Monday, July 21, 2014

Yellow Sweetclover

Many of the fields, hills and swales in North Dakota are brushed with golden color now from the small, abundant blooms of Yellow Sweetclover. This is another immigrant to North America--it was brought here as a forage crop more than 200 years ago. And made itself right at home!

As I thought last year, and I still think, North Dakota has untold possibilities for a photographer willing to give it some time and careful attention. But I love driving through twice a year even if I cannot stop. Today, driving on US 95 in a part of the state with very red soil we drove past a great deal of construction related to drilling for oil. Here were a few old wells that have been there for years and some very new ones working with a different type of machinery. There were also many upright cylindrical storage tanks I think are for oil. Many of them are bright red, which is very striking against the green fields.  In one place there was a large red-soil flat quadrangle preparing for a new operation. There were so many working pumps along this stretch that it made me wonder how much oil there is-- and can one suck it out from underneath one's neighbor? There was one red flat spot--without the machinery installed yet--that  looked like a giant paved red tennis court. It all made me sorry for the beautiful greening earth as we drove past in our big blue gasoline-powered Toyota.

This motel in Detroit Lakes MN has a broken internet so this is one-finger phone typing. And here is the first part of Derek Walcott's 


Silence asphalts the highway, our tires hiss
like serpents, of God's touching weariness,
His toil unfinished, while in endless rows
the cabbage fields, like lilies, spin in air;
His flags rot, and the monkey god's nerves rattle
lances in rage. Human rags tend cattle
more venal every year, and chrome-tooled cars
lathered like estate horses nose the shallows. . . 

Page 87

There is quite a bit more to this poem. I am really loving The Poetry of Derek Walcott on my Kindle. I am eating it in small bites. Walcott sets the poetry bar high. There are endless things to study and think about on every page. 

from the road tonight

No comments:

Post a Comment