March 13th, 2008

Book Cover

Good Morning!

Book Cover

Good Morning!

Jane and I returned to our morning writing today.  We agree the book is complete.

She is on a new exploration, writing by hand in her journal.   I am still in explore, and I sit this morning and these words come, capturing my morning dream and integrating it into my life.




There is no fog here, I say over the phone,

and then the lights across the way



and the caws of the crows

and the tweets of little birds

connect and stitch what is unseen


an echolocation system

opening my mind as the fog wraps

even more closely to define


the stream that is mine.

Like a salmon

I swim upstream


and examine my morning dream.

A woman, a neighbor I have never seen puts her face close to mine,

and demands I take down the structural support of my fence.


My son Chris though years younger and smaller than the other children,

says he has to join the team and he marches onto the bus.

I remember him determined to cross the monkey bars as a child,


even though he was much younger than the others. 

I sat, at the time, watching as he dropped and fell into the water trap

over and over again, and then, he was all the way across.


Now, I look up, and the fog has cleared.

Introspection is over, the dream incorporated

and folded in a pack, and today I will be the little guy,


knowing I have to do this,

cross the bars while honoring the support

of the fence.


In my case there really is no fence.  The yards blend

open to skunks and deer.   The hill rises,

a seat for sky.   






snow and ashes - small

Spring Cleanse -

I close old files and begin new ones, go down to Whole Foods for an organic chicken, fruits and vegetables.  I cut up onions, leeks, garlic, celery, carrots, and parsnips and add the chicken, water, and wine.   The chicken simmers as I make a broth with the giblets, and just now, gobble them down. 

I will make a wonderful soup for tonight, get out into the yard, catch up today on all the things that have been lagging as Jane and I worked hard to finish the book.  It feels lovely to say this is my day to cleanse in and out, my digestive system, and what surrounds, the plants and the yard.  I have some special substance to apply to the yard from Terry that will improve the soil.  The plants await; the broth simmers; the chicken cooks, and I feel warm, full, comfortable, gentle, open, pleased, whole.
Book Cover

Looking for "truth" -

We are still in quite a discussion on Connection Well around the subject of "truth" in memoir.  It seems to have hit a nerve.

One person mentions asking those we admire, William Stafford, for example, and considering how he might address this subject of fiction and memoir, if he were still alive.  

I go to look for one poem by William Stafford and find this one.

Poetry by William Stafford - A Ritual To Read To Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

alan's flowers

Two more poems by William Stafford -

Poetry by William Stafford - Allegiances

It is time for all the heroes to go home
if they have any, time for all of us common ones
to locate ourselves by the real things
we live by.

Far to the north, or indeed in any direction,
strange mountains and creatures have always lurked-
elves, goblins, trolls, and spiders:-we
encounter them in dread and wonder,

But once we have tasted far streams, touched the gold,
found some limit beyond the waterfall,
a season changes, and we come back, changed
but safe, quiet, grateful.

Suppose an insane wind holds all the hills
while strange beliefs whine at the traveler's ears,
we ordinary beings can cling to the earth and love
where we are, sturdy for common things.

Poetry by William Stafford - Ask Me

Some time when the river is ice ask me
mistakes I have made. Ask me whether
what I have done is my life. Others
have come in their slow way into
my thought, and some have tried to help
or to hurt: ask me what difference
their strongest love or hate has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can turn and look
at the silent river and wait. We know
the current is there, hidden; and there
are comings and goings from miles away
that hold the stillness exactly before us.
What the river says, that is what I say.