Saturday, March 9, 2013

dust in the wind



... and the snow just keeps coming down. It's a winter wonderland out there, folks. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Two black squirrels were tussling on the bird feeder this morning while the chickadees were still sleeping. They chased off two grays, duked it out after a tumble in the snow and then burrowed their way to where leftover seeds were waiting. What a fun way to start the morning. That's entertainment.

On a completely unrelated topic, this poem popped out of an anthology yesterday and I can't shake it. I could tell you a whole lot of stories that sound very much like this one, but I'll just let you guys tell yourselves your own stories, or feel free to share them here ... I bet you have some, too.


"Escape from Paradise, Iowa"


We are afraid of nothing.
At the diner,
you order a burger,
a grilled cheese for me.
We tell bad jokes,
pour salt on the table.
The waitress glares at us,
our clothes too tight,
my lipstick too red
for this small town.

This is the summer
of anger and beer.
We know everything:
how each blade of grass turns in the wind,
why the sunlight glints off the pool,
the shining of streetlights on black pavement,
the darkness of the lake at night.

At the bar
you say I am as Nordic
as blonde hair, these big bones
under the sheet of my skin
a frame for your thoughts.
I am the only one smoking.
My breath peels into the air like waves.

We have nothing in this town:
a beat-up Mustang,
a few songs on the jukebox,
the torn cover of a book you never read.
When we get in the car,
you pass me another beer.

We are scared of these random roads,
the small towns passing,
the gas tank nearly empty.
My head on your shoulder,
the eight track stuck again,
we're gonna drive this dirt road
all the way to Kansas City.


~Kathryn Kysar




Kathryn Kysar is a Minnesota poet  (1960 -   )

Image from tumblr, but no attribution was given.

42 comments:

  1. Sounds like some small town folks that could not find peace in a small town. I have known folks like that and that is OK. Everyone has their ideas about their life. -- barbara

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    1. My sense is, they were young, and often the young are restless... :)

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  2. I'm from a very small town and know that restlessness--there's this tug to go beyond the curve and see how it straightens out.

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    1. I so agree as I have done that exploration myself, as you know... :) Many were taught that leaving the rural areas would lead to a better life, but that's not necessarily the case and can often lead us away from the things that matter... so good to hear form you, Kittie.

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  3. Took me back just like that.

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  4. Always lived in the KC area...Can't imagine living/growing up in a small town. But! I think there's a certain restlessness with the youth, no matter where you grow up. Loved this poem!

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    1. I think that's it more than anything, that youthful restlessness is universal.

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  5. How I envy you living out in the peaceful country away from all the noise and traffic. As much as I love the wooded lot, it is surrounded on all sides by housing. I have a devoted bunch of gray squirrels nonetheless. They know when I feed the turkeys and line up in the trees and on the retaining wall to watch and wait. I had a black squirrel some years ago and several white squirrels, but no more. A hawk took one of the squirrels the other day just outside my window. If it had been a black or white squirrel, it would have been more upsetting than having one of the many grays eaten.

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    1. I've never seen a white squirrel but have several blacks. They are an amusing bunch.

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  6. Love the image. Can't imagine how that camera got so lost.
    I envy the true winter you are having. Other that a few days, here, we have not had winter at all. Now it's spring and we are having days of beautiful weather ...but I feel cheated and the fear of a long hot summer is always looming.
    Love your squirrel combat in the snow.
    The poem reminds me of my mother who was raised in a small town. She never wanted to go back, except to visit her family. I always wanted to stay. It's all about perspective and a sense of what you love.

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    1. Hi farmlady, thanks for your visit and for leaving such a nice comment - always appreciated...

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  7. Winter will only hang on for so long so we have to appreciate it while it is still around. Loved the poem. Reminded me of the tumultuous years of my youth, always looking for something and not seeing what was immediately around me. The adventure of being young is wonderful. Carefree, the world your oyster, every tomorrow is your today.

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    1. I just came in from shoveling and cleaning off my car... good work, quite cathartic... I get to work out a bit of pent up stuff :)

      Today is beautiful and the snow will only make for an even greener spring...

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  8. When the snares of the big cities begin to feed the conscience, it is natural for small towns to become part of one's fear of being lost in antiquity. I agree with Farm Lady, that it is all about how we see things and what we appreciate.

    I am a small town boy. A very small town, steeped in lore and mysteries, tucked between hills and thick forest. Though work pulled me away to a big city, at heart I am still a small town boy.
    Now things are changing fast, modernity is slowly creeping and landscape of the town is changing. I am still very proud of the 'small town' which is still part of me. You may try the link.

    http://cyclop-scenery.blogspot.com/2010_08_01_archive.html

    As usual I enjoyed reading and thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for providing a link to your own small town ... interesting images and information. It looks wonderful! It is very much about how we perceive things, and attitude is everything... I'm so glad you visit my blog and I always appreciate your insightful comments.

