This poem arrived in my email this morning:
It is the dark of the moon.
Late at night, the end of summer,
The autumn constellations
Glow in the arid heaven.
The air smells of cattle, hay,
And dust. In the old orchard
The pears are ripe. The trees
Have sprouted from old rootstocks
And the fruit is inedible.
As I pass them I hear something
Rustling and grunting and turn
My light into the branches.
Two raccoons with acrid pear
Juice and saliva drooling
From their mouths stare back at me,
Their eyes deep sponges of light.
They know me and do not run
Away. Coming up the road
Through the black oak shadows, I
See ahead of me, glinting
Everywhere from the dusty
Gravel, tiny points of cold
Blue light, like the sparkle of
Iron snow. I suspect what it is,
And kneel to see. Under each
Pebble and oak leaf is a
Spider, her eyes shining at
Me with my reflected light
Across immeasurable distance.
I love how this poem seems to move so simply, almost like a prose paragraph. But every detail is exact, moves the poem forward from a late night on a particular road into immeasurable distance.
And poetry from an unexpected source appeared as an editorial in the NY Times on Derek Jeter by Doug Glanville that Larry read to me. Here’s a sample: “You speed through much of your time just hoping to keep the ooze moving forward, worrying that it may swallow you whole the minute you let up.” Several passages made us almost teary. Not surprisingly, he’s written a book, The Game from Where I Stand, which I just ordered.