Thursday, July 30, 2015

. . .the grass sliding upward. . .

The Canal catches some sky on a recent July afternoon.

The Field

I loved to lie in the grass when I was a boy. I'd lie on my back,
looking up through the tree branches as the sky flew away in its
blue and white robes.

But mostly I'd lie on my stomach, peering through the forests of
grass. Soon the ants would arrive, or a beetle on his way to some-where else.

The longer I lay still, the more birds and animals would appear
and the more I would feel less like myself and more like the field,
an expanse where bees and robins settled for a moment before fly-ing on.

Now I sense rustlings and quiverings everywhere around me, as
if tribes from the same valley were getting ready for a journey. The
tree branches resemble a spider web in which I am caught, or the
sky is, and when I turn over, the ants are already there, and behind
them the beetles picking their way over stones.

There are moments I can hear the weeds unfurling their wings
and the grass sliding upward, nudging aside acorns and leaves.

At such times I think this is all I can hope for. Not that the plants
or animals have come to greet me, but that they don't even know I
am there.

Morton Marcus

Moments Without Names; new and selected prose poems,
White Pine Press, 2002, page 200.

I am almost finished with the book Striking Through the Masks by Morton Marcus. It has taken me back to the poets I knew and followed toward the end of the last century and to my fascination with prose poetry. I may never forget Vern Rutsala's large overcoat as he stood by a gate after his reading. I have found extra copies (to use here in Idaho) of many of the books that came out then and am merrily sniffing through them, This is from a book that I got another copy of, so I could have one here.  I think tomorrow I will take it down by the creek and read the rest of these again there.

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