Thursday, September 5, 2013

North by ...

photo of moon setting in the West
© harrington
Hello. Thanks for dropping by. I told you today's question from Where you at would be fairly easy. Here's question "19.    From where you’re reading this, point north." Now, we all know (don't we?) that both the sun and the moon rise in the east and set in the west (approximately). The picture above is of a setting moon off the back of the house. The front of the house faces east. As I look toward the west, north is to my right. Looking out the kitchen and dining room windows means I'm looking approximately north. I bet you can figure out a similar scheme where you're at. I think if we were in the southern hemisphere, it would still work pretty much the same. Here's a poem by Sherwin Bitsui with much to say about north.

Blankets of Bark
  by Sherwin Bitsui

Point north, north where they walk
in long blankets of curled bark,
dividing a line in the sand, smelling like cracked shell,
desert wind, river where they left you
calling wolves from the hills,
            a list of names
growling from within the whirlwind. 

Woman from the north,
lost sister who clapped at rain clouds.
We were once there
holding lightning bolts above the heads of sleeping snakes. 

Woman, sister, the cave wants our skin back,
it wants to shake our legs free from salt
and untwist our hair into strands of yarn
pulled rootless from the pocket of a man
who barks when he is reminded of the setting sun. 

At 5 A.M., crickets gather in the doorway,
each of them a handful of smoke,
crawling to the house of a weeping woman,
breaking rocks on the thigh of a man stretching,
ordering us to drop coins into her shadow,
saying, "There, that is where we were born." 

Born with leaves under our coats,
two years of solitude,
the sky never sailed from us,
we rowed toward it,
only to find a shell,
                    a house,
                          and a weeping woman.
Tomorrow's question, the last one, is unseasonable, but what are we going to do? Here it is "20.    What spring wildflower is consistently among the first to bloom where you live?