Our internet has been broken for three days! It’s the result of a tremendous thunder and lightening storm, with more strikes all at once than I’ve ever seen. It’s funny, this life thing, because, it just so happens that I’m teaching one class The Wasteland this week, and we just read “What The Thunder Said”.
So, I guess I have to post three poems today. It would be nice if I had three written, but what I have is a bunch of poemshards and a birthday party (mine) to attend. But, but! I’m poeming from my office, which HP finished for my birthday. It is lovely, to have a room of one’s own. I feel spoiled, and I am. What lilystruck luck is this? This life of mine? Sometimes it is so good that I get the feeling that certain doom must lie ahead, because no one deserves this much, especially me. Actually, I pretty much always have that feeling. Is that normal? I’d like to hear from you on this one, poemies.
Better get started here. A couple of days ago I started a poem about the fair I went to growing up, in Superior, MT, so I’ll lead with that.
Mineral County Fair
Here I am again, small and waiting for the county fair. Here I am in the ring light, skipping in the dust barn fumes while the tailgate crafters pack it up for the day, mourn brief their unsolds, and turn on the headlights toward this dancing town. All the ribbons have been won, we like the sheep and pigs best, and the H’s, head, heart, hands, health, not a single H comes first, they link like clover, when the contests are done and the stick food eaten, the calves roped and the clowns safe, then they dance it off. They dance off the mortgages, the hard buzz of the timber slump, the closing of the mill, they two-step right on over that, with christmas lights strung up above the danceground, and we twirl, we wee ones, with sparklers in the hard-won dusk.
Aw. I miss the fair. This North Idaho one just isn’t the same as the backwoods MT ones. So, my new plan, given that it is late and post-birthday boat/party, is to write two poems today and two tomorrow. It’s a good plan, I think. If I do this next one and still feel poemy, I’ll go ahead and go with it, but at the moment I am so full and sun-heavy that I’m already thinking about bed, and it’s not even 10:00. I’m going to save the poem-pieces I wrote earlier this week for tomorrow, and access the fresh boat poemshards of today. It’s good to get out on the lake once a year, because we live here, and we deserve more than the shore. We are now on the five-year boat plan. Also, sidenote, who are these castle-builders up here along the shoreline? Who has castles? Would they be offended if I just pulled up and asked, hey, so, just curious, how did you make your living? Was it by teaching at-risk youth, by chance? Because, word. Just call me Captain.
What do I know? What do I know about this land? What do I know about the bushes that ripen into black pearl? I know because it is recorded in my carla emery encyclopedia, in pen on the finesoft paper, about when to reap. I know about when it is going to snow, and I know the smell of a melting wind the second I step out the door. I know the minute fall begins, and I know the heft of sunburn in deep summer. I know this land.
We spend all our time on shore but deserve a boat. What if the helpers owned the castles? What if the teachers and artists outpaced the manufacturers, what if care was reimbursed accordingly? Wouldn’t we all be the heart-sung, then?
What do I know? I know the star-poses this time of year, where the bright spots lie up, and I know the insect calls, I know the names of the flowers, indian paintbrush and columbine, lupin and daisy and foxglove, I know trillium,
on the shoreline.
Here’s where we dream the boat dreams, and wonder if money might be evil, and suppose it must be, because we are not, and we hard try every moment. Here up on the shore we wonder at those toys, how they must be fun, how we wonder at those toys and moneyed children,
from the banks.
Here is what I know: the lacquer-light on the creekflow that froths over rocks, where to lay the line for cutthroat, how to get it out there, that’s the most I know in any given day. On any given day I know the lines of the goose flight on into
the friscalating dusklight just offshore.
I promised HP I would try to include that last line at some point this year, and so I did. Allusion! In my dreams, forty years from now someone will look that up and be like, “whup der it is”. Happy Saturday, my dear poemfriends.