Monday, May 13, 2013

She brought them up to visit in my yard in the late afternoon

About two weeks ago, I saw them swim up the creek in single file and too far away to photograph. She was following them. I got the camera ready, but thought I might not see them again, and I did not. Today, at last, she brought them (up a few stairs,and back down on foot) three separate times to nibble at the lawn. Wowza! Made me very happy! Here is the link to the slide show. As you can see, one is dark, one is a little blondie and there are three middling pale yellow ones. Even the light ones are darker on the tail end. I thought the drakes might be dark, but it is not so, according to that marvel, the Internet.

Tonight's poem is by that master of the delightful paragraph, or prose poem, Vern Rutsala. He came to San Jose to read in what was my Golden Age of poetry readings there, the 1980s. All that I remember about him is his big overcoat [Mstislav Rostropovich had a bigger overcoat--the biggest I ever saw, virtually swept the ground and contained prodigious sweeps of fabric--at the concert he gave in the BYU Fieldhouse in the 1950s, but that's another story] and that he gave off a faint affect of Depressed Person, but many poets do . . .


     By hook or crook, by shoestring and bootstrap, by
running and hiding, by mortice and tenon, by moving
under cover of darkness, by wit and dumb luck, by
spit and polish, by weights and measures, by love or
money, by hurrying up and waiting, by word of
mouth, by bread and board, by slice and dice, by not
letting the left hand know, by bed and breakfast, by
nuts and bolts, by nodding and smiling, by mortar
and pestle, by hammer and tongs, by never crying
over what we spill, by backing and filling, by surf
and turf, by health and safety, by soup and sandwich, by
bourbon and water, by offense and defense, by being
as dumb as an ox is strong, by mind and body, by day
for night, by sturm and drang, by fire and ice, by hit
or miss--oh, yes, by hit or miss.

from A Handbook for Writers; new and selected Prose Poems
by Vern Rutsala, White Pine Press, 2004, page 21.

So, lots of commas, no linebreaks (in the book the poem is presented as an almost-rectangle in full justification, except fot the indent of the first line,) phrases of similar construction from sayings, objects that are paired, proverbs, advertising combinations and whatever else from common usage. It moves right along and makes surprising alterations in some of the places we think we already know the next word. I love this stuff! Good Night, all!

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