The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday

Sheltered Garden
By H.D.

I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.

Every way ends, every road,
every foot-path leads at last
to the hill-crest --
then you retrace your steps,
or find the same slope on the other side,

I have had enough --
border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies,
herbs, sweet-cress.

O for some sharp swish of a branch --
there is no scent of resin
in this place,
no taste of bark, of coarse weeds,
aromatic, astringent --
only border on border of scented pinks.

Have you seen fruit under cover
that wanted light --
pears wadded in cloth,
protected from the frost,
melons, almost ripe,
smothered in straw?

Why not let the pears cling
to the empty branch?
All your coaxing will only make
a bitter fruit --
let them cling, ripen of themselves,
test their own worth,
nipped, shrivelled by the frost,
to fall at last but fair
with a russet coat.

Or the melon --
let it bleach yellow
in the winter light,
even tart to the taste --
it is better to taste of frost --
the exquisite frost --
than of wadding and of dead grass.

For this beauty,
beauty without strength,
chokes out life.
I want wind to break,
scatter these pink-stalks,
snap off their spiced heads,
fling them about with dead leaves --
spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off,
trail great pine branches,
hurled across the melon-patch,
break pear and quince --
leave half-trees, torn, twisted
but showing the fight was valiant.

O to blot out this garden
to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible
wind-tortured place.


I got no sleep last night and am fried beyond fried. Kids are good. Younger son's science expo project is finished and ready to be taken to the University of Maryland tomorrow afternoon; I got some photos reprinted at Ritz and helped glue a bunch of additions to the board while son gathered new composting material, though he was also writing a terrific powerpoint presentation on Within Reach: My Everest Story (chosen for his biography book report because we had it in the house and he didn't feel like going to the library to figure out whose biography he wanted to read more). Older son was at the Naval Academy all day at the Robotics Cheasapeake Regional tournament, where it sounds like he had a fantastic time; his school was paired with a school from Hawaii and another from England, and they went out for lunch to a local restaurant where he got Maryland crab soup. I'm trying to figure out if we have time to get from College Park to Annapolis on Saturday between 2:30 and 5:30 so younger son and I can see the robot demonstrations during the down-for-dining time at the science expo.

In other science news, I was dorkily delighted by the stories about the dolphin that saved two stranded whales in New Zealand. It's fascinating that the dolphin (which interacts often with humans) understood that these unrelated cetaceans were in distress and also fascinating that they seemingly understood what it was trying to communicate when people had failed at helping the whales. I know it's dangerous to attribute seemingly human attributes even to intelligent animals, and somewhere I'm sure there's a conservationist talking about how it's a bad thing that this dolphin is so socialized with humans, but if interacting with our species is what made this dolphin willing to come to the aid of another, that would make me feel good about being human for a change.

My street flooded after torrential rains the week before last.

By the time the waves from the last car have gone down, the school bus coming around the corner...

...will have to drive through the mini-pond and make new ones.

During the storm, we had this pest climbing on the screen door to keep dry.

The cats were beside themselves.

Now crocuses are coming up all over our neighborhood...

...but we still have no daffodils.

The rest of my day was mostly chores...CVS for stuff for older son, the mall to pick up the science project photos, (apaulled got his bonus and got me a new camera bag to fit my new lens and filters *g*), five loads of laundry that must be folded tomorrow, TNG that must be reviewed tomorrow, and finally the return of Smallville and the return of Pete! Who looks really good now that he's older and his character has a bit of an edge, though of course they didn't let him keep much of it, which is too bad. (Did someone tell me Lana marries Pete in the comic books? Heeee!) We were making up dialogue between Lex and Pete ("now he's been unfaithful to BOTH of us!") and feeling nostalgic for the first season...all right, maybe it's just me who was nostalgic and I'm sure I'm blocking out lots of bad Lana stuff, but these days with Flash Gordon I even have fond feelings for Whitney! Oh and I'm glad Jimmy knows what's up with Chloe. I still think she deserves someone better than any of her options on the show but at least he really appreciates her.

I know I owe lots of e-mails and comments and Facebook replies and stuff. Apologies, but this weekend is so insane that it might take me into next week to catch up!

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