May Daze

Is it possible May could be more

than we’d bargained for?

How do we forget the albino deer

who startled us in the rain?

Or that phoebe under the eaves

gloating over her chicks?

And why do the crows go on shrieking

as if the whole point is pandemonium?

And now that I know song sparrows

choose their territory based on

the buildings and not the trees,

I lie awake nights worrying about

what is ours in this blooming world.

We’re heady with foolishness,

and there’s no turning back.

Rhubarb’s up, weeds on the rampage,

the usual reward for falling into chaos.

Everything busy being alive, wanting

the whole kit and caboodle.

Who would have thought we’d flaunt

this impossible intimacy with the earth?

Is there another pole for us to circle

~Kathleen Ellis

Kathleen Ellis has published five collections of poetry, most recently Narrow River to the North. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Maine in Orono.

May is like a lady in waiting, with the warmer weather, the nesting birds, and only the barest hint of the flowering blush of real spring to come. Ellis's work here records that with audial lyricism, and accompanies the hungry wait for and brazen hints of the rampant rewards of our lush coastal spring.

A lot of work is underway on the 10th Annual Belfast Poetry Festival. We are currently jurying the record number of submissions from all over northern New England we received for our popular multimedia presentations. We screened Louder than a Bomb at The Colonial in April and are planning to bring one of the poets from that film in for the festival for either a performance, a workshop or both. This is an expensive proposition and we are seeking grants, sponsors and donations to help cover that and other expanded programming planned for what will be the culmination of 10 years of production and community enrichment. Produced by volunteers, open to the public with the production events always free, Belfast can be very proud of its poetry festival, one of the very few community driven, non-academic events of its kind. Contact me if you can help support this year's festival.

The poetry column is curated by Ellen Sander, the Poet Laureate of Belfast, and open to submissions. Send submissions in the body of an email (not an attachment) to Feel free to use that email address to communicate any questions, requests, suggestions or issues about poetry in Belfast. Poet Laureate office hours are Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in the Belfast Free Library third floor conference room.