Earth and Fire

Charity’s pit firing for her pottery class:

My Humble Contribution to the Trope of Blackberries

I imagine there are two types of people in the world. There are those who, on going blackberry picking for the first time, decide that they will never buy another blackberry.  Then there are those who commit to paying whatever price necessary to feed their fresh berry habit without getting their legs mangled.  I think poets, accustomed to having their hands dirty with juicy ink and simultaneously tasting tart words and sweet idioms, pick the former group.

Seamus wrote of blackberry picking. Plath called it of blackberrying. Hass goes so far as to say, “there is in this world no one thing / to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds, / a word is elegy to what it signifies.”  I wouldn’t mind looking at the blackberries and other fruits that Langston Hughes describes. Lorca, you Casanova you, you would never lay a lady down in a blackberry patch, only next to one.

I count myself in good company, then, in writing a poem with blackberries. 


Two kittens scurry off trail
into a blackberry bush. 
Stuck. in. the. present. moment.
Feral now. 

Lynx posed to catch a rabbit
in a diorama.
Wildness past and preserved.

Rabid for knowledge the student went to the master
everyday. He studied. He learned.
He saw two kittens scurry off trail
into a blackberry bush.
He became enlightened.

90th Birthday at Angel Island

Conspicuous Conservation

Listening to this podcast, I think: Sebastopol. 

Songs that make me cry

All Songs Considered recently had a “songs that make you weep” edition. Here are my top three at the moment.

Perhaps the greatest road trip song ever reminds me of dancing on the hardwood living room floor to my parent’s vinyl album. I think the personal nostalgia and loss of innocence cause my eyes to drop their buckets into the well of tears.

I recently discovered this Bon Iver song. I can’t figure that the lyrics are anything but flarf, but it still makes me inexplicably sad.

I remember stopping to catch my breath the first time I heard this tune.