Why this?

The occasional poem of my own and a generous helping of work by others that I find inspiring. Site is named for a beloved book by one of my favorite writers, Italo Calvino, whose fanciful work lights--and delights--my soul.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pastoral

We turned our grief out to graze,
gave over the year's tender greening
across those slabbed hills,
sharp haunches pressing down the field,
what pain, what good taken down
to its root, the root taken, each green spear
until the year itself was consumed,
driven back to the mud it had once been.
When they turned with patient hunger
towards us--these warm beasts, rib-hull, pine-hull--
it was their course we followed, their lead
across the distance. Others chose philosophy,
we heard, or prayer. But we were the only ones
who lasted through the winter, we who offered up our homes
and our crops and everything we had once dared to build.
We knew it was the store and depth and cover from rain
we had given our grief--how we had grown to love the damp
heat
above even what we remembered of each other--
that in turn fed us what little we could take.

--Megan Snyder-Camp

A Few Remaining Trees

when i cross the country to visit, my father squeezes meeting
me
into shopping trips and work appointments
so his wife won't know
he breaches her order to steer clear
of the daughter who won't keep quiet.
and i can't deny it hurts to skulk
among aisles with my father instead of chatting
on his couch or driving to visit grandma.

yet, even this sham errand shelters the joy
of being two or three and riding aloft 
his shoulders at the Fourth of July parade.
there was the thrill of seeing everything for a me
normally lost amid grown-up legs
and the pride of being held high.  that moment inhabits us
like a ladyslipper
among a few remaining trees. 

--Ann Tweedy

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Hoses

I love the hoses of summer
hanging in their green coils
from the sides of houses,
or slithering through lawns
on their way to the cool
meditations of sprinklers.

I think of my father, scotch
in one hand, the dripping hose
in the other, probing the dusk
with water, the world
around him falling apart,
marriage crumbling, booze
running the show.
Still, he liked to walk out
after dinner and water the lawn,
fiddling with the nozzle,
misting this, showering that.

Sometimes, in the hot twilight,
my sisters and I would run
in our swimsuits through the yard
while he followed us
with a cold beam of water.

And once, when my mother
came out to watch, he turned
the hose on her, the two of them
laughing in a way we'd never heard,
a laughter that must have brought them
back to the beginning.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

On Moving Back to My Hometown

September 2012

I moved from one grand city to another 
city, smaller. Or so it’s felt, mostly—
this place minus millions, minus swarms
and quick hits, sweet roasted nuts,
infinite asphalt and towers above it.
This place, minus millions:
what to do with all that subtraction?

And yet, an opening:
On walking midday between neighborhoods,
eyes down (still the unwillingness
to acknowledge a new normal),
the scent of something so familiar,
so unmistakable—wrapped in pine air,
longing of lost school years;
hike to a high lake, dazzling crystal—
I caught. Just stood there, filling.
How that only felt more.

--me

Thursday, September 13, 2012

But all these suggestions are false

It is the lowered head that makes her seem less mobile than, say, a horse, or a deer surprised in the woods. More exactly, it is her lowered head and neck. As she stands still, the top of her head is level with her back, or even a little lower, and so she seems to be hanging her head in discouragement, embarrassment, or shame. There is at least a suggestion of humility and dullness about her. But all these suggestions are false.

--Lydia Davis 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Poem

Sometimes 
everything 
seems 
so 
oh, I don't know.

--Joe Brainard