It has been nearly a week now since I took the small dogs for their walk. We had only
just left our yard when a misty rain began to fill the air.
The fallen leaves from our next-door neighbor's spectacular maple tree
almost completely covered their front lawn and sidewalk.
Each tiny raindrop sat separate from all the others. I put both dog leashes in one hand
and got out my iPhone. But the dogs were tugging and I had trouble holding
steady and framing. I would have liked to do squares, but I decided
to crop later. As I tried to hold steady and push the camera release,
the drops began to combine and enlarge. I found that the finger I had free
had a fingernail that meant the iPhone didn't recognize my click,
it wasn't fleshy enough, like justafinger, for the device.
We make too much history.
With or without us
there will be the silence
and the rocks and the far shining.
But what we need to be
is, oh, the small talk of swallows
in evening over
dull water under willows.
To be we need to know the river
holds the salmon and the ocean
hold the whales as lightly
as the body holds the soul
in the present tense. in the present tense.
Ursula Le Guin
Finding My Elegy; new and selected poems,
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, New York, 2012, page 63.
There was a wonderful profile of Ursula Le Guin
in a recent New Yorker.
I hadn't realized she was a poet, as well as such a fine writer of fiction and essays. In everything one reads of her, her thoughtful, balanced wisdom comes through. This selected poems is a treasure!
Many years ago I spent an afternoon with her and my friend who was her college roommate. We went to the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose, and walked around under the trees and watched the koi. She is gracious and soft-spoken; it was a memorable afternoon.
Tonight I read through the comments left over the ten years of this blog. I am restarting now (again) and have many bookmarks in slender volumes of poems I hope to share. jhh