Here at The Presidio in San Diego I saw my first Black Phoebe. It has a nest above the main entrance.
The grounds have come a long way since 1929:
For the record, this is the Black Phoebe:
To-night, a first movement, a pulse,
As if the rain in bogland gathered head
To slip and flood: a bog-burst,
A gash breaking open the ferny bed.
Your back is a firm line of eastern coast
And arms and legs are thrown
Beyond your gradual hills. I caress
The heaving province where our past has grown.
I am the tall kingdom over your shoulder
That you would neither cajole nor ignore.
Conquest is a lie. I grow older
Conceding your half-independent shore
Within whose borders now my legacy
And I am still imperially
Male, leaving you with the pain,
The rending process in the colony,
The battering ram, the boom burst from within.
The act sprouted an obstinate fifth column
Whose stance is growing unilateral.
His heart beneath your heart is a wardrum
Mustering force. His parasitical
And ignorant little fists already
Beat at your borders and I know they’re cocked
At me across the water. No treaty
I forsee will salve completely your tracked
And stretchmarked body, the big pain
That leaves you raw, like opened ground, again.
A friend of mine, knowing I like poetry, gifted me a small book recovered from a garage sale the other day. The author is Seamus Heaney. I have never heard of him. The book is entitled North.
I prefer to NOT look up background on a poet before reading their work initially. I don’t want to be prejudiced one way or another by the accolades they have or haven’t received. I don’t want to know if they are obscure and unknown, or whether they have received high praise from academic circles. I guess I want to experience their work through my own lens before considering other people’s view.
I randomly opened the book and was immediately drawn in. I later told my friend that I don’t know immediately who to compare him to, other than Shakespeare. I’ll have to give in and look him up at some point. Meanwhile here is an opening stanza to one of his poems. I don’t understand or like the 2nd stanza, but I can’t get the first out of my head:
He courted her
With a decadent sweet art
Like the wind’s vowel
Blowing through the hazels:
If you want to read the 2nd stanza the poem is titled Aisling.
This stanza is completely light compared to the darkness, overall, of the rest of the pieces in the book, which seem to be describing the recovery of bodies dumped in a bog, in Ireland, presumably during the course of war.
I will take it all in, make my guesses toward understanding and then look up more about the book and author online.
To me it is an impressive piece of writing. What a great discovery from a garage sale! Wow.
I will probably transcribe one of the other pieces from the book and post it here at some point in the near future. (for the record)
I went for a walk over the dunes again this morning to the sea, then turned right along the surf rounded a naked headland and returned along the inlet shore: it was muggy sunny, the wind from the sea steady and high, crisp in the running sand, some breakthroughs of sun but after a bit continuous overcast: the walk liberating, I was released from forms, from the perpendiculars, straight lines, blocks, boxes, binds of thought into the hues, shadings, rises, flowing bends and blends of sight: I allow myself eddies of meaning: yield to a direction of significance running like a stream through the geography of my work: you can find in my sayings swerves of action like the inlet’s cutting edge: there are dunes of motion, organizations of grass, white sandy paths of remembrance in the overall wandering of mirroring mind: but Overall is beyond me: is the sum of these events I cannot draw, the ledger I cannot keep, the accounting beyond the account: in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of primrose more or less dispersed; disorderly orders of bayberry; between the rows of dunes, irregular swamps of reeds, though not reeds alone, but grass, bayberry, yarrow, all ... predominantly reeds: I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries, shutting out and shutting in, separating inside from outside: I have drawn no lines: as manifold events of sand change the dune’s shape that will not be the same shape tomorrow, so I am willing to go along, to accept the becoming thought, to stake off no beginnings or ends, establish no walls: by transitions the land falls from grassy dunes to creek to undercreek: but there are no lines, though change in that transition is clear as any sharpness: but “sharpness” spread out, allowed to occur over a wider range than mental lines can keep: the moon was full last night: today, low tide was low: black shoals of mussels exposed to the risk of air and, earlier, of sun, waved in and out with the waterline, waterline inexact, caught always in the event of change: a young mottled gull stood free on the shoals and ate to vomiting: another gull, squawking possession, cracked a crab, picked out the entrails, swallowed the soft-shelled legs, a ruddy turnstone running in to snatch leftover bits: risk is full: every living thing in siege: the demand is life, to keep life: the small white blacklegged egret, how beautiful, quietly stalks and spears the shallows, darts to shore to stab—what? I couldn’t see against the black mudflats—a frightened fiddler crab? the news to my left over the dunes and reeds and bayberry clumps was fall: thousands of tree swallows gathering for flight: an order held in constant change: a congregation rich with entropy: nevertheless, separable, noticeable as one event, not chaos: preparations for flight from winter, cheet, cheet, cheet, cheet, wings rifling the green clumps, beaks at the bayberries a perception full of wind, flight, curve, sound: the possibility of rule as the sum of rulelessness: the “field” of action with moving, incalculable center: in the smaller view, order tight with shape: blue tiny flowers on a leafless weed: carapace of crab: snail shell: pulsations of order in the bellies of minnows: orders swallowed, broken down, transferred through membranes to strengthen larger orders: but in the large view, no lines or changeless shapes: the working in and out, together and against, of millions of events: this, so that I make no form of formlessness: orders as summaries, as outcomes of actions override or in some way result, not predictably (seeing me gain the top of a dune, the swallows could take flight—some other fields of bayberry could enter fall berryless) and there is serenity: no arranged terror: no forcing of image, plan, or thought: no propaganda, no humbling of reality to precept: terror pervades but is not arranged, all possibilities of escape open: no route shut, except in the sudden loss of all routes: I see narrow orders, limited tightness, but will not run to that easy victory: still around the looser, wider forces work: I will try to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening scope, but enjoying the freedom that Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision, that I have perceived nothing completely, that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.
