By George Swede
empty baseball field
a dandelion seed floats through
the strike zone
village ball game
through knotholes in the old fence
"Hearing a ball game on the radio recently said spring to me," writes Mary Karr in Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World. "In New York, the chatter about team injuries can take on a tribal intensity -- which is why I cracked Baseball Haiku: American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on Baseball...in George Swede's work, as is evident in the two here, the natural world interrupts and supercedes play, lending totemic power to things like dandelion seeds and sunbeams."
We had planned to go to Chestertown on Saturday for the tea party festival, but Paul didn't feel like fighting Bay Bridge traffic and parking problems, so instead we slept late and went to Brookside Gardens for Wings of Fancy, the butterfly show we missed on Mother's Day. The greenhouses and butterflies were beautiful, but we had just as much fun outside in the gardens, where we saw dozens of turtles -- red-eared sliders, Eastern painted turtles and huge snapping turtles in the middle of the lake -- plus two snakes and lots of birds, including geese, robins, swallows and a red-winged blackbird that kept flying at and attacking a vastly larger great blue heron that was completely ignoring it (I looked them up when we got home, and apparently red-winged blackbirds attach their nests to marsh grass, and herons that fish in marshes will eat nestling birds, so this blackbird was probably protecting a nest we couldn't see).
We stopped at World Market on the way home for decaf PG Tips, various Indian and Thai spices and sauces, Indian Champa soap and sour candy that Adam likes. Then the kids went to the pool for the first time all season, and there was much rejoicing though the water was so cold that they didn't last long! After dinner (chicken marsala, mmm), we watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at the kids' insistence. I hadn't seen it in over 20 years and it was as bad as I remembered -- piles of racist and ethnic stereotypes, plenty of sexism, gratuitous gore and not a lot of humor, though the underground cart race is still really well done. We might go see Crystal Skull next week but it won't be Sunday -- we are going to the Virginia RenFaire!