Thursday, March 10, 2016

March 10: Make-up Post, Jonathan Johnson, "Soliloquy of the Presque Isle Sasquatch"

Yes, I owe you a couple of make-up posts.  Tuesday I was doing my lesson plans for Wednesday.  Wednesday, I was too tired from staying up late on Tuesday.  But, I didn't want to shortchange the Poet of the Week, Jonathan Johnson..

Tonight's poem combines two of my favorite things:  poetry and Sasquatch.  It also has a streak of melancholy running through its center, and that appeals to me tonight.  I am proud to say that I had a hand in publishing this poem last year.

So, without further adieu, Saint Marty presents . . .

Soliloquy of the Presque Isle Sasquatch

by:  Jonathan Johnson

                              for Sam and Avalyn Billman

Mostly, it's not so bad, you in your houses,
me in these bowers deep from your road and trails.
When the grass and fern grow high in the sun
that comes down for an hour through the gap
high in the cover of beech and maple, pine,
hemlock and oak, I lie, doubly hidden.
I listen to your cars idling the narrow
tunnel though forest and slowly out again,
where the asphalt curves back with the coast.
I hear your babble from where you walk by,
cries of your young at play in the clearing,
though your voices most often come soft, smooth
as the grass and fern.  You do not know your grace,
here.  For company at night I watch your lights
pulse and quiet and pulse, the red, the white
far down shore and out where the water's dark
horizon ends in stars.  Back out of the wind,
just into the sheltering woods, from my cliff top
I consider you in your town, a constellation
that seems to fit the palm of my extended hand.
Winter's no problem either.  All this fur.
It goes white.  And though I don't hibernate,
I snooze a lot, grow thin on stashed pine nuts
and the occasional squirrel that stashed them.
I make precious few footprints and keep to caves
you don't know, hidden far down sheer faces
at frozen water's edge, and watch the snow
outside the thin entrance snake over the ice.
In spring among  trillium I remember;
I wasn't always alone.  My fur darkens.
So if you think you glimpse me dash between trees
at the shady far end of sight, know I'm happy
enough, living like this.  Mostly it's good.
Only in hard rain (like today), sheltered in my cave
where waves push in and rattle the pebbles back out,
do I sometimes wish otherwise, wish myself
among you, and think of your warm houses.

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