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

Poem for Saturday


My Mother Would Be a Falconress
By Robert Duncan


My mother would be a falconress,
And I, her gay falcon treading her wrist,
would fly to bring back
from the blue of the sky to her, bleeding, a prize,
where I dream in my little hood with many bells
jangling when I'd turn my head.

My mother would be a falconress,
and she sends me as far as her will goes.
She lets me ride to the end of her curb
where I fall back in anguish.
I dread that she will cast me away,
for I fall, I mis-take, I fail in her mission.

She would bring down the little birds.
And I would bring down the little birds.
When will she let me bring down the little birds,
pierced from their flight with their necks broken,
their heads like flowers limp from the stem?

I tread my mother's wrist and would draw blood.
Behind the little hood my eyes are hooded.
I have gone back into my hooded silence,
talking to myself and dropping off to sleep.

For she has muffled my dreams in the hood she has made me,
sewn round with bells, jangling when I move.
She rides with her little falcon upon her wrist.
She uses a barb that brings me to cower.
She sends me abroad to try my wings
and I come back to her. I would bring down
the little birds to her
I may not tear into, I must bring back perfectly.

I tear at her wrist with my beak to draw blood,
and her eye holds me, anguisht, terrifying.
She draws a limit to my flight.
Never beyond my sight, she says.
She trains me to fetch and to limit myself in fetching.
She rewards me with meat for my dinner.
But I must never eat what she sends me to bring her.

Yet it would have been beautiful, if she would have carried me,
always, in a little hood with the bells ringing,
at her wrist, and her riding
to the great falcon hunt, and me
flying up to the curb of my heart from her heart
to bring down the skylark from the blue to her feet,
straining, and then released for the flight.

My mother would be a falconress,
and I her gerfalcon raised at her will,
from her wrist sent flying, as if I were her own
pride, as if her pride
knew no limits, as if her mind
sought in me flight beyond the horizon.

Ah, but high, high in the air I flew.
And far, far beyond the curb of her will,
were the blue hills where the falcons nest.
And then I saw west to the dying sun--
it seemed my human soul went down in flames.

I tore at her wrist, at the hold she had for me,
until the blood ran hot and I heard her cry out,
far, far beyond the curb of her will

to horizons of stars beyond the ringing hills of the world where the falcons nest
I saw, and I tore at her wrist with my savage beak.
I flew, as if sight flew from the anguish in her eye beyond her sight,
sent from my striking loose, from the cruel strike at her wrist,
striking out from the blood to be free of her.

My mother would be a falconress,
and even now, years after this,
when the wounds I left her had surely healed,
and the woman is dead,
her fierce eyes closed, and if her heart
were broken, it is stilled

I would be a falcon and go free.
I tread her wrist and wear the hood,
talking to myself, and would draw blood.

--------

I spent an unholy amount of Friday on the phone. Fortunately it was entirely with women I adore, though unfortunately, one of them was having a terrible week and the other one was trying to help me solve a problem with an overseas gift, so I doubt either one of them enjoyed the conversations as much as I did. But it's been forever since I had a two-hour phone conversation and I forgot how much fun it is just to talk about anything and everything.

I also reviewed "Requiem for Methuselah", a deeply nostalgic and profoundly happy experience that I have no intention of ruining by reading on the TrekBBS what an idiot the fanboys think I am. I wanted to find the section from Star Trek Lives! in which Lichtenberg, Marshak and Winston talked about how this episode epitomizes the love between Kirk and Spock, which required that I move a Barbie doll, a harlequin, most of the James Blish original series novelizations and newer Trek Pocket Books piled sideways on top of those to dig my ancient copy of Star Trek Lives! out. It's covered in clear contact paper to stop the spine from cracking and has four pages dog-eared from over twenty years ago -- the one with the "Requiem For Methuselah" discussion, the one at the beginning of the chapter on fan fiction, the one where Marshak starts talking about Ayn Rand's philosophy in comparison to Gene Roddenberry's, and the one where Nimoy reacts to being told that Spock swallows convulsively when Kirk is in danger, which in retrospect may be the first time an interviewer ever indirectly asked an actor about slash. *g*

Because I don't ever want to lose it, even though I cited it in my review, here is the quote about "Requiem for Methuselah" and the relationship between the captain and first officer: [Kirk and Spock] learned to trust each other with an absolute, bedrock certainty based on each one's knowledge of the other's integrity and profound feeling. They called that feeling friendship - even Spock did. They called it being brothers. Kirk would have been willing to call it a very special kind of love. But it was Spock who did, however silently, actually call it love. One of the most moving scenes in all of Star Trek is the final one from 'Requiem for Methuselah'...McCoy, for once genuinely and totally failing to understand Spock, lectures him on the meaning of love, which he says that Spock will never know...and leaves. Silently Spock crosses to bend over the sleeping Kirk, touching him to establish the Vulcan mind-meld. Aloud he says only, 'Forget. Forget.' But the word is love.

