Blossoming whitely and quietly by the front door now,
and beginning to show tiny spots of brown.
Waning spring. . .
Find a quiet rain. Then a green spruce tree. You will notice that nearly every needle has been decorated with a tiny raindrop ornament. Look closely inside the drop and there you are. In
color. Upside down. The raindrop has no instructions to flip us right-side up. People, dogs, muskrats, woods, and hill, what-
ever fits, heads down like quail from a hunter’s belt. Raindrops have been collecting snapshots since objects and people were placed, to their surprise, here and there on earth.
Raindrops are fickle, of course, willing to substitute one image
for another without a thought as we pass by them. Our spot
taken by a flash of lightening or a wet duck. Still, even if we are only on display for a moment in a water drop as it clings to a
pine needle, it is expected that we be on our best behavior, hair combed, jacket buttoned, no vulgar language. Smiling is not necessary, but a pleasant attitude is helpful, and would be, I think, appreciated.
by Tom Hennen (born 1942)
Darkness Sticks to Everything; Collected and New Poems;
Copper Canyon Press, 2013, page 154.
I got this book because of the splendid review in the New York Times and the recommendations from Robert Bly and Jim Harrison. It is a wonderful treasure: the selected poems of someone who has been working carefully and paying attention for a long while. The prose poems are near the end of the book, and earlier poems have linebreaks. All the poems demonstrate the most careful attention to the natural world.