Monday, February 05, 2018

House at the edge of the woods

At the right edge of the open snow in his drone photo taken by my grandson, Trey, is out beloved house at the edge of the woods outside Petoskey, Michigan. It has been more than three years since we were able to visit. But my heart is still living there, looking out at whitetail deer, coyotes., wild turkeys, and an occasional  sandhill crane or two, or even three.

I have been throwing away magazines. The January, 2015 issue of Harper's magazine was folded open at an article about Pablo Neruda's grave, which I had planned to read. So I read it. and liked it.  I thought I would tear it out and put it with the book of Neruda's selected poems. The book opened to this poem, Spanish and English on facing pages:


Perhaps this is the house in which I lived
when neither I, nor earth, existed,
when everything was moon, or stone, or shadow,
with the still light unborn.
This stone could then have been
my house, my windows, or my eyes.
This granite rose recalls
something that lives in me, or I in it,
a cave, a universe of dreams inside the skull:
cup or castle, boat or birth.
I touch the rock's tenacious thrust,
its bulwark pounded in the brine
and I know that flaws of mine subsisted here,
wrinkled substances that surfaced
from the depths into my soul,
and stone I was, stone shall be, and for this 
caress this stone which has nor died for me:
it's what I was, and shall be -- the tranquillity
of struggle stretched beyond the brink of time.

Pablo Neruda, translation by Nathaniel Tarn.
Neruda, Selected Poems, Houghton Mifflin, 1970, page 411.

Your task: write about your place on the earth. jhhymas

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