||[Mar. 21st, 2010|11:57 pm]
By mid-afternoon the clouds shared the sky with the sun they'd obscured all morning. The landscape remains green for now, as the recent rains left it, and the new oak leaves look soft, and even sound soft when the breezes flutter them. At the care home to visit mom I saw a man in a wheelchair napping alone on the sunny balcony that overlooks the parking lot and, beyond that, the small arroyo where a stream runs this time of year. Looking up at the figure almost silhouetted against the shining sky I had the thought that this was a scene such as Edward Hopper would have painted. Sad that I can't draw and that my words fell into the silence of that scene.|
by Jack Gilbert
The monks petition to live the harder way,
in pits dug farther up the mountain,
but only the favored ones are permitted
that scraped life. The syrup-water and cakes
the abbot served me were far too sweet.
A simple misunderstanding of pleasure
because of inexperience. I pull water up
hand over hand from thirty feet of stone.
My kerosene lamp burns a mineral light.
The mind and its fierceness lives here in silence.
I dream of women and hunger in my valley
for what can be made of granite. Like the sun
hammering this earth into pomegranates
and grapes. Dryness giving way to the smell
of basil at night. Otherwise, the stone
feeds on stone, is reborn as rock,
and the heart wanes. Athena's owl calling
into the barrenness, and nothing answering.