Gone and Forgotten, Yet Surrounded by Spring

Bells TX 058

Death, be not proud
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.
John Donne

Wishing and Sneezing

Pain in the ass

A grown-up sees the dandelion and groan, anticipating swollen, itchy eyes and a nose turned red and stuffy from sneezing. She reaches for Zyrtec, Claritin, or Flonase and wishes the hateful spores dead.

A gardener sees the dandelion and grimaces at the boorish weed invading his oh-so-proper lawn. Plants that don’t know to stay off the grass don’t deserve life. The yard warrior reaches for a hoe or a bottle of Roundup, meeting the advancing horde of misfit flora with lethal, overwhelming force.

A child sees the dandelion and squeals with delight. She gently grasps its stem and plucks it from the earth, amazed at its beauty. Closing her eyes, she draws in a deep breath and makes a wish before blowing with all her might. Then, she laughs as the spores scatter in the wind, fully believing that they’re hurrying off to make her secret desire come true.

Who decided dandelions are weeds and not fulfillers of wishes? The world would be a happier place if that old grouch had just kept his mouth shut.