Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I Cannot Live Without


There are many things I could live without, but those that comprise our natural world are not among them. I could do some trading, but even that would be difficult. Perhaps if the trading went along these lines ...


 "Fifty-Fifty"

   You can have the grackle whistling blackly
   from the feeder as it tosses seed,

if I can have the red-tailed hawk perched
   imperious as an eagle on the high branch.

You can have the brown shed, the field mice
   hiding under the mower, the wasp’s nest on the door,

if I can have the house of the dead oak,
   its hollowed center and feather-lined cave.

You can have the deck at midnight, the possum
   vacuuming the yard in its white prowl,

if I can have the yard of wild dreaming, pesky
   raccoons, and the roaming, occasional bear.

You can have the whole house, window to window,
   roof to soffits to hardwood floors,

if I can have the screened porch at dawn,
   the Milky Way, any comets in our yard.



~ Patricia Clark, She Walks into the Sea, Michigan State University Press, 2009







Photograph by Russell Heimlich

47 comments:

  1. "Any comets in our yard."

    Lovely.

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  2. Dear Teresa, thank you again for introducing me to another poet whose words so resonate within me. The list starts immediately doesn't it as we read this poem? What we treasure and what we could give away in a fair trade. So much natural beauty and I've recently discovered more as a neighbor took me to a place nearby where I can walk each day. The Little Blue River flows along the walk ways--there are cliffs and railroad tracks and trees and spring wildflowers, culverts, and trees leafing. All so beautiful. Peace.

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    1. she's brand new to me, as well. I love this poem, wish I'd written it! :) It sounds like you have found the perfect place to take walks, wonderful elements there. The Little Blue River ... my, that sounds wonderful...

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  3. if I can have the screened porch at dawn,
    yes... please.

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  4. Now I must find more of Patricia Clark's poetry, Teresa. Such a wonderfully evocative piece, coupled with that fabulous image. I have a great deal of yard work to do today; maybe I'll just make a list of what I cannot live without instead. Sigh.

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  5. Lovely lovely words Teresa, and such an exquisite photograph....just gorgeous!!

    Hugs Jane

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    1. I love that photo and wish I knew who took it so I could give proper attribution.

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    2. Jane, I hope your days are going well and you're feeling better ... Hugs to you, dear lady.

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  6. I think that there could be a battle for the screened porch at dawn and the Milky Way. I wouldn't give that up easily! In truth, I have no screened porch, but my best equivalent is the hour or two before the sun rises when I am firing my wood fired kiln. Usually it is at the start of a firing, when only a small fire burns in the mouth of the firebox, and I sit on a canvas seat with my cat Ginger on my lap, and he and I watch the thin stream of wood smoke uncoil from the chimney, we see the stars above, and feel the chill of the pre sun air. I would trade most of the house for that!!
    Love the photo. P xx

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    1. That sounds like a mighty fine way to start any day, Peter. You have such a lovely writing style...

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  7. Yes, beautiful poem and stunning photo.

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    1. Thanks, Galen. Hope life is good for you and yours...

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  8. Absolute, unadulterated power in the words of this poem. My favorite? The very first line,
    "You can have the grackle whistling blackly
    from the feeder as it tosses seed".

    Simply delicious.

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    1. I was thrilled when I read this. It's truly a great poem. I also felt that power you allude to.

      Delicious it is. :)

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  9. That photo is startling beautiful. The poem spells justice in the natural way of the world. I will look up the author of the poem online -- she is a Michigander as am I originally. Would like to read more of her poems. thanks -- barbara

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    1. I thought so, too. So crisp, yet soft... I'm thinking a book might even be necessary.

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  10. That picture just took my breath away. And then the poem, which could have been written by you, from what I know of you anyway. I love them both, and I feel very much enriched this morning by having read and absorbed. Thank you. :-)

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    1. I wish I had written this poem. I love every line. Thank you for that generous comment. Have a gorgeous day!

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  11. Nature is a true gift and should be cherished, as this poem so eloquently states. Ahh...the view at dawn is so AWESOME!

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  12. This makes me want to think (and write) specifically about what would be on my most-treasured list. My poem might begin, "You can keep this cold wind, rain, and snow...." :)

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  13. such sweet sentiments dear to my heart, a good reminder of what is the most important in today's world indeed.

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    1. You have enjoyed so many great visitors to your yard in FL., I hope your travels will yield many more.

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  14. If that were a conversation between you and I, I would glady insist that you have the red-tailed hawk. :)

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  15. That's a great poem! Thanks!

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  16. Fair enough... and I will take "wild dreaming" any time. I have a "red tail" for you. Lovely poem... exquisite photo.

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    1. Alright. Are the red tail's a threat to the chickens?

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  17. If I can have the red-tailed hawk perched
    imperious as an eagle on the high branch -

    -my words if I was a poet.
    What a lovely feather

    Grethe `) ´) ´)

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    1. Hi Grethe! So good to read your words. That feather just glows, doesn't it?

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  18. Yes! Choose yard of wild dreamingEvery Time!

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  19. As long as I can keep midnight with the glass minnows plashing and sounding like rain against the water, and the 4 a.m. cardinal who doesn't know he's supposed to leave that hour for the mockingbird, I'll turn loose of a good bit.

    Do you have clear skies? Don't forget the current meteor shower, the Aquariid which peak in the predawn hours of May 6. There have been rates of 40-85 per hour recorded, with about 30 per hour between May 3-10. Granted, they're not a comet, but if you're like me, you take what you can get. ;)

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    1. Those sound like things I wouldn't want to trade, either. Lovely. And no clear skies tonight, but I will hope for tomorrow night and meteor showers. Thanks so much for letting me know! Yes, I'll take what I can get. :) Sounds wonderful.

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  20. Teresa, I love that poem. Yin and Yang, a healthy balance of mind and spirit. Really it is a recipe for life. Life has highs and life has lows. Maybe most important is the message to enjoy the little things in life. Thank you so much for posting this gem.

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    1. As I mentioned over at my poetry site, you always appear at the perfect time... Thank you for that. Yes, life does indeed have highs and lows, sometimes even days... :) I'm so glad you liked this poem.

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