By Dick Barnes
Where the clean wind scours the rock --
sun like a hammer, ice the other season --
there's the life, said the lichen,
that's the life for me.
I'm so glad we found this place
murmured the moss
before the tourists came.
Root of a palo blanco
in thin bark like white paper
crept down over bare rock:
I like a place that's been spoiled
just enough, said the root, snuggling in.
The rock didn't say anything at all.
Why would it?
Another by Dick Barnes, the poet from yesterday's Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World, now that I know he was ribby's college professor!
Another glorious weekend day, ten degrees or so cooler than yesterday -- unfortunately it began quite early for a Sunday as the Hebrew school fourth graders had a field trip to Homestead Farm in Poolesville to pick apples for the hungry for Sukkot. The fourth graders do this every year, and we did it with older son as well; one of the rabbis and the Hebrew school assistant principal come out to the farm with the teachers, students and families, where there is a brief Sukkot service and songs around a campfire, then everyone pays by the bag and picks as many as they want for themselves plus more for various community shelters, senior homes, etc. We generally pick one bag for us and one to give away; this year I think we gave away more than we kept, as we still have some apples from Butler's Orchard a couple of weeks ago! They serve cookies and cider for snack to the kids and there's usually plenty of time (even though our bus driver got lost) to see the farm animals, pick tomatoes or find a pumpkin in the store, though we abstained as we will go pumpkin picking with my in-laws next weekend.
After coming home for lunch, we went to a Bar-Bat Mitzvah expo at a local mall that my mother had suggested we check out. So who was the first person we saw as we came down the elevator? My mother! (She will end up picking the florist, I'm sure.) I thought my kids might be bored, the younger one especially, but these vendors were very clever -- the talent agencies had magicians and card tables as well as people singing karaoke, the various food vendors all had samples (and there were two chocolate fountains, bigger than the ones at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, with choices of free samples of strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, wafers, etc.!) We picked up some CDs of local music, photographers' displays and videography. Now that son knows he can have a casino party despite being underage, he is set on that!
In the late afternoon younger son had soccer practice and I wrote two articles that took the entire two hours, then we had dinner and watched The West Wing and Rome (I am officially giving up Desperate Housewives). Loved the former -- it is very rare for me to be screaming "YES!" during any political speech, even one by an idealized fictional Democrat, and Santos and I are in exactly the same place on intelligent design -- we both believe in it and we both believe adamantly that there is NO PLACE FOR IT in a public school curriculum, nor for any other faith-based education, no matter how generalized the language of faith may be. As for the subpoenas, I always figured the leak had to be either Toby (who had a vested interest because of his late brother) or Annabeth because she and Toby were close and she was in a position to have access to reporters. But now, it seems, she and Toby are not close but she has a thing for Leo? That was a giant WTF even though I really like both of them! (Will Toby and CJ date if he has to leave the Bartlet administration, this making my earliest friends in TWW fandom very happy? Josh and Donna still aren't...) Anyway, it is my fantasy that during my lifetime we will see an election between a Republican like Vinick and a Democrat like Santos. It's harder for me to talk about the Middle East politics because they've been even closer to fantasyland to begin with.
Then we watched Rome, which continues to be the most raunchy fun on television! Girls doing girls! Powerful girls trying to force less powerful boys to put out for them! Cleopatra having hot sex with Caesar after we already know what a naughty girl she is! Vorenus and Pullo's totally different and totally in-character reactions to her attempted seductions (actually not seduction so much as attempt to get pregnant, which Vorenus read quite clearly) were a pleasure, and yet I was really hoping Vorenus would fuck her -- I figure Niobe's one chance for getting off the hook about the baby might have been if Vorenus had slept with and impregnated another woman and was wracked with guilt about it. Servilia is so sexy but I am so sure she is using Atia's daughter rather than sincerely attached to her, it really bothers me. And Antony just rocks! He can't help it, being James Purefoy, even though he's still quite despicable. You can't really root for his enemies, though. Of course the moment Rome ended we turned on baseball, and I am SO glad the White Sox won in the end because I thought the refs were absolutely right to give Kennedy that run after the fan interfered with the ball in play. I am rather bummed at the moment not to be living still in Hyde Park, where we could see the fireworks over Comiskey from our 31st floor apartment every time someone hit a home run -- I wonder whether there are fireworks tonight even though they played in California!
More RenFaire tomorrow, tonight you get to see some of Homestead Farm...
"Wilboar" the pig (female, if I read my teats correctly), who attempted to beg apples from everyone who walked by her pen.
Here she is with a farm visitor, just because they are adorable together.
A sheep who is already getting in her thick winter coat, resting in the shade.
This beautiful bird may have an unfortunate date with destiny late next month -- we didn't ask!
These, however, share space with several others of their species and produce eggs and chicks.
And some of the happiest animals in the farmyard, climbing and jumping on the hay bales.
Tomorrow I have to stay in all day as the TV repair people are coming. Woe! Loneliness! Cats pursuing me endlessly for food!