Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Early Morning, New Hampshire

Near Wolfeboro,

near the vast, sparkling lake,

deep in the woods,

I swing

my legs over

the old wall and sit

on the iron-cold stones. The wall

is longer than any living thing, and quieter

than anything that breathes, as we

understand breathing...


raised it

stone by stone, each lagging weight

pulling the shoulders.


meant to sheet these green hills

with domesticity,

and did, for a while.

But not anymore

And now the unmaking

has naturally begun.

Stones fall...

This morning

something slips,

and I see it all-the yearning

then the blunt and paunchy flight,

then the sweet, dark falling.

I grew up in the southeast part of the United States where as wild, running children we wove through the remaining woods, often discovering walls or embankments from farms and from wars. There wasn't much that could give us pause, but a decaying wall always would. There was something in it that said we would not last forever, though in the summer's freedom we felt we could run into eternity. For brief moments we wondered about the world beyond, our imaginations overcoming the heat of boredom as we touched on the magic of sensing that we were part of something larger. I see, now decades later, that the decay of age, of civilizations, and of habitats, slows us down enough to fathom the deep yearning and meaning in the distance between our dreams and reality, and between what we have done, and what we might yet do.

What meaning do you find in the evidence of ancient people, history's signs, or geological movements near your modern home?

1 comment:

  1. Detroit, where I grew up, was made during the ice age when the glacier was receeding. I had a science teacher in grade school who took us on a bus tour of the hills around Detroit pointing out land forms ---layers of rock uplifted, smooth boulders that moved with the glacier and then dropped off, water tables that seep out of the rock layers and form little water falls, the little piles of stones created at the base caused by the continual wearing away.
    I found all of this fascinating. Over the years I have driven through the mountains. Man has carved away at the rock to build roads and towns. I think the most outstanding changes have occurred in Chatanooga. What used to be a scary drive down to the lake with hairpin turns has now become a man made beautiful scene that makes me feel like I'm on a movie set. Sometimes man has to respect the movement of the mountains and rebuild their roads and structure because though rocks seem solid and unmoveable they have a life of their own. Around here the terrain has become riddled with sink holes. I enjoy reading newspaper reports of houses falling into sink holes or off of a cliff with a landslide. I want to cheer, " Yeah! One for the Rock forms!"
    I am but a speck on the surface of earth, yet I am part of the greater whole. I don't think my house will fall into a sink hole, but it could be caused to lean. I live in High Springs where some realtor pointed out within the city limits there is some 150 or so sink holes. I give High Springs credit for making the big sink hole between City Hall and the Police Department and Post Office a park and gathering site. Shortly after I bought my house the weather was very dry and watering was rationed. One day I discovered a crack from the corner of a door up to the ceiling. The door wouldn't completely close any more. Being a procrastinator I didn't get a carpenter in to shave a bit off the door. After a spell of rainy days such as we've had recently I discovered the door now closes completely. The crack is still there, but narrower. It must have something to do with how my house floats on the water table. I love floating, be it while swimming or while living in a sink hole area. I could revise the words of "Blue Boat Home" limiting it to earth and something like, 'I've been floating all my life upon the earth.' Blue Boat Home is one of my all time favorites. I find a lot of meaning in it as it relates to my life.I am one with the earth and the universe, a warm, secure feeling.