By Pattiann Rogers
I call this a sacred place, thus build
high arches and leaf-filled alcoves
of rooted hardwood around it, yew,
lingonberry, a floor of black oak
leaves, white sand in humus, lichen
shreds, half hickory shells, paper pea
wings and twig splinters, sucking
ants, fungus beetles moving like shards
of rotting woodbark with legs.
And I arrange shadows here, easing
into themselves and back out again
between flat flowers of torn light,
chickadee-flight fragments of sun
that shift with wind.
I add bushtits prying and gleaning
in the brush, and the passing-through
of one rattle box moth, the zing
and chip of scritching rodent with seed,
a clinking of early spring peepers
signaling like the ritual bells
of rain monks, and a fragrance of putrid
fish heads, mud moss, river-rotting
logs and turtle moisture lingering
like incense rising up from the hollow.
I fix in this place one cross: latitude
against longitude. A second cross: morning
at juncture with moonset. And a third: March
bisected by testimony.
All of this I construct to denote
and contain the sacred that then must dwell here,
possessing of itself alone neither name
nor description nor chorus nor scent, nor ever
any prayer, nor ever any plea.
As predicted, Valentine's Day was a snow day, so instead of lunch out with my beloved gblvr, I had lunch at home with my entire family plus younger son's friend from up the street (who ended up eventually going home in tears because 1) he got hit by a snowball in a snowball fight that he started and 2) he couldn't recruit an adult to drive him to the local middle school so he could sled down the big hill behind it). The reason he had no more success recruiting us than his own mother to drive is the same reason apaulled stayed home all day and did his phone conference from here. Our neighborhood didn't see a plow till after noon, leaving one of our neighbors stuck in the middle of the street with his wheels spinning till a bunch of people helped push his car to the side. And then even after two passes, it took apaulled several minutes of shoveling and spinning the van wheels to take younger son to violin (late, again, like last week, because again we got thrown off by the snow day and forgot what time it was!).
Also as predicted, we had a fairly low-key Valentine's Day but I got the most wonderful present! I had mentioned to apaulled a few weeks ago that I really wanted to read Lost Girls, the Alan Moore-Melinda Gebbie erotic graphic novel in which Wendy (from Peter Pan), Alice (from Wonderland) and Dorothy (from The Wizard of Oz meet in a hotel on the eve of the Great War and compare notes, verbally and physically, on their sexual awakenings. The art is very pretty if you like that sort of thing and it's a fabulous conceit. I should have known that the word "lesbian" would immediately send my husband racing to check it out. *g* He got it for me, though I suspect I will not be the only member of my household who reads it, heh. It's gorgeous and heavy and I rearranged my Star Trek books so I could put it discreetly on an upper shelf.
And to think all I got apaulled was a box of dark chocolates and a decent bottle of wine. My mother had bought us some candy and small gifts for the kids -- younger son has yet another penguin, plus the little cat I bought him when he was shopping with me for Valentines. I did not get cards from other relatives, we're not a big Hallmark holiday family, but I got phone calls from both my sister (yet another conspiracy to get us to come to the expensive resort up near where they live this summer in honor of my mother's birthday) and my aunt from California, my father's brother's ex-wife, whom I missed on her birthday the day after mine in December and it's taken us this long to catch up! Hubby also made me a card, fannish as usual, though since it's from a Hercules: The Legendary Journeys AU, muccamukk and I may be the only people who truly appreciate it! I took out the personal note and added a generic Valentine greeting to the middle panel so it would make sense.
Did something tonight I haven't done in more than a decade: watched the Next Generation pilot, "Encounter at Farpoint." I still don't love it, but it's a lot better than it was the first time I watched it. The last four seasons of Voyager and most of Enterprise have given me a love for Next Gen that quite eluded me when it first aired. Still not sure how to review this -- still can't bear Troi in this episode, though I learned to adore her, and developed a crush on Riker only after meeting Jonathan Frakes in a chance encounter in a Chicago hotel lobby. I still don't warm to Patrick Stewart, I have never warmed to Patrick Stewart, though I admire him as an actor, and the appeal of P/C has simply never been there for me, though about 3/4 of my friends who wrote Janeway/Chakotay started out there. We'll see what happens this time through!