Map of my neighborhood!
Day 8’s assignment is to reach out to and reply to at least four blogs. I chose two Blogging 101 classmates, one former professor who runs a professional blog, and a friend and co-alum who maintains a blog of his daily interests and activities. But I am having so much fun getting responses back that I may just continue.
And today’s Epictetus quote:
about the poetry
The things that are
require and inspire
the poetry –
if only a line or two –
a word, a note, a tune;
formless and shapeless,
though still finite,
words are needed/
heeded to mark the memory,
to fix the experience
The infinite –
is poetry itself –
like meter and rhythm –
cycles that appear
and recede like ripples
of waves that touch
the shores of our dreams
from opposing sides,
of timeless thought and
The form of our finite lives
is also the poetry –
poetry that endures –
beyond the borders
that surround us:
the horizons that beckon us.
p.s. Today’s quote from Epictetus
Changed my blog title and tagline. I know the new title is a bit long; I have always been wordy. Phone screen cracked in a fall on cobblestone last Saturday. Got a replacement in the mail today. Made all the transfers – took me hours. Organized my ModPo notes from years past. Getting excited about September’s start. Eight postcards away, five received in #AugustPostcardPoetryFest. Not too shabby for the 3rd of the month. Coffee in the morning with an old friend, and a group call tomorrow night with the Stouffer Scholars, my fellow high school classmates. The Anne C. Stouffer Foundation found us and sent us to southern prep schools in a social experiment. Heel still aches from Saturday’s too long walk by the river. And by golly, this sounds like a poem!
Already missing this small piece of God’s green Earth. Western Carolina University.
Tonight, just past sunset, we’ll be able to see the Venus-Jupiter Conjunction. Old mariners, who used the stars to do celestial navigation, referred to these conjunctions as “double stars” because the two planets appeared as one bright star in the heavens. The Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, once located on Navy Hill in Foggy Bottom, specialized in detecting these “double stars” and informing mariners who might have otherwise mis-navigated or arrived at incorrect navigation calculations. We learned this when we (CUA’s student SLA chapter) toured the Naval Observatory Library early in 2014.
Long story short, I attended a lecture at CUA last spring of a Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist who make an early discovery about the existence of black holes in space. The two opposing ideas, the double star and the black hole, bouncing around in my brain, resulted in these three poems, which I am posting from the archives in observance of the Venus-Jupiter Conjunction tonight.
all my verse is about gardening
these days, the rains that feed,
the weeds that choke (which is
their right to do), the late frost
that kills the tender shoots from seeds
I planted too early.
my sunflowers are quite the ladies,
bashful, tender, as they approach
their flowering stage, the carrots
need more thinning, their tops
the brightest green, and the turnip
leaves too tough to eat.
but one of the weeds has edible
leaves – I’ll think I’ll let it grow.
gardening has given me
a different relationship
with the environment
than what I had before –
I fret a bit when it’s been dry –
and I worry when it rains
too long or too hard
or too frequently –
weeds are so much more adaptable –
and I have seeds in the ground,
and skin in the game.
The poet does not write and read, non-plussed,
For mere applause. His rhythms and his notes
Might give you pause: for him it’s true relief.
Approval is not the cause, nor the end
Of his efforts. He writes because he must:
An unformed phrase, a clause not spoken
Is like an Albatross that gives him grief
Until he edits out its flaws and sends
It to a waiting world of laws and dust.
He draws the strength from deep within: a lust
That gnaws at his soul and never grants respite,
Nor takes flight, nor withdraws to sleep at night.