The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday

By W.S. Merwin

My friend says I was not a good son
you understand
I say yes I understand

he says I did not go
to see my parents very often you know
and I say yes I know

even when I was living in the same city he says
maybe I would go there once
a month or maybe even less
I say oh yes

he says the last time I went to see my father
I say the last time I saw my father

he says the last time I saw my father
he was asking me about my life
how I was making out and he
went into the next room
to get something to give me

oh I say
feeling again the cold
of my father's hand the last time
he says and my father turned
in the doorway and saw me
look at my wristwatch and he
said you know I would like you to stay
and talk with me

oh yes I say

but if you are busy he said
I don't want you to feel that you
have to
just because I'm here

I say nothing

he says my father
said maybe
you have important work you are doing
or maybe you should be seeing
somebody I don't want to keep you

I look out the window
my friend is older than I am
he says and I told my father it was so
and I got up and left him then
you know

though there was nowhere I had to go
and nothing I had to do


The major events of my day were an hour-long traffic jam on a ride that should have taken less than fifteen minutes, picking apaulled up from work so we could all go out for Indian food, and a visit to the orthodontist to get two extra retainer cases for younger son because every time he has gone anywhere in the past few days, he has needed to have one with him and I knew that if I sent him with our one and only, it would likely get lost. Now I have one to keep in my purse and he has one to keep in his backpack in addition to the one he needs at home for meals. I am terrified of the thrown-out-in-napkin restaurant or guest dinner situation!

In other news, I finally finished reading The Secret Supper many months after I bought it and many days after I started reading it in the car from the beach. I enjoyed it a great deal -- it combines both Holy Blood, Holy Grail-style anti-Rome politics and Treasure of Montsegur-style history of the Cathars, though I must admit that I'm rather with Theodore Roszak's take in Flicker, namely that however repressive and violent the Roman Catholic Church of the Middle Ages may have been, I don't think a world dominated by ostensible Cathar theology would have been any improvement. All sex is wickedness (which of usually gets translated as the temptation posed by women makes women wicked), food just nourishes a body we should be trying to leave because all flesh is pure corruption and death is release...even in the books that idealize the Cathars as opposed to the Crusader Catholics, I find myself wincing. I do love the idea of Da Vinci as passionate crusader for religious freedom, though.

And I wrote two Star Trek articles that had nothing to do with Trek XI! One on William Windom, who actually admitted he found the original series cartoonish and had the impression that Shatner was jealous of Nimoy, hahahaha, plus one on Roddenberry getting inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, with his son continuing the Wow I Can Cash In game and Wil Wheaton continuing the I'm Not Just Cashing In I'm Also A Fan game. (Am I the only Trekker who actually preferred Wheaton in the Wesley days?) Son is reading Into Thin Air so we watched the Everest IMAX movie, which is terrific, on DVD. And in more Star Trek news I watched "Too Short a Season" so I can figure out how in heck to review it.

Cannons outside the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.

This one, inside, is a British six-pounder recovered from the bottom of the Elizabeth River after Cornwallis' men dumped it there when leaving Portsmouth for Yorktown.

And here is a model of what the museum area looked like a bit after that time, when it was Virginia's largest shipyard.

Here is a list of the shipyard's commanding officers from the Civil War era -- United States Navy, Virginia State Navy, Confederate States Navy, then United States Navy again.

This is the outside of the Mariners' Museum in Newport News (taken with a different camera, hence the size change).

Inside, the anchor of the HMS Dictator, a 64-gun ship of the line that was in the Chesapeake Bay before US independence to protect commerce, then to participate in the invasion of Washington during the War of 1812 when it dropped this and failed to recover it.

This is the gallery of steamships, with dozens of model steamers. At the back is a Titanic exhibit with some artifacts and a replica lifeboat.
Tags: eastern shore 07

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