Monday, March 17, 2014

A flower and a postcard

A camellia we planted after we stopped writing the names in the back of the Western Garden Book; now neither one of us remembers its name, but it keeps on blooming in our garden nevertheless, and is blooming now!

Tonight I am going back to the lovely book I wrote about earlier in this post; click the link to see what I wrote then about Ted Kooser'e Winter Morning Walks; one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison. Kooser took exercise  morning walks before the sun came up (because his radiation treatments had made him sensitive to sunlight) each one is bite-sized or suitable for a small snack! He decided to send the small poems on postcards to Poet-Friend Harrison and later chose some of them to make this book. This sort of poem is particularly likely to bring up a Memory Thread, as in the one that follows. I cannot make a better suggestion than that you try this. Postcards can be made of cardboard, watercolor paper, the inside of old book covers . . .and the inside of those beautiful cream-colored envelopes that advertisements for The Academy of American Poets come in. Or maybe you already have a stack of cards you planned to send from that trip to the Pyramids! Let's start a trend and do our friends at the Post Office a favor by making the mail consist of something besides unsolicited advertisements: unsolicited short postcard poems!

March 13
Overcast and still

High in an elm, a red-bellied woodpecker
rattles a branch, rattling and resting
rattling and resting, each flat dry burst
like a single extended sound. It's the creak
of the painted wainscot ceiling
of my grandparent's porch, under the strain
of the chains of the swing. Somehow
it has carried this far, four hundred miles
and more than fifty years, the sound
of my uncle Elvy watching the highway
and swinging, the toes of his good shoes
just touching the floor.

Ted Kooser, from Winter Morning Walks; one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison, Carnegie Mellon, 2000, page 117.

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