The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday and Smithsonian Orchids


Base Camp
By Tom Healy

How much oxygen
to ask a question,
to rattle a crack-lipped
whisper,
a one-word lie?

Other animals exist
in an endless present—
ice and light,
speed or crawl, waves
of whatever is this and now.

Of course there’s us—
the only breathing bodies
free enough not
to show up to ourselves,
for whom, if we can

summon strength,
being anywhere
is always in doubt.
Why? Why bother?
Because what is there?

With everything
our bodies know,
strong or broken,
we never have the luxury
of making ourselves simple.

Everywhere is always
uneasy, an altitude
of sudden storms, weak
footholds, frostbite, crevasse,
black and blue terrain.

--------

This was yesterday's Poem a Day from Poets.org, which I just loved. Healy, author of What the Right Hand Knows, wrote the poem while trekking in the Himalayas after hearing about a deadly plane crash.

The rest of our deck was demolished on Tuesday and the wood for the new deck brought to start rebuilding it, so I stayed in, writing, doing laundry, and watching the cats watch the workmen as they yanked boards away from the kitchen and put in extra bolts to bring the new deck up to code. Since the laundry had to be folded, I watched 30 Odd Foot of Grunts - Texas, which was clearly called for in honor of the revival of my romance with Russell Crowe after I broke up with him for several years in favor of Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, et al.

It rained all afternoon, quite hard at times, so the deck guys left mid-afternoon around when Adam got home, both himself and his bike soaking wet. We had black bean burgers for dinner (yeah, not regretting AT ALL being vegetarian this week and leaning toward giving up any dairy product not bought from a local organic farm), then we watched the first two episodes of Parade's End, which was very well made but except for Valentine I really did not like any of the characters (treating men like shit does not make one a progressive woman).

Some pics from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History exhibit on the orchids of Latin America:















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