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Un-genuine Understanding

Why are you telling me stories,
And why don’t you tell me instead,
Things that are honest and truthful,
And not just made up in your head?

Thoughts and opinions, and off-the-cuff wisdom:
Oh sure, everybody’s entitled.
Who really if, what, when, why, where he gets ’em,
Or maybe it’s just not important?

Y’ know?

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Isn’t?

Listen to people talking these days. Seems English on its way to eliminating state-of-being verbs altogether.

Not sure if I don’t like it.

January

For Mrs. J. White–rather late I’m afraid.

January beckons from across the year-divide.
She is strong, and she pledges herself to the bold.
She is not easy. She is no tender bride,
But her charms are deep; her dowry, rarest gold.

Time and a New December

In view of the passage of time, I write this. It’s much like Tolkien’s elves, time. Solemn and grey the elves passed from green home to Grey Havens, and thence to Valinor, never to awe a mortal eye again. Each one, having lived an age, bears the pregnant weight of an age’s memories. And the elves all finally go home, go home, returning from whence they came. And when they have gone, what? A new world is born.

A poem without much verse to it; lines tied together at the ends like shoestrings, with little to no attention paid to line-length or regularity of meter, like as one in haste snatches two socks from the drawer.

For Jennifer

A new December dawns today, new to all the world,
And tightly in the fog above are precious seconds furled,
Or falling all around us with the virgin snowbuds bright.
Cloud-cloaked is the sun; its hidden store of beams of light,
Is planted in the soil beyond the reach of human eyes.
Look! Snowflake upon snowflake rings with splendor as it flies,
Catch one on your tongue; it melts and others drown away:
And so is every second of the time we call today.

My most exuberant thanks to Unknowing, who can speak of poetry. I am learning to learn.

Context

The pun is mightier than the sword, for the sword cleaves the flesh of man for a moment, but a pun can trivialize very God to a generation.

How Things Sneak Up

Did I think I had spelled it correctly? I no longer know, but I am a little disturbed to find that I have spelled, though in parts, “claustrophobic” as “clausterphobic.” Nothing of much consequence, but worth pointing out lest I cause confusion. Surely the world is full enough of it without those who wish they knew better making more.

Something of a little more consequence: I recently had the chance to visit my favorite place in the progressing city of Willmar. And arriving, I laughed! Amid the muddles of my memory, my description of that certain “Favored Crossing” was grossly mistaken. I remember now–after the truth of my error has had its fun at my expense–that as I wrote it, I was thinking how cleanly each of the four branches from the intersection contrasted with its opposite along the same line, how like to semi-illuminated moons were the perpendicular streets, darkness on one side, light on the other. . . . How wrong I was!

Anyone who has seen the intersection of which I spoke (Litchfield Ave. SW and 4th Street SW, I believe.) knows that it is really very unlike my description. It is so unlike that I am in no small way embarrassed that I had believed for so long that it indeed was like my description. I guess in my case, when fancy and memory compete, fancy wins.

I intended that post to be an approximate–if somewhat romanticized–description of that real place in a real city. I failed, building instead an imaginary picture from collected puzzle-pieces of visual data. And now that picture is shaken again to pieces: The edifices before which I seemed to stand in awe are now a disjointed body of random buildings, their histories, forgotten, their characters, shattered.

But such is the meeting of the imperfect world and an idealistic imagination, is it not? Art in any form sees what is in the world and, instead of showing it “like it is” in all its bleak candidness, beautifies it by painting the perfection it approximates, the real reality it represents.

Now I really should find a copy of a certain book by Roger Scruton. Then I might know what I’m saying . . .

Sweet for the Spirit

For Laurel Sheepskinner, Her Flowery Majesty, High Queen of Bees

Active bees of swarms produce;
Roving tight battalions loose,
Hunger on the meadow-flower.
‘Neath that army’s massive power,
Shyly slouching Beauty’s-Child,
Bends herself submissive, mild.

Thence to home they bear the prize.
Fierce, the works ‘fore secret eyes:
Crawling, making, toiling on,
Cease not till the work is done.
Ancient, soulless soldier-farm,
Gathers gold and does no harm.

Sweet sleep which guards the tranquil night,
Is like this trove of bounty bright.
For sleep will fell,
Sharp fears, and quell,
Our swarming thoughts grown big by day,
And lay them resting, tucked away.