Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Bigtooth Aspen

It's been raining all yesterday and all today. The roof is still leaking, but now we think we know why, a design flaw in the chimney, I feel confident that this time we will get it fixed with  new cap machined to fit over (not just inside) the top edge of the fake chimney that was built around the chimney pipe. Planning on than anyway.

When the rain let up, I was able to walk around near the house. This leaf had blown quite far from the aspen grove that it came from. The Latin name is Populus gigantidentata. Can you see the big teeth on the edge of the leaf? Mostly these leaves turn gold. So the red color of this one attracted me; I brought it inside and put it on the floor to photograph it. I think the shadow is a nice touch; although I didn't notice it when I was taking the picture.

Tonight I want to share some of Pat Shelley's tanka. A selection of them was arrranged by her before her death from ovarian cancer, and published as Turning My Chair. I still frequently miss her, and her tender affection. Here is a picture of her walking in the Japanese Friendship garden in San Jose, where we spent so many happy times with our haiku group the YUKI TEIKEI HAIKU SOCIETY, walking about and writing haiku and then gathering together to read them to each other. I think Pat's tanka--a five line poem created on a Japanese model--are truly exquisite.

Her are two of them from the book:

if I just turn my chair
the forms of things are not
as they were a moment ago


Next spring
when these violets bloom again
where will they be
---the tiny starving children
of the world?

Tanka by Pat Shelley from Turning My Chair, Press Here, 1997, Page 41 and page 29.

Take a moment and read these poems over. Admire the careful, generous thought in them.
Look at the short and long lines. Every time I spend any time with this book, I want to try this form--but I haven't really written many. Have you?

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