By Grace Schulman
In the beginning was the letter B.
Through B, God made the world. Today that sign
gleams on a keyboard neither for cadenzas
nor waterfall arpeggios, but for prayers
tapped out on keys that flicker like strung beads,
and brush like seashells, pearly, paper-thin,
tide washes in. I dwell on weightier strokes
by surer hands with trowels that dug out sound,
B at the base. For the B that blooms now,
curved like a bellflower in high wind,
a Phoenician sailed the letter Beth
to the Greeks for Beta, centuries ago.
B is for b.c.e., for Nestor’s cup,
for the stone scratches on a burial urn,
and for Babel’s blankness when our languages
were undone; B is for bare winters
of the untaught, for slaves’ songs bellowed out
on a free night, and for the blessed who learned
to write them down. B is for Hector’s burial,
and for the bending of angry Achilles,
who, when he remembers his own dead father
he will not see again, gives up the body,
and the Trojans buried Hector, breaker of horses.
B is for barbed rage, and for the bond
between one and another, and how the two
enfold, like buxom curves of the letter B,
and how, braided together, they brew words
benign and bellicose, brash and believing,
bits of ourselves strewn, rooted, over time.
B, the blaze of black fire on white fire,
the Torah’s letters, blares at the center,
bottom row, where my lines are born.
I spent a very lovely morning and afternoon with dementordelta, who brought me Harry and Sirius (the poseable ones) in exchange for Snape (who went home with her last time). We went out for Mediterranean food, then came back here to watch the A&E Order of the Phoenix special (again, with lots of slow motion on the Lucius stills) and An Awfully Big Adventure (because the only thing hotter than Lucius is Alan Rickman misbehaving with someone too young for him). And we had blueberry pie, courtesy apaulled whose services were solicited for this purpose.
My mother is still at the spa with my sister, so we went out to dinner with my father at Mamma Lucia's. I had the chicken piccata and barely ate any -- the portions were staggeringly huge, came with salad and bread and I have a full meal sitting in the refrigerator and I have no idea when I'm going to eat it, since I have both lunch and dinner plans tomorrow and expect to be occupied with Order of the Phoenix on Wednesday! We recorded Mel Brooks' History of the World, Part I because older son has been asking about watching it -- someone he knows sang the Inquisition song -- but having just seen it, I am really wary of letting him watch it -- the humor is more vulgar and has a nastier edge than Blazing Saddles and there's a lot of borderline nonconsensual sexual situations. I still snicker during the piss boy scene, though.
Nearby, beside one of the puddles that formed in the rain the day before, a frog...
...a shiny teal damselfly...
...and a ladybug.
This is just here because it's pretty.
So are these crab apples, though they were not actually on the grounds of the battlefield...closer to Strawberry Hill Nature Center.
dementordelta has also decided to