I also discovered that I had not only glued a newspaper photo of Spock inside the front cover of Star Trek Lives! but had written "I GROK SPOCK!" underneath it. I showed this to my son, who now knows what a geek I was in my youth. I plead having been eleven.

fridayfiver: That Is the Question
1. What feels like home?
Having cats and loud boys all around.
2 Do you look at yourself carefully in the mirror before you leave for the day? Only if I'm going someplace where I should arrive with my hair not looking like I just got out of bed.
3. How do you feel right now? In the mood for cheese popcorn, though happy because I'm watching John Barrowman singing "Springtime for Hitler" in The Producers on cable.
4. Are you a star-gazer? If you mean in the sky sense, yes, though apaulled is the one who takes the time to set up the telescope; I just use the binoculars. If you mean in the celebrity sense, I don't care what they wear but I do tend to read the National Enquirer headlines in grocery store lines.
5. Friday Fill-In: How much time has passed since you last _____? Showered? Maybe 12 hours. Fed the cats? 4 hours. Told son to keep his voice down? 30 seconds.

thefridayfive: Happy New Year!
1. Do you have any pets? If so, how many, and what are their names?
Two cats, Rosie and Cinnamon. You can read all about them using the tag below.
2. What was your very first pet? Do you remember its name? A parakeet named Pippi. He died when I was maybe 5.
3. Is there an animal you would never have as a pet? A barracuda, a komodo dragon, a jellyfish...
4. What common pet have you always wanted but never had? Why not? A rabbit. Mostly because I've had a dog, cats, birds, hamsters, gerbils or other animals already.
5. What wild animal (extinct or not) would you own if you didn't have to worry about its adjustment or the cost of captivity? A penguin, of course.

fannish5: What five scenes from fanfic (yours or anyone else's) would you like to see illustrated?
I'm going to admit to my own since I can. And I'm going to link to the stories here, where they are friends-locked so no one who shouldn't be reading them can click through. And I am going to be deliberately vague, but anyone who has read the fics will know what I am talking about!
1. This one's PG anyway: Remus and Severus in Whitby from "Parched"
2. Snape feeding the owl from "Absolution 4: Expurgation"
3. Severus using his magic potion on Lucius' hair from "Ties"
4. Harry and Severus with Wolf!Remus from "Three Men and a Tail"
5. And the most recent...Snape at the breakfast table from "There's Something You Should Know"

As you can tell from that fridayfiver, we watched The Producers and then the making-of featurette HBO aired afterward. There wasn't nearly enough John Barrowman in the documentary, but Mel Brooks was delightful. My parents really don't like jokes about Hitler -- they say it's generational -- but I think turning Hitler into a stereotypical queeny caricature is in many ways a more effective way of coping with the horrors of Nazism as the deadly serious documentaries that I literally can't sit through...have never made it through either Schindler's List or Sophie's Choice without having to cover my face at some point either. Whereas I have watched To Be Or Not To Be and the original Producers countless times. If not letting people forget is the goal, there is definitely a place for ridiculing Hitler.


Fort Christina in Wilmington, Delaware, home port of the Kalmar Nyckel.


The replica ship has her own shipyard on the Christina River...


...not many yards away from where her namesake landed in the New World.


This is where New Sweden was founded in March, 1638. It was the first European settlement in the Delaware Valley.


The original settlers built cabins like this one (now surrounded by an industrial park). It has one big room with a fireplace and a shelf upstairs for sleeping.


This monument was erected in 1938 in honor of the 300th anniversary of the landing. The Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden and then-President Roosevelt attended the festivities.
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Have to get up ridiculously early as both kids have testing for the county magnet programs -- middle school and high school respectively. Younger son is nervous about the tests and doesn't know whether he'd rather go to the math magnet, like older son, or the language arts program, or go with his friends to the local middle school. Older son had been leaning toward wanting to go to the local high school, but it's been all over the news the past two days with an eruption of gang violence, so now he has incentive to do well on the tests, though we are all rather unnerved!
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