The first green to sprout in our garden this year is our bearded iris plants—not that we are anywhere near to seeing the flowers. We have a nice assortment of bearded iris that our friend Jackie shared with us that are planted in a spot that gets summer sun. We also have masses of blue and white Siberian iris that are still under snow. The white ones are bright and clear; the blue ones are deeply intense. I love them all.
Did you know that the national emblem of France, the Fleur-de-lis, is a stylized iris? I didn’t before doing today’s research. Iris in the language of flowers has several meanings: Your Friendship Means so Much to Me, Faith, Hope, Wisdom and Valor, and My Compliments are all associated with the beautiful flower. Let the spring flowers arrive quickly!
February Evening in New York
By Denise Levertov
As the stores close, a winter light
opens air to iris blue,
glint of frost through the smoke
grains of mica, salt of the sidewalk.
As the buildings close, released autonomous
feet pattern the streets
in hurry and stroll; balloon heads
drift and dive above them; the bodies
aren’t really there.
As the lights brighten, as the sky darkens,
a woman with crooked heels says to another woman
while they step along at a fair pace,
“You know, I’m telling you, what I love best
is life. I love life! Even if I ever get
to be old and wheezy—or limp! You know?
Limping along?—I’d still … ” Out of hearing.
To the multiple disordered tones
of gears changing, a dance
to the compass points, out, four-way river.
Prospect of sky
wedged into avenues, left at the ends of streets,
west sky, east sky: more life tonight! A range
of open time at winter’s outskirts.