Iris in April?
Should be Memorial Day --
Seasons are wacko.
© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012
Poem #23, National Poetry Month 2012
Truth in advertising -- this is neither an iris from my garden, nor is it an iris that's blooming right now (it's name is Fire and Ice, and it's from Mom's garden last June).
But I really did do a complete double-take last week when I saw whole beds of iris blooming in Denver. Some are blooming here, too. What's up with THAT?!?! Iris bloom at the end of May so that you can cut them and take them to the cemetery to lay on the graves on Memorial Day. Used to be, at least. Can't tell me nothing's wacko about the weather and/or the seasons...
Cathy, at Merely Day By Day
, is joining me in a poem a day this month. Other daily poem writers include Amy at The Poem Farm
, Linda at TeacherDance
, Donna at Mainely Write
, Laura at Writing the World for Kids
(daily haiku), Liz at Liz in Ink
(daily haiku), Sara at Read Write Believe
(daily haiku), Jone at Deo Writer
(daily haiku)...and YOU?
Working with a macro lens is like looking at life through a microscope—seeing what you would not see were you just passing through. So that yesterday, between rain bursts, I could be found crouching in my garden or braced above a vase of flowers, dialing in and out of temporal focus. I was catching the reflected crossbars on a puddled stamen and discovering the zebra stripes of iris. I was thinking how razor edged the lily is, how much like a skirt a blur of hydrangea seems, as photographed from above.
I brace myself for the macro lens. I balance against a wall, try not to breathe, snap. It's rare when a photograph works just right. No matter what gets MemorySticked in the end, I've had the privilege of seeing.
Okay, I just finished this book and I loved it! Iris, Messenger, by Sarah Deming, tells the story of a middle schooler named Iris Greenwold who lives with her mother in Middleville, Pennsylvania. Iris, like many other protagonists, hates going to school and really doesn't have any friends but she loves daydreaming and does her best to just get through the day avoiding detentions. Which she is not very good at.
Slight Spoiler Alert
Then on her twelfth birthday she receives a copy of Bullfinch's Mythology and is captured by the stories as well as the notes scribbled in the margins. Of course the notes lead her to the world of gods and goddesses living right in her hometown, carrying on their own lives and trying their hardest to do a job similar to their immortal powers: Aphrodite owns a beauty shop, Hephaestus works as a mechanic, Artemis is a private detective and, my personal favorite, Hades is the principal of Iris's middle school ("Middle school is the closest thing we've found to hell." How great is that quote!?). Greek myths are woven throughout the story as the deities help Iris to discover her identity as well as help Iris's mother (a soybeantologist) get her job back.
The book was a completely exhilarating read. Iris had a delightful personality and the story was both witty and poignant. I also love books where the author redeems the characters from another story (The Game by Diana Wynne Jones is another) and Deming kindly saves the poor, dilapidated Greek gods and goddesses from their tragic lives to a happily ever after in a hilarious epilogue (and I would have been very jealous of Iris's happy ending in my middle school years, that's for certain). I actually learned more about myths from this fun book (and I considered myself an intermediate myth-lover, if not an expert); I can't wait until Ms. Deming comes out with another.