The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Royal Penguin Valentine

The Helmsman
By H.D.

O be swift—
we have always known you wanted us.

We fled inland with our flocks.
we pastured them in hollows,
cut off from the wind
and the salt track of the marsh.

We worshipped inland—
we stepped past wood-flowers,
we forgot your tang,
we brushed wood-grass.

We wandered from pine-hills
through oak and scrub-oak tangles,
we broke hyssop and bramble,
we caught flower and new bramble-fruit
in our hair: we laughed
as each branch whipped back,
we tore our feet in half-buried rocks
and knotted roots and acorn-cups.

We forgot—we worshipped,
we parted green from green,
we sought further thickets,
we dipped our ankles
through leaf-mould and earth,
and wood and wood-bank enchanted us—

and the feel of the clefts in the bark,
and the slope between tree and tree—
and a slender path strung field to field
and wood to wood
and hill to hill
and the forest after it.

We forgot—for a moment
tree-resin, tree-bark,
sweat of a torn branch
were sweet to taste.

We were enchanted with the fields,
the tufts of coarse grass—
in the shorter grass—
we loved all this.

But now, our boat climbs—hesitates—drops—
climbs—hesitates—crawls back—
O, be swift—
we have always known you wanted us.


I had a quiet Valentine's Day morning doing boring stuff not worth reporting. My day did not get interesting till after lunch, when I went out to get a condolence card and dog biscuits for our neighbor whose dog passed away yesterday (this is one of the two that Adam has walked for many months) and ran into various other neighbors in CVS. Then younger son got home from school and we shared smoked almonds (on sale at CVS, heh) before I took him to tennis. It was drizzling but warm -- in the 50s -- and I made several deer in Cabin John Park nervous when I walked along the path near them.

Paul decided that we should have fondue for Valentine's dinner and found a recipe for some kind of spiced peanut sauce, into which we dipped tofu squares, fake fried chicken, roasted potatoes, and peppers; then we had chocolate fondue with cheesecake, cherries, and chocolate chip coffee cake. My mother stopped by with candy for us and we exchanged cards. Here is the one my wonderful husband made for me (fellow fans of penguins, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush should not miss; no one else is likely to get it):


Glee was wonderful for a change, not only musically -- they couldn't possibly have known about the news event that would make a particular song so poignant, I adored the handling of the Christian group asked to sing to gay couples, and despite the stereotypes Rachel's long-absent gay fathers and their plan to interfere with her love life really made me howl. Ringer was merely entertaining but really that's all I ask from a nighttime soap...the twist in the Juliet storyline, which I did not see coming, alone would have made it worth the price of admission. And now I get Jon Stewart with Ricky Gervais...

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