Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7: Restless as Birds, Spring, Poet of the Week, Jonathan Johnson, "Thirty"

The woods were as restless as birds...

Yes, that's it.  One sentence.  One beautiful sentence.  I can almost see the ashes, maples, sourwood, sassafras, locusts, catalpas, and oaks jittering in the wind and sun.  That's what Dillard is describing with those seven words.  It's a line that makes me think of warmth and mud. 

Today was all light and melt.  When I stepped outside this afternoon, I could hear water.  Dripping from buildings and trees.  Running down the streets in rivers.  I love days like today.  It made me believe in spring and summer again.  There's a time in an Upper Peninsula winter when it seems like the world will be like Narnia under the White Witch's spell.  Eternal snow and ice and cold.  And then, a thaw.  A hibernation-ending day.

That's what I want to say this evening.  That's it.  Short and simple.  Spring is on the way.  It's just around the corner. 

I'm going to pick someone familiar to me as Poet of the Week.  I want to feel comfortable, at home.  So, it's Jonathan Johnson--a friend of mine.  I went to school with him. have known him for over 25 years.  He's a great guy, a fantastic poet.

Saint Marty is ready for spring and poetry.


by:  Jonathan Johnson

Give me a moment, sun gone to shapeless
cloud at evening and wall of trees where field
is done and the unspeakable questions begin,
birch, oak, beech, poplar, hemlock, black bark spruce,
fence of wrought iron companions and stone block
corners, stone, grass, leaves, and tear the moment
down the middle. A mower has shaved the lawn.
Thin, tip broken sabres of grass are softer
than air, by which I mean absence, and cold.
Tear the moment open, the sentence of
your life falling in two, a space wood ducks
on the pond swim into. One Moment. One.
And another. Incidentally, a Jeep
Cherokee is parked on the mini-road,
feet from headstones, owners absent since before
I got here. It’s a Grand. Gold trimmed forest.
Green of starting over, a deeper green
than the new grass growing from the cut ends
of the old. Don’t give it another thought.

I hate Mondays . . .

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