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

Poem for Wednesday


Briefly It Enters, and Briefly Speaks
By Jane Kenyon


I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years...

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper...

When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me...

I am food on the prisoner's plate...

I am water rushing to the wellhead,
filling the pitcher until it spills...

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden...

I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge...

I am the heart contracted by joy...
the longest hair, white
before the rest...

I am there in the basket of fruit
presented to the widow...

I am the musk rose opening
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit...

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name...

--------

Not much to report today. On top of lingering trip chaos, am having serious female TMI that necessitated two calls to the doctor, though she says I should just wait it out and see if it's as bad in a couple of days. So apart from bad cramping, attempts to feed, entertain and get children to do chores, dinner once again with parents since mother attempted to take children to the pool in the late afternoon for the 20 minutes between thunderstorms and offered leftovers, and an accidental rereading of much of Master and Commander in search of a quote for someone since LJ's memories were down most of the afternoon and evening, I did little worth mentioning. Though I do have to mention the astrologer who is suing NASA over the comet impact, claiming that the disorder this causes in the universe has cost her the equivalent of hundreds of millions in distress. Can I blame the stars being out of alignment for my off-cycle, extremely unpleasant time of month?

The rest of this post is in large part for ribby, since she claims nostalgia, and rinsbane, who should know what she is getting into when she goes to the Olympic Peninsula. Oh, and also for muscadinegirl and mecurtin who seem to know far more about the natural world than I do and always tell me something interesting when I have a Stephen Maturin moment. I am confident that they at least will not say "ewww." *g*


A banana slug on a tree stump near the enormous Big Sitka spruce tree on the Quinault Indian Reservation.


A young banana slug, long and skinny with a color that is rather pale. This one, spotted near Ruby Beach, was about an inch and a half long -- by far the smallest of any we saw.


I am not sure whether this is a spotted banana slug or a leopard slug; from the photos in Audubon it could be either, though it appears that the leopard slug has more spots. Leopard slugs also are not native to the Pacific Northwest and are considered an unwanted European invader (as is foxglove, which blooms in gorgeous purples and lilacs at the roadside all around the lakes).


And this is definitely not a banana slug but arion ater, a foreign invader harmful to gardens, trees and banana slug habitat. Still, it's very shiny and neat-looking.


Don't let the cute little curl fool you, these things can stretch out more than 6-8 inches.


That hole you see is how it breathes. And banana slug penises have evolved to become almost as long as their bodies...and they're hermaphrodites, so they get penetrated and penetrate their partners at the same time! Plus they take hours and hours to do the deed, with much licking and rubbing involved. But before you think it might be more fun to be a banana slug than a human, consider this: because the penises are so large, they often get stuck inside their partners during mating and must be bitten off so that the slugs can separate afterward.
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