Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31 2014 Readings

Two people contributed readings today, Rosemary and David.


Rosemary read the poem From Blossoms, by Li-Young Lee, from an anthology titled Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems, by Roger Housdon (ed.), 2007, Random House.

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing.
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.

Dave read a passage from Christopher Camuto's Islands, in the book, Elemental South: An Anthology of Southern Nature Writing  by Dorinda G. Dallmeyer, ed., p. 34, 2004, University of Georgia Press.

Wash your face in the Little Pigeon River above where the trail crosses and understand that men and women have made ablutions here for ten thousand years, that this was the way from the north across the mountains toward Kitu'hwa in war and peace, that this place was known to the Shawnee and the Iroquois and the Lenape in the days when men thought nothing of walking from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, Dug into that silver water, your forearms will ache with the cold of all the winters here; you will feel in the bones of your hands what the roots of spruce and fir feel, what the fractured surface of the Anakeesta outcrops feel when nothing is here except the bear and the raven, the wolf and the owl.

Walk in the woods where you can, slowly and irregularly, like an animal, Pretend you are a bear. Stop often. Flip stones: move logs aside. Tilt your head to hear. Growl and sniff the air. Unfocus your eyes to see. Let your thoughts melt toward metaphor. Stop thinking in words. Embrace the old taxonomy. savoring what is animate and inanimate, what is flexible and stiff, what is long and what is short. what is liquid and solid, what is round or unlike anything else. Enjoy the broadness of life so organized -- the sanity of the tangible -- and mark its details well. There is very little left of the original world, and the possibility of preserving what remains has passed. Nothing has escaped the contact. If the old Cherokee had not buried time itself here -- had not seen and saved the great animals that live inside these mountains waiting for this troublesome interglacial to end -- we would have nothing to look at and think about.

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