The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday

Northern Mockingbird
By Grace Schulman

Day comes up like dirt islands at low tide,
revealing what I cannot lose: gulls circling,
a skiff upended, caulked for a new launching,
a tern flying in place before a dive,

lobster traps hidden in phragmites
to catch — what, Moses? Long days promise miracles.
But there, on the juniper’s topmost bough,
a bird does its high-wire act, twisting

as though for ballast, singing two-note phrases:
the years, the years. Rank bird, how it persists.
Showoff. Not singing. Mimicking, cleverly
mocking my dream to hold this day forever.

The northern mockingbird, of the same species
Walt Whitman heard on this same shore, and penciled
in his diary. Not the same bird, of course,
but with a heritage, a long line,

if not long life. Its message is harsh.
I won’t see it forever, nor the juniper
sprung up inside the center of a rosebush
grown, somehow undaunted, on dry sand,

unless my song can recycle this day
and pass it on like flotsam, in a sea
that inlays glass, wears white stones smooth,
and tosses them, shining, on this shore.

Come, love, let us run into the waves
past the rosebush on fire, dodging clamshells,
though an echoing bird calls, years, the years,
and a worn fence unrolls like thumbed pages.


Adventure! Excitement! A Jedi craves not these things. Yep, I have nothing to report. Did more chores, got a teeny bit more cabinet space cleared in the kitchen, went on a fruitless hunt for a decent Astronaut Barbie photo for the Tarot deck and concluded I may have to buy an Astronaut Barbie and take my own photo -- anyone have one out of the package that you'd be willing to pose against a neutral background and photograph for me? *g* -- and looked at Nikon VR lenses, none of which I can afford at present but desperately want before we travel next summer. I keep sending resumes out into the ether and getting nothing. I'd get depressed about this if I wasn't ambivalent because any job I get must let me take six weeks off next summer.

Chirping grasshoppers in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History's insect zoo.

Camouflaged insects hide among leaves.

I'm not sure I want to know what these two are doing.

An exotic variety of centipede.

A colorful tarantula...

...and a bigger, browner one...

...and a black widow spider.

Iowa caucuses: go Rudy, because even though I don't like you -- well, I like you better than Mike and Mitt and John, but that's really saying very little -- I loathe the idea that a clique among the courted party electorate of this one state might have such a big impact on who may end up being my candidate. Son was doing research and came up with a list of bills on which Obama voted "present" rather than for or against...that might scare me even more than someone who voted for things that I oppose or vice versa, someone who refused to take a potentially controversial position or make a compromise one way or the other. I wish there was one candidate whom I felt better about as the race went on, the way I did with Bill Clinton pre-1992, instead of having lists of who wouldn't be as bad as the others in which compartments.

My beloved mamadracula linked me to this art show which hit so many of my January Blahs buttons that I thought I'd share. I'm behind on comments, I know, and sorry about that, had to work on a Star Trek review for Friday. And Virginia Tech is behind Kansas, which is a shame, but I'm pretty college footballed out for the season and it's not even over till next week!

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