Lilacs are blooming around the neighborhoods of Seattle, but there’s not quite as many gardens and ornamental flowers to be found downtown. One would hope that the salt air of the waterfront would impart a certain freshness to the morning there, and it sometimes does… but other times a more pungent scent is lingering about.

But, I’ll bet many urban downtowns have never smelled particularly nice through the decades (or centuries). Relatively speaking, I suspect they smell as appealing as they ever have these days. Heck, the streets might even be cleaner than ever too, if you can believe that. We’ve got litter, sure, but there are far, far less animals living in cities these days, so there’s a lot fewer piles of manure around. There’s usually no abattoirs in our pedestrian centers either, and most folks aren’t emptying chamber pots out their windows every morning. There’s less smoke from various furnace and cooking fires, and even automobile emissions have gotten cleaner over the years. We might still think of cities from time to time as “dirty places,” but we’ve got more sanitary infrastructure than ever, I bet. And let’s keep it that way, shall we? Measles making a comeback is bad enough– if we keep letting public infrastructure crumble, and get lax about health regulations on top of that, cholera will start rearing its head again too. All this periodic E. coli contamination is bad enough.

In other news, as April comes to a close, so too does the Tyranny of Pants National Poetry Month Spectacular Palooza-Fest. It’s been fun to make the haiku comics, but things will be back to normal next week, with the usual bells and whistles like speech bubbles, and eighteen or more syllables per comic! Before the Palooza-Fest wraps up, though, I’ll have one more poet recommendation for you later today, so look for that to show up sometime this afternoon. In the meantime, send any recommendations you might have my way. I’m only a casual consumer of verse, but I’m always on the lookout for new things!