Octopus Visiting Your Garden
By Nicky Beer
Your fishes, violet and yellow-gilled,
bob on lengths of green twine in the light.
Bait or catch? I ask.
You cannot answer.
Your air is so very sad,
sadder still these winds, these staggering ponies,
these weak cousins to my moving waters.
It's like the touch of unbodied souls.
It's the difference between the oily surge
in your chest and the dish of blood
under the surgeon's table.
I will never understand your stones.
They seem shucked and stunned,
like they've forgotten
how to talk to one another.
They wear the faces
of senile men staring into the sun.
I love your grass, though, the way it tastes
in my arms. Pastoral, you say.
We had a very quiet day after Halloween, in large part due to the weather -- we had intended to drive the two hours to Chestertown for the Sultana downrigging, but it was coming down hard at noon, and we reluctantly decided we didn't feel like traveling all that way in miserable driving conditions to stand in chilly rain on slippery ship decks. We briefly pondered going to the Day of the Dead celebration at the National Museum of American History, but by then we figured it would be very crowded, and having been to the fabulous weekend-long celebration at the Native American museum the past couple of years, we decided to pass. So we did terribly exciting things like grocery shopping, CVS, and (in my case) laundry, which is not going to get done on Monday since we're meeting my in-laws at Catoctin National Park -- the kids have no school due to teacher conferences.
Here is the 2008 version of the photo...
...and the 2007 version...
...and the 2006 version...
...and the 2005 version...
...and the 2004 version...
...and the 2003 version, in which I forgot to fix the settings so I got a blurry photo, but it inspired me to try to do it right the next year and then it became a point of comparison in terms of how tall everyone is.
It wasn't a bad football day -- the Ravens won by a big margin over undefeated Denver, the Vikings beat the Packers, we saw quite a bit of both games, and the Redskins had a bye week. In the evening we started to watch the World Series, but when the Yankees went ahead, we turned it off and watched Due South instead -- "Mountie Sings the Blues," which we all loved (Fraser singing, Huey and Dewey writing a terrible country song actually penned by Paul Gross), and "Good for the Soul," which was okay (I don't like over-the-top Fraser at this point, here he seems more like the guy from the first season who doesn't understand how police work actually works, and the mob figures are all caricatures). Oh and dark_cygnet made my day by pointing out that Zienia Merton (Sandra Benes from Space: 1999) was the minister in "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith"! Now we are hoping the Phillies pull this out, yay Pedro Feliz!