japonisme: enough for any heaven

26 May 2010

enough for any heaven


Who would have thought
the afterlife would
look so much like Ohio?
A small town place,
thickly settled
among deciduous trees.
I lived for what seemed
a very short time.
Several things did not work out.

Casually almost,
I became another one
of the departed,
but I had never imagined
the tunnel of hot wind that pulls
the newly dead
into the dry Midwest
and plants us like corn. I am

not alone, but I am restless.
There is such sorrow
in these geese, flying over,
trying to find a place to land
in the miles and miles
of parking lots
that once were soft wetlands. They seem

as puzzled as I am
about where to be.
Often they glide,
in what I guess is
a consultation with each other,
getting their bearings,
as I do when
I stare out my window
and count up

what I see. It's not much really:
one buckeye tree,
three white frame houses,
one evergreen,
five piles of yellow leaves.
This is not enough
for any heaven I had dreamed,
but I am taking the long view.

There must be a backcountry
of the beyond,
beyond even this and farther out,
past the dark smoky city
on the shore
of Lake Erie, through the landlocked passages
to the Great Sweetwater Seas.

Maggie Anderson

From A Space Filled with Moving, University of Pittsburgh Press. Copyright © 1991 by Maggie Anderson.
(the top image is from here)

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Anonymous evan said...

I live in MD, but my college years were in IN. To get there, I drove I70 across the breadth of Ohio. One very long ribbon of concrete. I had no idea I was also driving through Hades. I guess when we find the place we call home, we fall in love with it (not necessarily in that order), even if that place is Ohio.

27 May, 2010 10:37  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

well, i grew up outside of detroit, and i will tell you the idea of the midwest being a taste of hell is not totally unfamiliar to me.

27 May, 2010 10:49  
Blogger Yoli said...

Thank you for gracing my blogs with your presence. Your link to the button was so appreciated, you nailed it. I love these images as I am forever in love with birds.

01 June, 2010 10:02  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

part of my unfacable sorrow about the pelicans

01 June, 2010 10:44  

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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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