Friday, June 20, 2014

The Long Hayfield

I only dwelt on The Farm for three years and another summer after my freshman year at the University of Arizona. But it was a wonderful part of my life. At my new school, I met a best friend that I still have! I also had a horse and much more open space. I still prefer the open woods and fields of the temperate climate that I knew then. This is the field where my father showed me the grass called Timothy; I remember the time he showed it to me. There was a lot of timothy in this field, along with some other forage grasses. In the recently scanned family slides, I found a whole series of these haying slides. I had not remembered driving the tractor, but here I am, giving my little sister a thrill. On the other side of the field, you can see our old car hitched to a trailer and hauling hay, too! These slides remind me again and again how we managed to spend very little and have such a fine time there.

The hayfield was a long narrow field running east and west. A favorite place to ride Cindy was along the track on the north side of the field. There was plenty of room to let her just run. I rode on the saddle that came with her. It was a wooden saddle, leather covered, with a split in the wood above the horse's backbone. My horsewoman-aunt Molly tried to explain to me about "posting" but I never coud see much sense in that.

The Paris Review came today; it is always a struggle not to just drop everything and DIVE into the Interviews! I did just manage, but riffled through the poetry and found a poem that begins with GRASSES! The poet is a 2014 Guggenheim fellow whose work I had not seen. Her name is Ange Mlinko. I wonder how her work will develop.


Roadside grasses are seen
to vary, stem and thistledown:
pale straw or light brown,
gray brown and transom green.

Spinning wind into something vatic:
seven synchronized giantesses.
A thought only rarely coalesces
from the brain's static.

You think you were always thinking,
but try to form a sentence
while you're driving. A fence.
A pylon. A form of blinking,

like a quasi-town that won't so much
as marry a Dairy Queen
and an El Rey Del Tacos. Lean 
times times out of touch

equals areas where lives
depend more clearly on the wages
of atmospheric averages; 
that's how prayer survives.

Ange Mlinko, from The Paris Review, #209, page 71.

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