All In One Month

All In One Month . . .

NYC at Month's End (Joan of Arc Monument, Upper West Side)

NYC at Month’s End
(Joan of Arc Monument, Upper West Side)

The year 2016 began in New York City with an almost springlike feel. A few scattered wildflowers could even be found holding onto one or a few fading blooms. A week passed, and then the first sustained polar cold arrived, which provided frozen views of wildflowers gone to seed. Winter appeared to be shaping into a bright and dry season until, all in one day, the blizzard hit, a wipe out of a white out that has, at least for now, placed the wildflowers of the West Village beneath a white blanket over two feet thick.

What a difference a month can make!

January 1st – Hudson River Park

Chicory (Chicorium intybus)

Chicory
(Chicorium intybus)

January 20 – Harlem Meer, Central Park

Narrowleaf Cattail (Typha augustifolia)

Narrowleaf Cattail
(Typha augustifolia)

January 24 – Somewhere on Manhattan’s West Side

Snow: Knee Deep!

Snow: Knee Deep!

— rPs 01 29 2016

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Slanted December Sunset Light

Slanted December Sunset Light . . .

Green Side of The Path (NYC 12 2015)

Green Side of the Path
(NYC 12 2015)

Why the sudden inclusion of Poetry to Wildflowers of the West Village? The answer can be traced back five years and some months to an “Ode to Onion Grass” that served my intent in art history, an extended appreciation of Albrecht Dürer.

Most of my poems shared at Wildflowers of the West Village have been subtitled “for insert historical figure’s name here.” Each strives to serve as a summation of sorts. Their existential whole, their individual presence, how has it remained felt in the accompaniment of my own one life? The poems answer.

How my educations, my ethics, my politics, my essential tastes in entertainment and recreation have been directed somewhat can be referenced by their keyword names in their broad honor.

Antecedents. Progenitors. Kin.

The cadence of my rhetoric,
Clear enough to my mind,
Best to share my best,
Universally, no gratuity.

A poem lives by readers, not sales. Sails in my sights have been those boats engaging the Hudson tidal stream. I see them when running the river paths. Running from something? No, on my feet, I am not. My pace may rather be equated to running for something, toward something, pushing for sustained strength, pausing, still, to watch a small town arrangement of wildflowers greet the west wind and the slanted December sunset light.

Green almost Loden bathed in Gold.

– rPs 12 09 2015

Postcript: “Green Side of the Path” photo starring Artemisia, Persicaria, Solanum, Malva, and Galinsoga.

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Day Without Art 2015

Day Without Art 2015

(an oxymoron for Aristotélēs)

 

Sweet in sustenance
Swims this combustible
Carbon water brain.

This blob tells me,
Compels me,
Yells at me.

Scanning other computers
All commuters,
In unison, yeah.

Cloud composed, composer,
Lack of composure.
Just right, suppose, or.

Sophistry some-ocracy, yes,
Suppository idolatry, yea,
Each on purveys.

Hey!
Hey!
Hey!

This Is Politics:
Opinion. Rhetoric.
Not Poetry Poetic.

 

Enduring November Rain 11 2015

Enduring Rain (NYC Late Autumn 2015)

 

— rPs 12 01 2015

 

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14 novembre, 2015

14 novembre, 2015 . . .

pour Albert Camus

War in Europe, again.
How ironic
And how parallel

To continental
Historical cycles
This conflict has arisen

To Whenever,
To Wherever,
Perpetual war cataclysm.

We people are a species
Stuck rocking
On our own rodent wheel,

Rolling
Rock of our own
Rolling.

— ron P. swegman
— 14 novembre, 2015

Enduring November Rain  (NYC 11 2015)

Enduring November Rain
(NYC 11 2015)

— rPs 11 14 2015

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Veterans

Veterans . . .

Butter & Eggs after rain on Veterans Day, 2015.

Butter & Eggs after rain on Veterans Day, 2015.

Wildflowers, those exposed to so much stress in urban environments, may be presumed to have wrapped up blooming activity by November. Not so along the western edge of Manhattan. Cool wet days under breezy white sky have in succession invigorated lawns and edges alike on the island of Manhattan. The lush green beds support a casserole of multicolored leaves.

The gold of the Ginkgo and Weeping Willow complement the burnt orange of the Sugar Maple, the evergreen and yellow variations of the Norway Maple. The flutter of the individual Black Locust, tiny in comparison to that of the London Plane Tree and Black Oak, dry leaves when stiff the size of a desert plate.

My favorites of the blooming foliage include the fiery tones of the American Sumac, the intricate stylish spades of the living fossil, the Tulip Tree, and the full spectrum splendor of the Liquid Amber, the Sweetgum.

Standing, blooming in their way on the trunks of such trees, one can find lichen in full vigor:

Lichen 11 11 2015

Mushrooms like the Amanita reside in the leaf litter:

November Amanita 11 11 2015

Wildflowers, the second wind of sorts, numerous veterans, though perhaps plain or small or scattered, bloom now in great variety and number. Goldenrod, Galinsoga, Lady’s Thumb, and the Dandelion all still flower here and there. Others encountered during a run in the park may include:

Chicory, Chicorium intybus

Chicory 11 11 2015

Mallow, Marva parviflora

Malva parviflora 11 11 2015

Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris

Mugwort 11 11 2015

Nightshade, Solanum

Nightshade 11 2015

Peppergrass, Lepidium

Peppergrass 11 11 2015

White Snakeroot, Agaratina altissima

White Snakeroot 11  2015

November Rain, a fine song title, and a pillar source of life for a strong stand of West Village wildflower veterans.

