On Monday, I said something about my friend Sue and a poem I wrote for her way back when. Sue and I met when we both worked for a tree nursery in Door County, Wisconsin, in the late 70's. I drove a tractor pulling a tree planter that sat six. Six other women with a never-ending supply of evergreen seedlings. I hauled them up one set of rows and down another while they put tiny trees in the ground. It must be entirely automated now. I can't find a single picture of a tree planter with actual human beings aboard. Read more about To Sue
At first I thought this lovely poem by Emily Dickinson was one of the few I've read so far that didn't reference death in some way. But a second look at the one I call Second Summer convinces me that Emily does not mistake signs of life for life itself.
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These are the days when Birds come back --
A very few -- a Bird or two --
To take a backward look.
These are the days when skies resume
The old -- old sophistries of June --
In the light of our current political climate, Sandburg is worth revisiting. Take this excerpt from:
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The people yes
The people will live on.
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When it's cold and raining,
you are more beautiful.
And the snow brings me
even closer to your lips.
The inner secret, that which was never born,
you are that freshness, and I am with you now.
I can't explain the goings,
or the comings. You enter suddenly,
Elegy IX: The Autumnal
By John Donne
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No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
Young beauties force our love, and that's a rape,
This doth but counsel, yet you cannot scape.
If 'twere a shame to love, here 'twere no shame;
Affection here takes reverence's name.
Were her first years the golden age? That's true,
But now she's gold oft tried and ever new.
That was her torrid and inflaming time,
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In the pinewoods
In the five A.M. mist,
In a silky agitation,
Down into the shadows
Of the bog
Across the bog
And up the hill
And into the dense trees --
In some kind of rapturous mistake
The deer did not run away
But walked toward me
And touched my hands--
And I have been, ever since,
Separated from my old, comfortable life
Of experience and deduction--
Lughnasadh, August 1, the Celtic festival of the first harvest.
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You'll remember me when the west wind moves
Upon the fields of barley
You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we walk in fields of gold
So she took her love
For to gaze awhile
Upon the fields of barley
In his arms she fell as her hair came down
Among the fields of gold
Will you stay with me, will you be my love
Walker Art Center
Alexander Calder Exhibit
Just people, you know -
Their shapes and sizes
And the things they do
With their hands;
How they move their feet and fingers,
All crossed and stretched and moving together;
The movement of faces,
Lifting lips and eyebrows.
Nodding and turning.
The free-form people, you know.
They were all there
Poems from the Heartland Read more about At the Gallery
Longfellow month has come round again.
You see, every (or nearly every) morning, I do a few yoga poses. I can't say they have made me any more limber, but at this stage of the game, I'm afraid to stop. I'm afraid I'll just rust up. So I don't fool myself that I'm doing my body that much good. These days I do it for the poetry. Read more about How To Build a Canoe