      Love the Beatles song on your blog, very apropos.

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  9. Great poem - it captures that particular mood very well. We're only like that for a little while in our lives, aren't we?

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    1. Yes, only a little while, thankfully, although a sort of wanderlust stuck with me a good long while...

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  10. Very nice, I had to sit back and think of the Kansas song with your title.All we are is dust on the wind.

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    1. Yes, the song seems fitting, doesn't it?

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  11. Small towns aren't much for young people, until those young people have seen a city for awhile.

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  12. I love this post. Awesome poem. Awesome photo. Perfect :)

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    1. Hey Will! I love hearing from you... I hope life is good and unfolding as it should...

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  13. I found the poem quite disturbing and had to read it a few times before I realized it was because of the contrast between the bravado at the beginning when they're bored and ready for adventure and the loss of confidence at the end when the gas is low and 8 track stuck. It reminds me of how panicky I can feel when I wake at 2am with a big change pending, even if I've orchestrated it myself.
    Love the lipstick line. I grew up in suburbia and it was just the same.

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    1. You know, it is a tad disturbing when viewed in the light of loss ... innocence decaying in front of our eyes... :(

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  14. An interesting poem, but the image I cannot shake is the header photo of the dust-covered, broken camera. A thousand metaphors there — this device that attempted to capture time has now subdued to time. Reminds me of the remains of Shelley's "Ozymandias" in the desert.

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    1. George, Thank you so much for these interesting comments. The image is wonderful, isn't it? I am now going to re-read Ozymandias, very intriguing insight. Thank you so much for that connection.

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  15. Teresa E, 'Telling my own story', this poem speaks to me of the quiet panic and impatience of escaping from inertia. Because that's where I am in my life at this moment. The image of a broken camera is perfect.

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    1. Ann interesting perspective, "Doc." I can see how this would apply... Yes, that broken camera in the sands of time (as I see it) is a very intriguing image. Thanks for visiting and commenting. :)

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    2. Please forgive me if you find that I have borrowed that camera graphic sometime in the future without giving you credit?

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    3. Forgiving you was easy, forgetting seems to take the longest time. ~ Willie :)) Credit not mine to take or give ... steal away...

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  16. We had a bunch of snow last week in our little corner of the world.
    Love the poem. it brought back memories. Two friends had Mustangs back in the day and we used to cruise around. One was red and my favorite was pale yellow with baby blue interior.
    Sorry I haven't been around much. I went back to work about a month ago after nine months off for health reasons. Hanging in there, but just spent two days in the hospital and had to take a week off already. Going back to work on Monday, and will visit when I can.

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    1. Mustangs... those were the cars... they sound gorgeous.

      I'm so sorry to hear of your health issues, Cat. It's good to hear from you again... Do take care of yourself... My Best Thoughts, always.

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  17. Dear Teresa, I didn't grow up in a small town and so the "angst" and the boredom and "something always better away from here" wasn't part of being a teen-ager but I can surely recognize the restlessness of youth. Thanks for sharing. Peace.

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    1. There seems to be an innate restlessness wherever one grows up...

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  18. "They chased off two grays, duked it out after a tumble in the snow and then burrowed their way to where leftover seeds were waiting. What a fun way to start the morning. That's entertainment." ... Lord, please let me learn to write like this ...

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    1. You silly ... lol. Your writing has been and continues to be a great inspiration to me ... as has your life...

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  19. I'm so behind - I keep popping in and reading and can't find a way to say a coherent word. It's just life - too much at work, too many deadlines, jury service coming up, falling off a dock into the water... Yes! I did! No harm done, but it seems to have set me off my axis a bit.

    I love this poem. I'm an Iowa girl who remembers when Interstate 80 first was built. I'd sit on our front step and listen to the big trucks whining their way to Chicago or Omaha, and I wanted to gogogogogogogo....

    Funny. I did go to Kansas City after a year's worth of college. I worked there for a couple of years, and my Dad let me take his Mustang down there for a little while. It was cobalt blue with a white interior. My best friend and I would go to Country Club Plaza and have dinner, and then just drive around. It was a good time, a good escape - but I'd be more than willing to be back in that little Iowa town now.

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    1. Sounds like a good ride you had there... But, your recent experiences sound a little unnerving. I hope you're doing better... falling off a dock doesn't seem fun at all. Not at this stage of life.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. Take Care!

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