Monthly Archives: October 2012

Day 36 | Samhain by Annie Finch

Samhain
Annie Finch

(The Celtic Halloween)

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother’s mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
“Carry me.” She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

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Day 35 | Son of Fog by Dean Young

Son of Fog
Dean Young

When the fog burns off and the air’s pulverized

diamonds and you can see beyond the islands

of forever!—far too dramatic for me. It hurts

something behind my eyes near the sphenoid,

not good. I prefer fog with fog behind it,

uninflammable fog. Then there’s no competition

for brightness, no Byron for your Shelley,

no Juno eclipsing your Athena, no big bridge

statement about bringing unity to landmasses.

All the thought balloons are blank. The marching

band can’t practice, even a bird’s got to get

within five feet before it can start an argument.

Like dead flies on the sill of an abandoned

nursery, we too are seeds in the rattle

of mortality. A foglike baby god

picks it up, shakes it, laughs insanely

then goes back to playing with her feet.

I have felt awful cold and lonely and fog

has been blotting paper to my tears.

My dog is fog and I don’t have to scoop

its poop with my hand in a plastic bag.

There are sensations that begin in the world,

the mind responding with ideas but then

those ideas cause other sensations.

What a mess. We stand at the edge

of a drop that doesn’t answer back,

fog our only friend although it’s hell

on shrimpboats. There, there, says the fog.

Where, where? You can’t see a thing.

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Day 30 | Gooseberry Fool by Amy Clampitt

Gooseberry Fool
Amy Clampitt

The gooseberry’s no doubt an oddity,
an outlaw or pariah even—thorny
and tart as any
kindergarten martinet, it can harbor
like a fernseed, on its leaves’ under-
side, bad news for pine trees,
whereas the spruce
resists the blister rust
it’s host to. That veiny Chinese
lantern, its stolid jelly
of a fruit, not only has
no aroma but is twice as tedious
as the wild strawberry’s sunburst
stem-end appendage: each one must
be between-nail-snipped at both extremities.

 

Altogether, gooseberry virtues
take some getting
used to, as does trepang,
tripe à la mode de Caen,
or having turned thirteen.
The acerbity of all things green
and adolescent lingers in
it—the arrogant, shrinking,
prickling-in-every-direction thorn-
iness that loves no company except its,
or anyhow that’s what it gets:
bristling up through gooseberry ghetto sprawl
are braced thistles’ silvery, militantly symmetrical
defense machineries. Likewise inseparably en-
tangled in the disarray of an
uncultivated childhood, where gooseberry bushes (since
rooted out) once flourished, is
the squandered volupté of lemon-
yellow-petaled roses’ luscious flimflam—
an inkling of the mingling into one experience
of suave and sharp, whose supremely im-
probable and far-fetched culinary
embodiment is a gooseberry fool.

 

Tomorrow, having stumbled into
this trove of chief ingredients
(the other being very thickest cream)
I’ll demonstrate it for you. Ever since,
four summers ago, I first brought you,
a gleeful Ariel, the trophy
of a small sour handful,
I’ve wondered what not quite articulated thing
could render magical
the green globe of an unripe berry.
I think now it was simply
the great globe itself’s too much to carry.
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