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

Poem for Tuesday and Cabin John Park


Song as Abridged Thesis of George Perkin Marsh’s Man and Nature
By Major Jackson

(Poem on the Occasion of the Centenary of the National Park Service)

The pendulous branches of the Norway spruce slowly move
as though approving our gentle walk in Woodstock,
and the oak leaves yellowing this early morning
fall in the parking lot of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller.
We hear beneath our feet their susurrus
as the churning of wonder, found, too, in the eyes of a child
who has just sprinted toward a paddock of Jersey cows.
The fate of the land is the fate of man.

Some have never fallen in love with a river of grass
or rested in the dignity of the Great Blue Heron
standing alone, saint-like, in a marshland nor envied
the painted turtle sunning on a log, nor thanked as I have,
the bobcat for modeling how to navigate dynasties of snow,
for he survives in both forests and imaginations
away from the dark hands of developers and myths of profits.
The fate of the land is the fate of man.

Some are called to praise as holy, hillocks, ponds, and brooks,
to renew the sacred contract of live things everywhere,
the cold pensive roamings of clouds above Mount Tom,
to extol silkworm and barn owls, gorges and vales,
the killdeer, egret, tern, and loon; some must rest
at the sandbanks, in deep wilderness, by a lagoon,
estuaries or floodplain, standing in the way of the human storm:
the fate of the land is the fate of man.

--------

Monday involved lots of laundry from the Renfaires, and since I still had clothes out from traveling to Seattle, I figured it was a good day for an annual purge of things I never wear. That took up a lot of the morning, then I did some work and sorted photos from the weekend. When Paul finished work for the day, we went for a walk at Cabin John Park, where the leaves were just starting to turn and things were being set up for the haunted train ride for Halloween.

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We stopped at Giant on the way home to get lots of cat food and some human food as well, then Paul made tacos for dinner because it was National Taco Day. By the time we were finished, Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram had returned from their many hours down, so I chatted briefly with a couple of friends. Then we watched the rest of this season of Sex Education and I'm glad we waited until it was renewed or I'd have been stressed out wanting resolution!
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