Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A Memory Swan

Back in ancient times, when I sometime used the new roll of color film this developing outift used to send me whenever they developed and printed a roll, I stopped on the path when I saw the swan, and waited for him to swim away from the foliage, so I could get the reflection. Some of my friends that were on the ginko (walk for the purpose of composing haiku) told me to hurry up and rejoin the group.
This lone photo from the 1980s turned up last year when I was going through some papers. I have no idea what other photos I took that day, or what haiku I wrote. But the feeling of seeing a sudden swan on the water, surrounded by foliage in dappled light is still quite clear. Because of the odd film and the intervening years, the colors in this print are not true to nature. But I like the muted, somewhat limited and subtle palette of toned-down color. There is an iPhone program from Adobe that takes the main colors from a photo and turns them into a set of color blocks, like paint chips. I'd like to try that on this picture. I think I would see some deep greens, some brighter greens, some muted blues and a quite a bit of a sort of light tan, with a lot of almost-black, and just a trace of something reddish near the top,

Lately I have been looking at a blog called My Scandinavian Home. What seems to tie the homes together (it's not just one, but a lot of different homes, sort of like decorator pornography) is that they are ALL WHITE! They might have some wooden furniture, or some black accents, but the walls, drapes, floors and much of the furniture is white, white, white. It's oddly beautiful and compelling and sort of scary. Need I add, there is NO CLUTTER (and not much evidence of actual human life. . .) and I don't see any books. But these spaces are very beautiful, and I sort of wish I could . . . etc.

Tonight's poem, naturally, is from A Bird Black as the Sun; California Poets on Crows and Ravens,  Green Poet Press, Santa Barbara, 2011. Maybe, later, I can find (or make) a white bird book, for quick reference..


She said she would return
as a crow,
swarm on the spiked branches
of Monterey pines
with others in her flock
Not some regal raven,
but a so-so black bird

In life, she dressed
in peacock feathers
and amethyst beads
Now she'll hover,
a dark phantasm

Perhaps in the long days
of her dying
she kenned
an elegant coherence
in the world
black silhouette
against almond sky.

Charan Sue Wollard, page 128

The form is three stanzas of 7, 5, and 7 lines. I don't see syllabics, or a metrical pattern. And of course, the word I wanted above for the tan color is "almond," If you could return as a bird, what bird would you be?
Good night! And in your dreams, try to fly!
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