The Promise of Spring


5″ x 7″
Linocut printed with black, water-soluble, Speedball ink.

Spring is a time of waiting. It is not only a time when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love, or a time of re birth and regeneration. It is a time of uncertainty and despair. In e.e. cummings’ poem, “in Just spring,” it is a time where childhood and sexual maturity meet in that murky time where innocence will be transformed by a balloonman who becomes a goat-footed Pan enticing the children from their games of marbles and hopscotch. For T.S. Eliot, this the cruelest time of the year because it breeds hope in a land devoid of hope.

And yet spring has always brought with it a sense of renewal, a belief the hardships caused by winter can be forgotten, and a hope that the promise of a better life ahead will be fulfilled.

In this image, Spring has arrived, but the promise of Spring has not yet been fulfilled. There is a riot of grasses and flowers in the foreground, but the tree is still bare, and the sky is empty of life.

On the Mendecino Coast

A tangled wildness was choking out
the Iceland poppies she had set in rows
along the peeling, yellow picket fence.
She sat beneath the tree and thought about
the years she’d fought those weeds and all the hoes
she’d bought. Whatever for? If she’d the sense
of weeds and worms, she would have left them all
alone and saved herself the work. With him,
she could have sat beneath that weeping oak
and watched those wild weeds grow strong and tall
each spring and ripen in the summer. Tim
could laugh away the world. It was a joke
to him and he could laugh at everything
the world contained. He’d laugh at her out there
with dirty hands and knees and she would yell,
“You’re good for nothing. That you are.” and fling
a clod of dirt at him. He didn’t care
if he was hit, but if he was he’d tell
her, “For a little gal, you’ve quite an arm.”
and they would banter back and forth and then
he’d smile and call her something special and
it wouldn’t matter what he did. What harm
was there in all his life? It’s just, some men,
aren’t meant to be a rock. Some men are sand.
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