Saturday, September 20, 2014

"the air dry, sweet with goldenrod"

Fenceline rocks and a post; once someone farmed here; 
we go this way on the Daily Walk.

Garrison Keillor just read this poem on the radio. And I remembered those much-loved girlhood horse books where I learned that word: filly. How much I love both the poetry and the essays of Wendell Berry. This poem is in his New Collected Poems on my easy-to-bring-along Kindle. It is very much a this-time-of-year poem. Tonight we drove out for a sandwich and commented along the way on each maple that was barely beginning to turn. Then we were caught in a sudden fierce downpour and came home very wet. We ate the Subway sandwiches in the car so Cassie could share them. She would bark at a filly, should she chance upon one.

The Sorrel Filly

The songs of small birds fade away
into the bushes after sundown,
the air dry, sweet with goldenrod.
Beside the path, suddenly, bright asters
flare in the dusk. The aged voices
of a few crickets thread the silence.
It is a quiet I love, though my life
too often drives me through it deaf.
Busy with costs and losses, I waste
the time I have to be here—a time
blessed beyond my deserts, as I know,
if only I would keep aware. The leaves
rest in the air, perfectly still.
I would like them to rest in my mind
as still, as simply spaced. As I approach,
the sorrel filly looks up from her grazing,
poised there, light on the slope
as a young apple tree. A week ago
I took her away to sell, and failed
to get my price, and brought her home
again. Now in the quiet I stand
and look at her a long time, glad
to have recovered what is lost
in the exchange of something for money.

Wendell Berry

New Collected Poems, Counterpoint, 2012. Kindle Edition.

Each of the leaves on these aspens behind the house will turn gold 
and fall very soon, 
singly or in small showers
like bright gold coins dancing through the air!

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