One Train May Hide Another
(sign at a railroad crossing in Kenya)
In a poem, one line may hide another line, As at a crossing, one train may hide another train. That is, if you are waiting to cross The tracks, wait to do it for one moment at Least after the first train is gone. And so when you read Wait until you have read the next line-- Then it is safe to go on reading. In a family one sister may conceal another, So, when you are courting, it's best to have them all in view Otherwise in coming to find one you may love another. One father or one brother may hide the man, If you are a woman, whom you have been waiting to love. So always standing in front of something the other As words stand in front of objects, feelings, and ideas. One wish may hide another. And one person's reputation may hide The reputation of another. One dog may conceal another On a lawn, so if you escape the first one you're not necessarily safe; One lilac may hide another and then a lot of lilacs and on the Appia Antica one tomb May hide a number of other tombs. In love, one reproach may hide another, One small complaint may hide a great one. One injustice may hide another--one colonial may hide another, One blaring red uniform another, and another, a whole column. One bath may hide another bath As when, after bathing, one walks out into the rain. One idea may hide another: Life is simple Hide Life is incredibly complex, as in the prose of Gertrude Stein One sentence hides another and is another as well. And in the laboratory One invention may hide another invention, One evening may hide another, one shadow, a nest of shadows. One dark red, or one blue, or one purple--this is a painting By someone after Matisse. One waits at the tracks until they pass, These hidden doubles or, sometimes, likenesses. One identical twin May hide the other. And there may be even more in there! The obstetrician Gazes at the Valley of the Var. We used to live there, my wife and I, but One life hid another life. And now she is gone and I am here. A vivacious mother hides a gawky daughter. The daughter hides Her own vivacious daughter in turn. They are in A railway station and the daughter is holding a bag Bigger than her mother's bag and successfully hides it. In offering to pick up the daughter's bag one finds oneself confronted by the mother's And has to carry that one, too. So one hitchhiker May deliberately hide another and one cup of coffee Another, too, until one is over-excited. One love may hide another love or the same love As when "I love you" suddenly rings false and one discovers The better love lingering behind, as when "I'm full of doubts" Hides "I'm certain about something and it is that" And one dream may hide another as is well known, always, too. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve may hide the real Adam and Eve. Jerusalem may hide another Jerusalem. When you come to something, stop to let it pass So you can see what else is there. At home, no matter where, Internal tracks pose dangers, too: one memory Certainly hides another, that being what memory is all about, The eternal reverse succession of contemplated entities. Reading A Sentimental Journey look around When you have finished, for Tristram Shandy, to see If it is standing there, it should be, stronger And more profound and theretofore hidden as Santa Maria Maggiore May be hidden by similar churches inside Rome. One sidewalk May hide another, as when you're asleep there, and One song hide another song: for example "Stardust" Hide "What Have They Done to the Rain?" Or vice versa. A pounding upstairs Hide the beating of drums. One friend may hide another, you sit at the foot of a tree With one and when you get up to leave there is another Whom you'd have preferred to talk to all along. One teacher, One doctor, one ecstasy, one illness, one woman, one man May hide another. Pause to let the first one pass. You think, Now it is safe to cross and you are hit by the next one. It can be important To have waited at least a moment to see what was already there.
Tessanne Chin wasn’t my pick to win The Voice last season but her performance of this new song, presumably titled Everything Reminds Me of You, was my favorite performance from the show tonight. I think she may have a hit on her hands.
Originally posted on muags:
The rats of potent truth
come at night
to eat my bones
learn my secrets
me too well now
my flavour is beginning
their pursuit has been
a waste of time
There is no new information
in my organs
My heart tastes like
Sangria and buttered toast,
the arteries are clogged