POETS' CORNER: APRIL FOOLS' DAY, ART & ROSEMERRY
Editor’s Note: Ever wondered why the first day of April brings out whoopie cushions and other pranks? According to web sources many ancient cultures such as the Romans celebrated the arrival of the new year on April 1st because the day roughly lines up with the vernal equinox (which happens a few days before). In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered the creation of a new calendar, which changed the official date of the new year from April 1st to January 1st. Because information did not travel very fast back then, many did not hear about the change for a long time. Others knew, but flat-out refused to accept the edict. The story goes the uniformed and the deniers became known collectively as “fools,” and people would send them fake gifts and ridiculous errands to pursue . The practice slowly spread throughout Europe, and resonates today. Another theory ties the origin of April Fools’ Day to the Emperor Constantine. A bold group of jesters told their ruler they could do a better job of running the Roman Empire. Constantine allegedly accepted the challenge and named one the jesters Emperor For A Day. The jester’s first act was to declare a day of total craziness and insanity for the Roman Empire. The tradition still stand like aqueducts.
Below two very different takes on the holiday by two former regional poet laureates, hosts of the Talking Gourds Poetry Club at Arroyo Telluride and regular contributors – for which we thank heaven, no joke – to Telluride Inside.. and Out: Commissioner Art Goodtimes and Word Woman Rosemerry Wathola Trommer.
– for Jim Boyd, by Art
No, they´re not going to
do whatever they say.
Nobody makes sense
on a day when fools rule.
Better bet the ranch
than build a better mousetrap.
Better lean on luck
thank lurk with engineers.
Orvis Hot Springs, April 1, by Rosemerry
Sitting alone in warm water
with the sun doing what the sun does
when given a clear, clear sky,
everything seems possible.
Imagine, the earth heats this water
before it enters the rounded stone pool
and this seems miracle enough
to make me think that whatever is sacred
in this life might be very, very simple.
Simple as it is, I don’t understand
how it works—just as I do not understand
the heart with its longing to love.
Doesn’t it remember the hurt?
Doesn’t it remember the walls crashing down,
the rubble, the wreckage, the stench?
Doesn’t it remember the long, slow
blossoming of ache? How it unfurled
like the chokecherry tree in the yard—
tiny buds, tiny buds, tiny buds,
larger buds, then bloom! A riot of terrible bloom!
I recently read about frogs, how
if they jump into a pot of boiling water
they immediately will jump out
and survive. But if they are put
in a pot of cold water and the fire
is lit and the temperature increase
is slow, then they will stay in the pot
even though it is getting uncomfortable,
even though it is more and more hot,
they will stay until they are boiled.
And dead. Does the heart learn from this?
Here I am sitting alone
in warm, warm water, the sun
burning red the skin on my chest,
and all I can think is how good it feels
to be naked, to be warm, to be alive,
and to let the heart love, to love despite.
Oh foolish woman. Oh pleasure
in being a fool, how it burns.
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