– rPs 11 11 2015

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October Ghosts Are Not Green

October Ghosts Are Not Green . . .

Amanita Which One? (NYC 10 2015)

Amanita
Which One?
(NYC 10 2015)

There is a brief hour or so in morning and in evening both where a walk in the park feels shadowed. Time good to run.

Darkness, the simple absence of sun, comes at a quicker pace in October. The bluebird sky with cirrus vapor trails glowing goes dim in almost a blink when our star dips rather than slides below the horizon. Branches above remain leafy, block the darkening sky, and make a roof. You find yourself feeling enclosed in the outside, feeling fun scared outdoors. Imagination takes the macabre, perhaps Gothic, trailing path within the confines of nature’s haunted house.

The space below the branches is a more quiet place. Scattered yellowed leaves grace the ground. Single crickets scrape out a weak, woody, tonal rhythm like a single string lonesome and slower in step with the cool temperature. The tremulous vibrato creates the scare soundtrack. Some wind in the tree tops helps as well. The leaves will always carry voices.

Progress forward and happen to contemplate how this year a space probe from Earth, New Horizons, encountered Pluto and Charon and revealed their faces. The Ferryman? He of Hades? Spooky times as we drift down a line through the days toward Halloween.

Ghosts along the way do appear more resolute now upon colder, damper, ground. The chilled white caps of the Amanita, the Death Angel, may appear. Perhaps that trio clustered at the base of the ivy? Huddled, it seems, around something hidden?

Jogging along now, faster of foot, find bracketing the paths (in a way that just demanded pun dropped), the shelf fungi. Bracket fungi like the Ganoderma sport high contrast stripes that act as reflectors when spotted and passed by head lamp. Trametes, known also as Turkey Tail, rippled and lined in white like the fins of the brook trout, the inner bracket concentric rings in a range of brown true to the bird. Equally; Autumnly: the match for any tale of spectres encountered along the path lit low.

Bracketed Path (NYC 10 2015)

Bracketed Path
(NYC 10 2015)

Turkey Tail (NYC 10 2015)

Turkey Tail
(NYC 10 2015)

That October evening run in the Manhattan green, remember it formed a loop, a circle, haunted by ghosts lost to the living, uplifted anyway by the living still. Like those white caps, which turned out to be Amanita citrina, the False Death Cap, an edible mushroom spared the table because it so closely resembles its fatal fellow.

New York City harbors paths, routes where ghosts remain to roam, and where that Earthy symbol from ghost stories, a kind of flowering not green, grows.

Ghostly Fungi Gravestone Log (NYC 2015)

Ghostly Fungi
Gravestone Log
(NYC 2015)

– rPs 10 14 2015

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Violet and Vermillion

Violet and Vermillion . . .

Violet and Vermillion: Great Lobelia and Jewelweed (09 2015)

Violet and Vermillion:
Great Lobelia and Jewelweed
(09 2015)

The late summer harvest comes in swaths of white and gold tones. The drive to anywhere sees fields full of Goldenrods and Queen Anne’s Lace. The view comes punctuated by one detail important to tell. Out there, on the road, and even down here, within the city, New York City, there does exist a general wilt of plants along the open expanses where a vehicle or pedestrian passes. Dry days have been set in a long row.

Near the rivers, the adjacent greens retain a flusher state, a fuller color especially where trees, mature, uncut trees, offer shade. Spots where trees stretch out a patchy canopy buffer a cooler, damper shade below. Along edges of light and shadow one may find the most wildflowers underbrush. Yellow Thistles do bloom through arid, weathered, rose bushes. Galinsoga fills fallow flower boxes projecting from the base of town house windows uptown and downtown. Along the park’s green, other, varied, color combos call.

“This is New York!” one neighbor bellows with all politeness. More mellow is the Mugwort stating the same line in the manner a flower communicates its quiet beauty. When in bloom the wild plant you are looking at speaks for this same city just as well. The plant “I” does live here, just as much a neighbor.

More of what “This is New York!” is, is the city where wind off water shushes through branches, places where the Wildflowers of the West Village reside. A blade’s edge of Manhattan faces New Jersey, offers in scattered portions a green face north at The Cloisters and Tryon Park down to Riverside Park down to Hudson River Park all the way to the very tip of The Battery. Where one sees this green from afar, one can up close find wildflowers in the extended, greater, West Village of Manhattan.

Hedge edges bear sights, life, to witness. Plants bloom in organo-color with a variety often appearing in compliment to Charles Blanc’s meticulous starred wheel.

Purple and Orange . . . Violet and Vermillion

Great Lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica, an American native, shares open space in some number with the annual Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis. Color complements: violet Lobelia set on pedicel attached to a rising stalk raceme; vermillion Impantiens gems hung from thin stems in a more rounded bush of thin leaves akin to Nasturtium. Both, too, do bloom with lobes of three. Great Lobelia’s look like a sharp tongue, Jewelweed’s resemble an ear. Number, form, color set and matched, as the US Open, all played out on a background of aged deep green, summer’s end time.

– rPs 09 18 2015

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