Tag Archives: Carolyn Kizer

happy birthday

Yesterday she who was formerly known as the Art Student but is still waiting for a new blogname turned 60. Nine of us are in Adelaide to celebrate- partly as a way for her to avoid having a party but mostly because she gets to take us with her visiting childhood sites, and we all get to WOMADelaide. At this morning’s birthday breakfast, I kept to my own precedent and read a sonnet. I wrote the last word just as the former Art Student came to collect me for breakfast, so it hasn’t exactly had time to ripen, but here it is:

For three score years you’ve been alive
and kicking up your heels, down doors,
my love and swive for thirty five,
co-parent, partner, joy’s main cause.
The psalmist gives you ten more years.
The Chinese give you rabbit ears:
wear red, a fresh start now, they tell us.
The Hindus say, Be forest dwellers:
reflect, find meaning now, make art.
There’s grimness, earthquakes, rising seas.
We know one day you’ll break my heart
or I yours by dying. Please,
though earth grows warmer by the hour
it’s still a garden. You’re still a flower.

[With acknowledgement of a line from Carolyn Kizer’s ‘Afternoon Happiness’]