      and deeply. Gradually his countenance cleared, and he began to smile
      long, slow smiles. Then he took to giggling in a shy, self-conscious
      manner. At last he got up, locked the door, drew the curtains across
      the windows, collected all the chairs in the room and arranged them in a
      semicircle, and took up his position in front of them, swelling visibly.
      Then he bowed, coughed twice, and, letting himself go, with uplifted
      voice he sang, to the enraptured audience that his imagination so
      clearly saw.


      The Toad–came–home!
      There was panic in the parlours and howling in the halls,
      There was crying in the cow-sheds and shrieking in the stalls,
      When the Toad–came–home!

      When the Toad–came–home!
      There was smashing in of window and crashing in of door,
      There was chivvying of weasels that fainted on the floor,
      When the Toad–came–home!

      Bang! go the drums!
      The trumpeters are tooting and the soldiers are saluting,
      And the cannon they are shooting and the motor-cars are hooting,
      As the–Hero–comes!

      And let each one of the crowd try and shout it very loud,
      In honour of an animal of whom you’re justly proud,
      For it’s Toad’s–great–day!

      He sang this very loud, with great unction and expression; and when he
      had done, he sang it all over again.

      Then he heaved a deep sigh; a long, long, long sigh.”

      Liked by 1 person

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