Peas Potatoes and Gutter Cleaning.

Ah, spring. Even though it’s early March, it’s already late spring in Georgia.

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The early Daffodils are fading.
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And the Cranes have flown off.
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Time to plant peas, potatoes and clean the gutters (again).

Waiting for the Snowpocalypse

A humongous storm is supposedly coming. I feel more than a little like I’m waiting for Godot.

a country road
a country road
a tree
a tree

Nothing to be done.

We’re supposed to get 3-5 inches of the fluffy stuff. One can only hope. I was about to practice on my bike, but the sleet started.

A Visit to the Asylum (School’s started)

Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1892 – 1950

Once from a big, big building,
When I was small, small,
The queer folk in the windows
Would smile at me and call.
And in the hard wee gardens
Such pleasant men would hoe:
“Sir, may we touch the little girl’s hair!”—
It was so red, you know.
They cut me coloured asters
With shears so sharp and neat,
They brought me grapes and plums and pears
And pretty cakes to eat.
And out of all the windows,
No matter where we went,
The merriest eyes would follow me
And make me compliment.
There were a thousand windows,
All latticed up and down.
And up to all the windows,
When we went back to town,
The queer folk put their faces,
As gentle as could be;
“Come again, little girl!” they called, and I
Called back, “You come see me!”

The madhouse of university instruction has started again. Idiot administrators, daft students, and struggling faculty. I’m counting the days.

There may be chaos still around the world

George Santayana

There may be chaos still around the world,
This little world that in my thinking lies;
For mine own bosom is the paradise
Where all my life’s fair visions are unfurled.
Within my nature’s shell I slumber curled,
Unmindful of the changing outer skies,
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies,
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled.
I heed them not; or if the subtle night
Haunt me with deities I never saw,
I soon mine eyelid’s drowsy curtain draw
To hide their myriad faces from my sight.
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.

convergenceto Chaos means something more specific to the mathematically inclined. This little picture shows the pattern of convergence for the complex roots of (X^3-1) with Newton’s method. The colour shows which root was found for each starting point. There’s nothing that vaguely resembles a continuous boundary between regions. (The picture’s left-handed – the Red is X = 1.)

The Dark Hills

Edwin Arlington Robinson, 1869 – 1935

Dark hills at evening in the west,
Where sunset hovers like a sound
Of golden horns that sang to rest
Old bones of warriors under ground,
Far now from all the bannered ways
Where flash the legions of the sun,
You fade—as if the last of days
Were fading, and all wars were done.

Funerary Sayings.

For what it’s worth.

The jug with the falcon (of Horus) reads:

For my strong staff, the god Osiris, my spirit adores him.

The one with the baboon reads:

For my strong staff, the gods Osiris and Hapy

Hapy is the god of the flood, associated with new life. The bottom literally is the pictograph for strong and the name Hpy (Hapy). The last pictograph is a leopard’s head, which implies strength. Oddly in terms of English grammar, it applies to the whole phrase, which is sort of like German where the verb is at the end (except it isn’t).

I probably made a few errors in these translations, but they should be close.

Amelia and I are furiously writing a new book where the Egyptian gods walk among us.

Medusa

Louise Bogan, 1897 – 1970

I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.