Sentient in San Francisco – 1 May 2019

Greeting May

Below – John Collier: “The Maying of Queen Guinevere”


Art for May – Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “Rosa Triplex”


A Poem for May

“A Maypole”
by Jonathan Swift

Deprived of root, and branch and rind,
Yet flowers I bear of every kind:
And such is my prolific power,
They bloom in less than half an hour;
Yet standers-by may plainly see
They get no nourishment from me.
My head with giddiness goes round,
And yet I firmly stand my ground:
All over naked I am seen,
And painted like an Indian queen.
No couple-beggar in the land
E’er joined such numbers hand in hand.
I joined them fairly with a ring;
Nor can our parson blame the thing.
And though no marriage words are spoke,
They part not till the ring is broke;
Yet hypocrite fanatics cry,
I’m but an idol raised on high;
And once a weaver in our town,
A damned Cromwellian, knocked me down.
I lay a prisoner twenty years,
And then the jovial cavaliers
To their old post restored all three –
I mean the church, the king, and me.


Art for May – John William Waterhouse: “Windswept

Musings in May: Henry David Thoreau

“Spring – an experience in immortality.”
Below – Claude Monet: “Water Lilies, Green Harmony”

Art for May – Paul Szinyei Merse: “Picnic in May”


A Poem for May

“The May Queen is Waiting”
by Ruth Barren

The new earth quickens as you rise.

The May Queen is waiting.

Feel the pulsing ground call you to journey,

To know the depths of your desire.

The May Queen is waiting.

Moving through the night, the bright moon’s flight.

In green and silver on the plain.

She waits for you to return again.

Do not keep Her waiting.

Her temper stings if you refuse to taste Her honey.

Surrender as enchantment brings

The first light of dawning.

Move with Her in sacred dance, through fear to feeling.

Bringing ecstasy to those who dare.

Living earth is breathing.

Loving through the night in the bright moonlight,

As seedlings open with the rain.

She’ll long for you to return again.

Do not keep Her waiting.
Below – Emily Balivet: “The May Queen”


Art for May – Winslow Homer: “Girl with a Four-Leaf Clover”

Musings in May: John Keats

“Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.”

Below – Karen Underwood: “Musk Roses”

Art for May – Auguste Renoir: “In the Meadow”


Art for May – John William Waterhouse: “The Lady of Shalott”

Musings in May: Edwin Way Teale

“The world’s favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.”
Below – Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “”The Bower Meadow”


Art for May – Edward Hopper: “Shakespeare at Dusk”


A Poem for May

“May Night”
by Sara Teasdale

The spring is fresh and fearless
And every leaf is new,
The world is brimmed with moonlight,
The lilac brimmed with dew.

Here in the moving shadows
I catch my breath and sing–
My heart is fresh and fearless
And over-brimmed with spring.

Below – Evelyn de Morgan: “Evening Star over the Sea”

Art for May – Simeon Solomon: “Sappho and Erin in a Garden”


Art for May – Vincent Van Gogh: “The Banks of the Seine May-June”

Musings in May: Charles Kingsley

“Oh! that we two were Maying
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing,
In the shade of the whispering trees.”

Below – Jules Rene Herve: “Children Playing in the Stream”


Art for May – Thomas Wilmer Dewing: “In the Garden”


Art for May – Deb Kirkeeide: “One Day in May”

A Poem for May

“The Month of May”
by Wendy Cope

‘O! the month of May, the merry month of May…’
–Thomas Dekker (d. 1632)

The month of May, the merry month of May,
So long awaited, and so quickly past.
The winter’s over, and it’s time to play.

I saw a hundred shades of green today
And everything that Man made was outclassed.
The month of May, the merry month of May.

Now hello pink and white and farewell grey.
My spirits are no longer overcast.
The winter’s over, and it’s time to play.

Sing ‘Fa la la la la,’ I dare to say,
(Tried being modern but it didn’t last)
‘The month of May, the merry month of May.’

I don’t know how much longer I can stay.
The summers come, the summers go so fast,
And soon there will be no more time to play.

So carpe diem, gather buds, make hay.
The world is glorious. Compare, contrast
December with the merry month of May.
Now is the time, now is the time to play.

Below – John William Waterhouse: “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May”


Art for May – Edward Burne-Jones: “Music”


Welcome, Wonderful May

Below – John William Waterhouse: “The Soul of the Rose”

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