In a sky so still, sparrows,
like steam from a kettle, or arrows,
that know where old gods go
when they fly.
“In a Sky So Still”
Recently Banned Literature, May 20, 2014
Twelve Poems, Poets International
A Fairy Tale Pirate
There is, these days, the habit of reading aloud the journal of Henry David Thoreau, which affords a better hearing of that extensive part of him which he felt compelled to set down. It might be said that his is a companionable form of music, as any might be that is composed by a man who is a true friend of himself.
This morning, while it was raining, two ducks waddled through the drenched grass growing so rapidly in front of the house. Coming to a shallow puddle, the female of the pair waded in and simultaneously walked and swam to the other side, leading and scooping with her bill. The male came after but walked the long way around, appearing for all the world pleased and amused at his mate’s will to water. Next, they were both up on the narrow sidewalk immediately in front of this room’s big window. Then they went down the steps, crossed the driveway, crossed the garden space, and into the neighbor’s yard, after which this witness lost sight of them, and possibly even they of each other and themselves.
After a simple lunch, this same witness supposes it is not unusual to eat a banana, an apple, and an orange every day for a period of several months, and in the end call it winter, even when said period overlaps autumn and spring. Summer, though, is reserved for other fruits. There is never a craving for watermelon in January, or for citrus in July. For whatever reason, though, this excludes lemons, which appeal the whole year around. And yet it is on this afternoon in April that he suddenly remembers grapes are jewels, and that if he were a fairy tale pirate, it is with them that his chest would be filled.
April 6, 2019
[ 345 ]