Friday, April 7, 2017

"Book 'em, Danno" #NPM17 #phenology

The title of today's posting borrows an iconic line of dialog from the original tv program "Hawaii 5-0." It incorporates by reference both the bear that ate our front bird feeder last night, and a way to celebrate the seventh day of National Poetry Month.

Photo by J. Harrington

As to the bear, there's a photo of the evidence above. There's not much in the woods to eat these days so I understand the raid. Then I went to see if s/he had also helped him or her self to the feeder on the back yard deck. As I opened the walkout sliding door, I spooked a turkey gobbling at the top of the ridge behind the house, which, in turn, as it ran from the sound of the door sliding, startled a whitetail deer that had been ambling along farther away, through a field between two patches of woods. So, at the start of the day, aided and abetted by a bear, I caused quite a ruckus in the neighborhood. There you have one of the innumerable pleasures of country living.

Back to #NPM17. Today, please try to go "Buy a book of poetry from your local bookstore." (The link to the immediate left takes you to Indie Bound's web site.) Minnesota has a number of book stores that are poetry-friendly listed on the Academy of American Poets web site (scroll to the third page for Minnesota book store listings), including many I can personally vouch for. (The list doesn't include the book store at Fitger's in Duluth, which has a decent selection of local poets' works.) The Better Half [BH] has banned me from entry to any of my known haunts until I have reduced my current stack of unread poetry books by at least 50%. (This conflicts with my belief that I can't die if my stack of unread books is high enough. [height unspecified] For any of you familiar with the Vietnam War, BH and I are currently negotiating the shape of table for further negotiations regarding unread stack heights.) Meanwhile, poets like Mary Oliver keep writing more poems, like the one below about a bear and the seed on Cape Cod.
national poetry month logo

The Truro Bear

A poem by Mary Oliver

There’s a bear in the Truro woods.
People have seen it - three or four,
or two, or one. I think
of the thickness of the serious woods
around the dark bowls of the Truro ponds;
I think of the blueberry fields, the blackberry tangles,
the cranberry bogs. And the sky
with its new moon, its familiar star-trails,
burns down like a brand-new heaver,
while everywhere I look on the scratchy hillsides
shadows seem to grow shoulders. Surely
a beast might be clever, be lucky, move quietly
through the woods for years, learning to stay away
from roads and houses. Common sense mutters:
it can’t be true, it must be somebody’s
runaway dog. But the seed
has been planted, and when has happiness ever
required much evidence to begin
its leaf-green breathing?

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