Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Leaf Falls Here

         People are few;
A leaf falls here,
         Falls there.

Yesterday, we returned from a long weekend in Cayuse to celebrate Elliot Thanksgiving.  As always, it's lovely to go home.  Especially to a place that is so familiar and also unknown. I've spent a lot of time breathing that air, but there is always something new to experience, a direct connection to nature, the old wind whistling a new song.  

It was a weekend gathering of the usual suspects.  We enjoyed: a magnificent meal lovingly prepared by Tina, glasses of prosecco, old and new friends, a walk on the hillside up the draw, fat snowflakes on "Thanksgiving", horses to be fed, dogs wanting their bellies scratched, fuses blown, a treasure hunt in an old shed, pancakes, monkey bread, pies, Tina teaching me how to bead, gathering sumac, teasels, and gnarled rose branches for wreaths, finding bones and antlers on the hill, and cuddling up with Caroline in a big bed piled with heavy quilts and blankets and listening to the wind howl all night. 

morning ritual--feeding the horses with Papa Grey

Miss Business dressed for dinner

A fire AND snowflakes???  Yessssss!

rosehips on the hill

lovely sumac

clipping away

perfect picture of my dad

the boys found a wild apple tree

from Jack

Jack with bones and apples

I've lots to be thankful for.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Deep In The Brain, Far Back

Night Crow

When I saw that clumsy crow
Flap from the wasted tree,
A shape in the mind rose up:
Over the gulfs of dream
Flew a tremendous bird
Further and further away
Into a moonless black
Deep in the brain, far back.

--Theodore Roethke

Isn't that a marvelous poem that sort of swirls around in the sky of your head?  I think of it as a Fall poem, meant to be read when electric yellow leaves fly through dark grey days and the world feels a little uncertain.  There is a depth to this time of year that I can appreciate.  The fall has more texture than the other seasons; the colors stand out, even more than the rioting flowers of summer.  The air feels different, expectant maybe.  The other seasons are more straightforward, but there's a quality now that seems mysterious.  I love it.  

I have had adventures away and adventures at home lately; I love both.  Here are some pictures that tell a bit of my fall story so far:
We grew a thumbkin this year!  Won't the fairies love it?


last hurrah

dear friends


big maple at dusk

the river

happy in the kitchen

very impressive

cool, huh?

Korean War Memorial--ghostly!

a walk in the Virginia woods

Whoa!  Miller almost stepped on this fellow.  

Caretaker's house at the old, now-closed prison in Lorton, VA.  Eerie.

pumpkin catapult

airborne and leaf-bound!

hot soup and cream biscuits for a chilly night

May the Night Crow land on your bedpost and carry you over the gulfs of dream...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

When Our Limbs Were All July

Barred Islands

Between their sandspit ends
we rowed, two spruce islands
moored in a blue Maine bay. 
And under the Sou'west sky
we rowed ashore to swim
for love, a summer whim
when our limbs were all July.

Riding in on the tide
with shipped oars, jade 
shallows under us, we 
both looked down at the play
of sun on seaweed gardens,
swaying whorls in the currents
we neither could see.

and then the kelp-grown slope
slid up to meet us, steep 
as a hill below our hull:
sand, stone, and clamshell
dredged by waves, time-
shaped by tide and fathom;
and then the tide was full.

We floated on hope at flood,
and over, over, the tide-
sunk bar; there where the run
of current, the waving sun,
showed clear on the waterglass
sand, on the seawind grass,
how the islands were one.

--Philip Booth

Now, isn't that just lovely?!  I've sort of been in a poetry lull lately, but this brought me back.  In fact, how is it that I really haven't read Philip Booth before?  He is great!  I was flipping through a friend's anthology, New Poets of England and America, and I just loved all of the Philip Booth poems included therein (6 in all).  I don't think I have a single book by him, but I am on a quest (Daaaaaad...?).  

There are several things I like about this poem.  It has very strong images that I find to be almost like a magical transport into the poem; I can almost feel the boat rocking as I stare down at 'the play of sun on seaweed gardens, swaying whorls in the currents we neither could see.'  And his use of language is lovely and evocative: 

'we rowed ashore to swim
for love, a summer whim
when our limbs were all July.'

and one more:

'the waving sun,
showed clear on the waterglass

Plus, I just really like how the poem resonates with me. I'm not sure I totally get it, but that's ok. I think it's a metaphor, and a good one, at that.  I like the layers of it, for both the description of the day/experience and the relationship between the 2 people.  Read this poem out loud and you'll hear what he's doing with the rhythm of it, the near rhyme, the alliteration, the kinesthetic verbs, all of it working toward a poem that does its job; at least for me.  

The other Booth poems in this collection are: Heron, The Wilding, Vermont: Indian Summer, Twelfth Night, and North, in case you want to look them up on the intermaweb (or in that book that you're probably going to give me).

Well, look at that, I meant to write about what we've been up to over the last month, but got sidetracked by the poem.  Let's just go with that!  Here are a few pics and captions that should get you up to speed. It's been a lovely summer and in a few days, we're off to the beach for our annual trip.  Joy, if you're reading this, guess what, this poem is coming your way out loud when we're sitting on the sand.  Sweeeeeet!

new chicken gate made from my old chair rail trim--I even used a drill and measured!

grosgrain ribbon=good chicken barrier...just needs to look like a fence, doesn't actually have to BE one

Poppies!  Orange-y red crossed with cream to make this lovely color

"new" quilt that I picked up for a song! It is hand quilted with perfect little stitches on the back.

Fancy business for Caroline's 8th birthday

Some partygoers

Don't they look so sweet?

Caroline with Narissa, one of her favorite people on the planet
Mini Monkeys
Guess what?

"Roller coaster" road to Cayuse

Geisha, of the Cayuse dog pack

I love this picture, not sure why.  Kids in cayuse, half a border collie, old shed.

I bee jammin'

Cayuse beelord

The sweet business

New baby

Kids with Great-Grandma Ethel.  Doesn't she look great for 30-10?!

Jack and a Mater truck on our road trip shake break

Me with tree house lumber...so much lumber

Matthew framing up the tree house

framed and partially sided

They LOVE IT!!!!