29 April 2020


A time of forsythia
When people mythia
And want to be wythia
And maybe kythia
I first encountered this poem over 30 years ago in a print publication called The Insomniac (March 1989), where the citation was to a book called Llovable Lloyd's Poems. It appeared not to have been stored anywhere on the internet - at least not at any site searchable by Google (and with search terms like mythia/withia/kythia it shouldn't have been hard to locate), so I posted it to TYWKIWDBI in 2009.

Reposting today because I hiked the University of Wisconsin Arboretum yesterday and was pleased to see the forsythia putting on its typical first-of-the-spring floral show.  Otherwise there were few plants in bloom:

The Madison area is getting gentle soaking rains and forecasted temps to the 60s and 70s this week, so we expect a spectacular display from the fruit trees and the immense lilac collection by mid-May.

As I was preparing to leave, I was startled to notice that the cars in the parking lot were "socially distanced":

Nine cars parked in alternate spots only (extending beyond the field of view).  The arboretum has cancelled all indoor events and closed the visitor center, and has issued coronavirus guidelines which basically consist of commonsense social distancing on hiking trails.  There has been no call for visitors to park their vehicles 12 feet apart (and the distribution shown is not a normal pattern, because visitors typically cluster their vehicles at the entry points for paths and walkways).  I've seen this pattern in parking areas near carryout food sites, and suspect it represents typical midwestern commonsense behavior.


  1. I have forsythia along the farthest edge of my backyard. It is my least favorite of spring blooms, but my wife loves it so I leave it alone.

    Regarding the parking. I live in Maryland and I see the same thing with vehicles. It is more evident when I go to parks and such, but it does seem that people now have an instinct to keep a proper distance from others.

  2. "First a howling blizzard woke us,
    Then the rain came down to soak us,
    And now before the eye can focus
    Crocus." Lilja Rogers

  3. i keep thinking i should read 'thring' in a daffy duck kind of voice? :-)


  4. Thank you for saving this wonderful poem, and putting it in (what will hopefully be) the forever archive.

  5. I live in Albion Ca, a one horse town w/ a PO, grocery,and hardware store. there's enough parking in normal times but lately people are parking 6 feet apart so there's only room for half the usual number of cars so people have to park along the feeder road.

  6. Do those cherry blossoms bear fruit? Pretty but useless trees are my bane.

  7. This is lots better than Butcher bird jerky.


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