Friday, May 12, 2023

Spring is Struggling to Break Through/Rites of Summer Late in Coming

snow crocus

Spring is Struggling to Break Through

Yes! Spring is struggling to break

through here

in the mountains –

northern part of lake still iced

over, shores snow-covered, no

Canadas or loons, handful of

mallards – yet but soon.

Further in

mud, lots of it

sink to your ankles,

signs up

no trucks on roads until the

rain ceases or slows — mid-May? But

the robins are back, looking for

dry niches in eaves or nooks of

trees, renewal and new chicks

gnawing at them to

Pick ours you

lovelies as you have in past

Springs — we want to see your

babies fledge grow leave


like the re-birth you unerringly



Rites of Summer Late in Coming

Here in Long Lake

Summer usually late might be getting here sooner.

Lake iced out mid-April, loons

and mallards nested soon after

and the Canadas just got here.


We’re waiting on the babies, the

chicks, ducklings and goslings.

We know the robins are nesting

In our eaves

remnants of winter hay scattered

beneath clear evidence and we see

just after dawn

a horde of sparrows covering our leach field


grass seeds that have popped

to the surface. Deer are always

about and we’re on the lookout

for the bears

who’ve been out of their dens


working their way through the woods

down to our small town and other

mountain towns scattered about

where they’re most endangered

by us.

And then there’s May, summer’s threshold,

with its black flies and native flowers


the winter melt and spring rains steadily diminishing

mud drying

hemlocks blasting out bursts of green pollen

hardwoods pushing out leaves, nature

exposing itself, vulnerable, shameless, trusting,

summer’s peculiar gift to us all

finally arrived.

Almanack file photo

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Jack Carney is a clinical social worker who retired after fifty years of practice, nearly forty of which spent working in the public mental health system. He received his MSW from UCLA in 1969 and his DSW from CUNY in 1991. He is also a trained family therapist, trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and has devoted a good part of his professional life to teaching and training mental health professionals, to developing and implementing innovative treatment approaches and programs, and to conducting clinical practice research. He retired in 2010 from a large New York social welfare agency. He now lives with his wife and their two cats in the Adirondacks of northern NY State, where he spends much of his time writing provocative tracts and working as a community and healthcare advocate, heavily involved in the Campaign for NY Health and the enactment of single payer healthcare on a statewide – the NY Health Act – and national – Medicare for All – basis. He is the author of a book of essays – Nation of Killers: Guns, Violence, White Supremacy – The American Dream Become Delusion, published in 2015 and available via Amazon. He has also published over 40 blog posts on Mad In America and Op-Ed News, all concerned with the political deterioration of the American state and its institutions and the measures that ordinary Americans can take to oppose an oppressive corporatist ruling class that is squeezing the life and vibrancy out of us. A nearly complete listing of all his writings – a work in progress – can be found on his website, www.paddling


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