japonisme: a man for all seasons: 1913

25 March 2010

a man for all seasons: 1913


East of me, west of me, full summer.

How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.

Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.

Day after day, I become of less use to myself.

Like this mockingbird,
I flit from one thing to the next.

What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?

Tomorrow is dark.

Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.

The sky dogs are whimpering.

Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
up from the damp grass.

Into the world's tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.

-- Charles Wright

From Chickamauga, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Copyright © 1995 by Charles Wright. All rights reserved.

I'm 62
Another day ignorant.
Here comes the sun anyway.
So beautiful I could just pee my pants.
Frost wore diapers after 70
his daughter told his biographer
he'd get so excited.
It doesn't get easier.
I just filleted a yellow perch
I caught an hour ago in the bay.
Its lone gut unfolded
like origami,
one sandshrimp after another.
You see what I mean?
I live alone to spare myself,
another, the intensity of feelings
even a little bird brings on
eating the bread crumbs
I put out the night before.

-- Tom Crawford
Orion Magazine

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Anonymous evan said...

The art is wonderful. The day is gloomy & since, like the line in the poem, I'm fifty-four, all it seems I have to look forward to are darker days. Perhaps the best way to shut up the sky dogs is to throw them a bone- so, later today- to the market. T.C.'s a downer. It's spring. Who cares if the mind is having fantasies & making promises a middle-aged body can't keep. What else are dreams for?

26 March, 2010 10:39  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

well, i'm 62, and i just came across the crawford poem a few days ago, and i was ecstatic! i didn't find it gloomy at all, but rather a celebration of those of us who have reached a certain age, who marvel like children at the bird that eats the crumbs, to *feel* so strongly that he fears anyone else in the room could just get blown away!

26 March, 2010 10:50  
Blogger consciousnesswalk said...

Both of these poems caused in me that feeling of shock of recognition that somehow art sometimes manages to cause. It's a joyful feeling.

26 March, 2010 14:40  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

it's great to share that with you! this morning i lay out in the garden with ruby, a calico, just looking at the grass and reading, and a bewick's wren began to sing and i got tears in my eyes.

it's just that simple, eh?

26 March, 2010 15:45  
Anonymous evan said...

I have to laugh at the idea that Frost (after 70) would get so excited about stuff he'd pee himself. Interesting how things resonate differently...I can totally identify with how some simple, natural thing can blow you away. The idea that somebody would choose to live alone to spare other people the intensity of their feelings...nah. A coopers hawk swoops into the yard & perches...my first thought is what a shame my GF missed it, & to grab a camera & call her downstairs, to share in what remains of the moment.

Wrens. Such big songs from such a tiny bird.

27 March, 2010 08:54  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

yes! and i don'tknow about other wrens, but the bewicks changes songs. one day he'll sing one thing and the next he'll sing another that's completely different. but for a certain pattern with which one becomes familiar over time. but it took me forever to figure that all out and finally make an id.

and yeah-- i do know what you mean. like when there's a rainbow around the sun, or a sundog, i always have to show somebody. and i do take photos of bugs et al quite often, mostly to show to other people. but still... when i traveled to japan, for example, it would never occur to me to be anything but alone, so all impressions could be absorbed by the skin, no intermediary.

and lying in the grass, the same.

27 March, 2010 09:50  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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