Sunday, March 20, 2016

Meet Vern L. Equinox

Welcome, Spring! Nice to see you again! It's been awhile. Yesterday, we watched two sandhill cranes walk across a snow covered hillside. It was a lot like the old "picture of a ghost in a snow storm," since the cranes were in pale gray plumage. The last we saw of them, they looked like they were planning on using the lower level walkout door to enter a McMansion at the top of the hill.  Closer to home, the male purple finch below posed nicely for a portrait yesterday.

purple finch in oak
purple finch in oak
Photo by J. Harrington
Tomorrow is World Poetry Day and next month is National Poetry Month. Why the two don't overlap somehow is beyond me. Trying to keep poets organized is right up there with herding cats. I've been reading Terry Tempest Williams' Finding Beauty in a Broken World. It contains a number of quotations I love, including this one from Mary Midgley:
"When some portion of the biosphere is rather unpopular with the human race -- a crocodile, a dandelion, a stony valley, a snowstorm, an odd-shaped flint -- there are three sorts of human being who are particularly likely still to see point in it and befriend it. They are poets, scientists and children. Inside each of us, I suggest, representatives of all these groups may be found."
I can find inside me, most days, several representatives from each of those groups plus a number of others including juvenile delinquents, beatniks, hippies, red necks and some mongrel mixes. It make me think of E. B. White's wonderful observation:
"If the world were merely seductive," he noted, "that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."
Enjoy the unruly season. Feed the wild child within you.

True Myth

By Heid E. Erdrich

Tell a child she is composed of parts
(her Ojibway quarters, her German half-heart)
she'll find the existence of harpies easy
to swallow. Storybook children never come close
to her mix, but manticores make great uncles,
Sphinx a cousin she'll allow, centaurs better to love
than boys—the horse part, at least, she can ride.
With a bestiary for a family album she's proud.
Her heap of blankets, her garbage grin, prove
she's descended of bears, her totem, it's true.
And that German witch with the candy roof,
that was her ancestor too. If swans can rain
white rape from heaven, then what is a girl to do?
Believe her Indian eyes, her sly French smile,
her breast with its veins skim milk blue—
She is the myth that is true.


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