There's about one week left till the end of April, the most magical month of the year.
Many poets have written about April. There's "April is the cruelest month," from "The Waste Land" by T.S. Eliot. While I love the way Eliot put words together, I will be the first to admit I don't understand the entire poem, including the April part of it.
Our own late great poet, Jesse Stuart, put into understandable language what he felt and I feel about this waning month.
"Hold on to April; never let her pass!
Another year before she comes again
To bring us wind as clean as polished glass
And apple blossoms in soft, silver rain.
Hold April when there's music in the air,
When life is resurrected like a dream,
When wild birds sing up flights of windy stair
And bees love alder blossoms by the stream.
Hold April's face close to yours and look afar,
Hold April in your arms in dear romance;
While holding her look to the sun and star
And with her in her faerie dreamland dance.
Do not let April go but hold her tight,
Month of eternal beauty and delight."
Friend Bob Rogers, who now lives in the West, asked me to post the poem to him. He says it's his favorite poem. I not only sent the poem to him but I posted it on Facebook. It was received positively by my friends. It appears they also wish we could Hold April," the name of Jesse's poem and a book of poetry he published many years ago. It's still available on Amazon. Look for "Hold April by Jesse Stuart."
I had many good times with Jesse over the many years and seasons we shared. Susie, my wife, and I had many visits with Stuart and his wife, Naomi Deane.
Bob and I shared time with the Stuarts as well. Everyone who met Jesse saw a positive mountain writer who took delight in living in Greenup County, Kentucky's, W Hollow.
April was a special month for Jesse. It was the month when, as a young man, he'd get the bull-tongue plow from the barn and hitch it to the horses to till the soil and get it ready for planting. That produced yet another Stuart book "Man With A Bull Tongue Plow" which is also available on Amazon.
"I am a farmer singing at the plow," the book begins.
Because of a heart attack that almost killed him in the 1950s, doctors would not allow him to drive on public roads. Be he loved driving Susie and me and our young son all over his W Hollow farm in a Volkswagen. He was a wild driver and we had fun.
Before he passed, he gave most of his farm to the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a nature preserve out of fear it would be chopped up and destroyed.
The land contains coal and, before he died, a man came to him and asked him to sell the coal land. Stuart refused and the man replied, "No problem. I'll get it after you're dead."
That story came from the lips of Stuart to my ears.
Thanks to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, we can hold W Hollow forever.
Wouldn't it be wonderful; if we could hold April the same way?
Dave Peyton is on Facebook. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.