Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Summer visit; a memory thread

We all went for a walk looking for wild raspberries during their summertime visit. My older granddaughter had asked to hold my camera. I was taking pictures with my phone because of the beautiful late afternoon light. I didn't notice until looking at the pictures that she was swinging my camera by the string in a bored teenage manner, even though she is only just turned nine. How quickly they grow!

Here  is a poem by Charles Wright from Best of the Best American Poetry: 25th Anniversary Edition 
(Kindle page 238-239)

American Twilight

Why do I love the sound of children's voices in 
  unknown games
So much on a summer's night,
Lightning bugs lifting heavily out of the dry grass
Like alien spacecraft looking for higher ground,
Darkness beginning to sift like coffee grains 
                                               over the neighborhood?
Whunk of a ball being kicked,
Surfsuck and surf-spill from traffic along the by-pass,
American twilight,
            Venus just lit in the third heaven,
Time-tick between, "Okay, let's go," and "This earth is 
  not my home."

Why do I care about this? Whatever happens will happen
With or without us,
            with or without these verbal amulets.
In the first ply, in the heavens of the moon, a little light,
Half-light, over Charlottesville.
Trees reshape themselves, the swallows disappear, lawn
   sprinklers do the wave.

Nevertheless, it's still summer: cicadas pump their
Jack Russell terriers, as they say, start barking their heads 
And someone, somewhere, is putting his first foot, then
  the second,
Down on the other side,
           no hand to help him, no tongue to wedge its weal.


And now we are deep into winter; Amtrack trains are getting stuck in the snow; homeless people are probably freezing to death. Yet this firefly summer exists, for those of us who have been there. I think this is a terrific poem! I am glad to have found it; it inspires me to try something again myself. Hope you are warm enough tonight, 

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