The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Thursday

San Francisco Night Windows
By Robert Penn Warren

So hangs the hour like fruit fullblown and sweet,
Our strict and desperate avatar,
Despite that antique westward gulls lament
Over enormous waters which retreat
Weary unto the white and sensual star.
Accept these images for what they are--
Out of the past a fragile element
Of substance into accident.
I would speak honestly and of a full heart;
I would speak surely for the tale is short,
And the soul's remorseless catalogue
Assumes its quick and piteous sum.
Think you, hungry is the city in the fog
Where now the darkened piles resume
Their framed and frozen prayer
Articulate and shafted in the stone
Against the void and absolute air.
If so the frantic breath could be forgiven,
And the deep blood subdued before it is gone
In a savage paternoster to the stone,
Then might we all be shriven.


Kids had no school because it's the end of the marking period -- this month is a little crazy, they're also off for the election and have half-days for conferences, then Thanksgiving -- so I wrote all my Trek news early in the morning, we postponed younger son's violin lesson, apaulled took the afternoon off and we went to Catoctin Mountain Park, which we figure is more likely to be closed on Election Day (Camp David is on the other side of the mountain but they close the park whenever the president is there). We picnicked at the head of the Hog Rock Nature Trail, which we then walked on -- lots of pretty yellow leaves, and rocks for boys to climb -- and hiked to the Blue Ridge Summit Overlook which has one of the best views in the park.

When we came down, we drove to the Grotto of Lourdes at Mount St. Mary's, which I thought might be crowded since it was All Saints Day but was actually nearly empty, not a single person by the holy water spring and so quiet at the grotto itself that we could discuss the frogs in the stream that runs past it. After that we stopped at Catoctin Mountain Orchard, which has excellent inexpensive apple butter and mustard and cider, then we went to Catoctin Furnace because we'd never been and we always see signs for it driving to Catoctin and my in-laws' house, so now we have seen what's left of the ironworks and the bits of town that surrounded it, set among gorgeous fall foliage. The temperature hovered between 65-70 all day and it was slightly overcast on the mountain...does it get any more beautiful than that?

For reasons I should look up somewhere, the leaves at elevation in the lower Blue Ridge turn bright yellow-orange in the fall -- we don't get a lot of red and only limited late browns in the mountains. Thus we get scenes like this.

This is the Blue Ridge Summit view, not much blue at all this time of year.

Then there are gorgeous multi-colored leaves like this.

The pumpkin display at Catoctin Mountain Orchard.

And the orchard itself with the beautiful background view. Catoctin Furnace and Grotto of Lourdes photos later in the week.

For some reason Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves came up while we were driving home, so after a belated viewing of the Charlie Brown Halloween special which we had missed on TV this year, we put it on -- the extended version, the only one I will ever watch again, with all the lovely Rickman scenes restored. Given all the rumblings that Costner demanded the cuts personally so Robin Hood would outshine the Sheriff, I must watch it sometime with the commentary on to see what Costner says about the deleted scenes! I'm just glad he didn't try to stop an extended edition that gives Rickman his due. I owned the movie on professional videotape and am very grateful to my tape for falling apart a couple of years ago and giving me an excuse to buy the DVD EE.

The chocolate spa in Hershey is where I want to spend my 40th birthday. Well, okay, I WANT to spend it in London, Paris or Sydney, but being realistic, a chocolate spa would certainly work.

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