Saturday, January 6, 2007

Gone fishing

January's tired of wearing
Cold thin garments made of ice
Time to dress like April,
Break out those fishing rods
And trample barefoot towards the river.

Astonishment ensues!

We're more impressed with changes in the temperature
Than death.

But death-
That's a change of weather, too.
Back to January
Who forgot herself
And thought she ruled the spring.

Today, while walking Isabel, my wife and I were on double duty doing neighborhood cleanup, picking up roadside garbage.

Lo and behold! As I lifted a scrap of flattened aluminium, what should I find but a salamander. A salamander in January, up and around, as frisky and alert as July itself. Wine-dark and delicate with moisture, with a graceful ripple of tiny ribs defining its sinuous body.

This glorious little creature allowed me to hold it for a brief moment , eye to eye, before seeking mother earth in a lithe twist of fear.

I haven't seen a salamander in the wild in years. I'm no longer at an age where I splash through streams turning over rocks and digging holes in rocky woodland- although, it occurs to me, perhaps I should be doing these things, regardless of age- just because I can.

No matter. What is amazing is that the absolute last time of year anyone would tell you to go out looking for ambient salamanders in New York is January. They just don't come out at this time of year.

Warm days, warm animals, warm hearts.

It's gratitude for these small blessings that shapes a life.


  1. Lovely poem. :)


  2. thanks miao!

    my daughter, who is a precocious, budding poet herself, thinks i should have left the 'astonishment ensues' line out.


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