Friday, May 23, 2014

Hot stuff

Today has been an interesting and mostly enjoyable day so far, not even counting this wonderful weather we're finally enjoying. This morning we went looking for a boat that comes close to what we want and can afford. The best we saw has a few drawbacks and so we're checking it against what else is available. Even more exciting, from my perspective, is that on the way home from White Bear Lake we stumbled across a controlled burn at Bald Eagle Lake Regional Park and I had my good camera in the car. I'm not a fire bug, but a couple of years ago, using iMovie, I created a poem / photography piece on prairie grasses, part of which referred to prairie fire. The photo I had to use was what I had, not what I wanted. So, ever since, I've been looking for an opportunity to replace it with a photo of an actual prairie burning. If you're interested, here's the YouTube version of the original. Sometime soon I'l create and upload a revised version. As Paul Valery has written "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." Maybe I'll finally abandon the prairie grasses suite after the soon to be done update. Here's one of the shots I took this morning that I'm considering as replacement for the one in the iMovie.

prairie restoration controlled burn
prairie restoration controlled burn          © harrington

Today was also just the right day for taking photos of the Spring beauty of my home territory. I need to look up this bush to find out what it is. The trees are mostly aspen, with a few maples and pines in the background. The heron is a recent (returning?) visitor to the local pond. Happy Spring. I wish you all an enjoyable, wonderful, memory filled holiday weekend.

blooming bushes
blooming bushes                         © harrington

local leafing out
local leafing out                         © harrington

blue heron fishing
blue heron fishing                   © harrington

Memorial Day

By Michael Anania 
It is easily forgotten, year to
year, exactly where the plot is,
though the place is entirely familiar—
a willow tree by a curving roadway   
sweeping black asphalt with tender leaves;

damp grass strewn with flower boxes,
canvas chairs, darkskinned old ladies
circling in draped black crepe family stones,   
fingers cramped red at the knuckles, discolored   
nails, fresh soil for new plants, old rosaries;

such fingers kneading the damp earth gently down   
on new roots, black humus caught in grey hair   
brushed back, and the single waterfaucet,
birdlike upon its grey pipe stem,
a stream opening at its foot.

We know the stories that are told,
by starts and stops, by bent men at strange joy   
regarding the precise enactments of their own   
gesturing. And among the women there will be   
a naming of families, a counting off, an ordering.

The morning may be brilliant; the season
is one of brilliances—sunlight through
the fountained willow behind us, its splayed   
shadow spreading westward, our shadows westward,   
irregular across damp grass, the close-set stones.

It may be that since our walk there is faltering,
moving in careful steps around snow-on-the-mountain,   
bluebells and zebragrass toward that place
between the willow and the waterfaucet, the way   
is lost, that we have no practiced step there,
and walking, our own sway and balance, fails us.

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