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Windblown [Feb. 8th, 2004|06:22 am]
As I expected, the wind has risen. Gusts are booming in the chimney and shaking the pine branches so their moon-cast shadows wave at me from the western facades of houses. Hello or good-bye? The night has an oddly autumnal feel to it, though winter is nearly half over. I expect to hear leaves skittering down the street. One pine cone fell, hitting the pavement with a loud clatter as it rolled, invisible. I now hear the crunch of pine needles underfoot as I walk along the driveway. I'm sure this sense of displacement has influenced my choice of poems this week:

The Descent of Winter

by William Carlos Williams


There are no perfect waves--
Your writings are a sea
full of misspellings and
faulty sentences. Level. Troubled

A center distant from the land
touched by the wings
of nearly silent birds
that never seem to rest--

This is the sadness of the sea--
waves like words, all broken--
a sameness of lifting and falling mood.

I lean watching the detail
of brittle crest, the delicate
imperfect foam, yellow weed
one piece like another--

There is no hope -- if not a coral
island slowly forming
to wait for birds to drop
the seed will make it habitable


that brilliant field
of rainwet orange
by the red grass
and oilgreen bayberry

the last yarrow
on the gutter
white by the sandy

and a white birch
with yellow leaves
and few
and loosely hung

and a young dog
jumped out
of the old barrel


in this strong light
the leafless beechtree
shines like a cloud

it seems to glow
of itself
with a soft stript light
of love
over the brittle

But there are
on second look
a few yellow leaves
still shaking
far apart

just one here one there
trembling vividly


[User Picture]From: daisydumont
2004-02-08 06:24 am (UTC)
those poems are so beautiful! i'd never read them before. thank you!
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[User Picture]From: leprosy
2004-02-08 06:52 am (UTC)
William Carlos Williams is one of my favorites.

These have the feeling of haiku without haiku's obsessive-compulsive strictures.
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[User Picture]From: tasteetriceps
2004-02-08 12:03 pm (UTC)

obsessive-compulsive strictures

That 5-7-5 thing they taught us in school sure ain't all thar be to haiku.
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[User Picture]From: leprosy
2004-02-08 06:46 pm (UTC)

Re: obsessive-compulsive strictures

If a haiku doen't mention butterflies or reeds then the terrorists have won!
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[User Picture]From: flying_blind
2004-02-08 07:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Re:

And if the terrorists do mention butterflies or reeds, then the haiku have won!

We are doomed!
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[User Picture]From: leprosy
2004-02-08 08:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Re:

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)