The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday

A Map of the City
By Thom Gunn

I stand upon a hill and see
A luminous country under me,
Through which at two the drunk sailor must weave;
The transient's pause, the sailor's leave.

I notice, looking down the hill,
Arms braced upon a window sill;
And on the web of fire escapes
Move the potential, the grey shapes.

I hold the city here, complete;
And every shape defined by light
Is mine, or corresponds to mine,
Some flickering or some steady shine.

This map is ground of my delight.
Between the limits, night by night,
I watch a malady's advance,
I recognize my love of chance.

By the recurrent lights I see
Endless potentiality,
The crowded, broken, and unfinished!
I would not have the risk diminished.


Even though we were all on vacation, we got up early Friday to go downtown to the National Zoo. Adam is very fond of the kiwis -- he was bitterly resentful when the baby panda got so much more publicity than the baby kiwi born at the zoo -- and he has wanted to return to the Meet a Kiwi program since we went in 2006 but because the zoo only holds it on weekdays, it's been hard to find a time to take him when he didn't have school. So we went to the kiwi program, then we visited most of the zoo that we didn't see when we were there in September (Amazonia, invertebrates, the North American valley, the gorillas, the farm) and some places that we did (the bird house, the reptile house, the Asia trail). It was a beautiful day, chilly but not really cold, and not insanely crowded though we thought there might be a lot of other people on vacation visiting.

Manaia, the young kiwi born at the National Zoo two years ago, greets visitors each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m.

We were lucky to get in on this holiday, since the Bird Resource Center filled up very quickly.

Manaia is a North Island brown kiwi, the child of the National Zoo's bird Nessus. His name is Maori.

During the talk he spent most of his time digging around for worms in the mulch.

He looked a bit sleepy, which isn't surprising since kiwis are nocturnal.

Manaia has a brother, Koa, also hatched at the zoo. The New Zealand ambassador came to visit each of them as babies.

The egg behind Manaia is a full-size kiwi egg -- they're enormous compared to the size of the mother who lays them. This was an infertile egg that the zoo preserved.

On the bottom of this sign are some photos of the egg, hatching, and growth of the young kiwi.

In the late afternoon, two of the cousins stopped by to visit our cats. An hour later we went to my parents' for Shabbat dinner and leftovers. Then we came home so the kids could shower, clean their rooms, etc., and we all ended up watching The Spy Who Loved Me, which is pretty much as goofy as I remember it but still awesome fun -- supervillain trying to destroy the world, hot Russians, cool tech, and I had forgotten the awesome aquariums and underwater shots. Roger Moore is my Bond; I like him much better than Connery or Brosnan and I haven't the writing for the others.

Hope no one got trampled while shopping and hope everyone has a nice weekend.

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