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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fast Day 209 June 5 2011 {No One Lives Here Anymore}

No One Lives Here Anymore

There is probably good walking in the woods;
ground a little frozen now,
and you will not sink away…
we could go there now, if you wish

New Year’s Day is in the autumn months, I think September;
school orchards are applefull of sapling-kids,
sporting uniforms
of bright leaves and mystic stick hair:
trees untouched by axe or ootamuhikun
or tomahawk; trees unburnt, unscathed:
trees untired of standing, trees not weary
of the diadem of fruit
upon their pollard heads.

The pigment of snow has white-washed all the land;
make sure the snowshoe
line that goes across the toes
is firmly drawn and taut, if you please.

Ozzie and Harriet kitchen, a dated memory
of cabinets and counter-tops; June Cleaver
in the woodwork and
Ward Cleaver in the telephone:
“Hi, Doc! Can you come over? The boys
got into some trouble: David skinned his
knee, and Ricky got into drugs and died
in an aeroplane meth lab,
and Beaver went to ‘Nam… “

When the weather warms, my daughter’s often sick
the cold has passed away,
the solstice comes, I suppose…
and great bird cloud-trains fill the air.

I have some stockings and some leggings, and I take them off:
I no longer run in the morning cold;
breeze to my back, my
sweat poured until I turned to face
full western brute blasting wind, and I was
encased in carbonite like Han Solo,
zero to the bones, my crotch frozen
like a marble Gothic architrave
hung over a nave of sleet -
spring-melting into igloo dust.

There are frogs within the newly dug basements
of houses abuilding…
dusk smell of concrete and pond…
houses never to be sold!


ootamuhikun” = tomahawk (Cree Indian).
“applefull” = as full or crowded as an apple tree in the autumn

“mystic stick” = mistik or mistikoos (Cree Indian): a small stick, referring here to new branches on saplings, and comparing them to a child’s hair.
“cloud-trains” = long lines of birds flying through the clouds. The original meaning of “train” was large linear group of objects.


Ben said...

Sorry for not commenting for a while, Montag. I'll try and comment more often. This was a very good poem actually. Covering the four seasons is very meditative. Especially your Autumn verse. It is very romantic, and I can imagine taking a walk through those woods with a romantic other.

Of all the seasons, I think Autumn is the most romantic. Winter is too, in its own way, because you can curl up in front of a hearth with another and exchange quiet talk, or sit contentedly in silence.

From your title, it seems the poem itself is a reminiscence of times past...of the experience of seasons past...its almost as if seasons no longer exist now as they used to, or they've become "bland".


Montag said...

Please forgive me for my male PMS. I took an instant dislike to parts of the poem and reacted badly.

When we talk of seasons no longer existing as they used to...
it put me in mind of reversals of fortune, you know, from good times to bad times... only these reversals are random and chaotic.
The seasons, on the other hand, change with regularity through the cycle of the year. They are "seasons", not reversals due to their regularity. The deadly cold of winter always follows summer and autumn, and spring gives new life.

Why do we accept an economic system that has cycles? Are there reversals of fortune, or are there just economic seasons, and each great year of the economy some people must look forward to a die-off... like vermin in the season if ice?