Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What a dance


What a dance

Snow flakes fell every day
that I reclined sick
indoors watching them

from the red chair

but still they


fill the wrinkles
of ground I walk
after all that lying down

not having been able
to rest

being blown

like thoughts

that don’t
beyond seeds

has happened
in the night while I
sleepless and warm

walnut leaves lie coupled
around the silent
chicken yard

bucks have rubbed
on the social thrift
of sumac

thistle heads toppled
and surrendered bladders
of silk

the fallen tree
is piled in half-chopped logs
like stacks of half-
read books

poke berries shine
like deer pellets
and deer pellets shine
like poke berries

the frozen white platter
of the pond
bears black marks
that twirl and slide
jump and land

such tiny paws
and large hooves
tied together
by claw-dragged lines

What a dance it must have been

for each one
going after the mystery
in their own way 

Listen to a podcast of this poem here.


♥ Kathy said...

Wow Ruth! I could picture that so clearly! Wonderful!!

George said...

This is terrific, Ruth, just terrific! It rises and rises before reaching that wonderful last exclamation: "What a dance it must have been for each one going after the mystery in their own way."

I have written a book on the Gaelic history of my family. I think your last lines (quoted above) would have been great to place on the frontispiece. While your poem is speaking of the dance of nature's elements, it made me think of all of the ancestors who came before me, each of them going after the mystery in his or her own way. Perhaps it's just a Christmas thought.

Friko said...

To have the peace of mind to lie back and let these thoughts and impressions enter into being is enviable.

It is a lovely poem about a minute fraction of world yet it encompasses all of life.

The Solitary Walker said...

Oh, that was such a joy to read! Absolutely wonderful, Ruth.

lakeviewer said...

Hah, a wonderful, delirious dance!

Cait O'Connor said...

Beautiful poem.
Funnily enough I posted a poem on snowfall today; not a patch on yours though.

Pat said...

Glad you are feeling better, but wow to produce something like this when you are feeling ill - I'm impressed! Such visualization!

Margaret Bednar said...

...I won't ever share my thoughts and grumpy mood while I am sick in bed. Or afterwards, when the laundry is piled high and kitchen a mess. You are amazing, your words dancing together on a page creating such beauty...

Ann said...

I hope you will get better for Christmas.

Shaista said...

So in synch... I was just reading your poem aloud to Dad, and somewhere far away, and yet so near, you were writing about mine :)
Are you sick? Feel better soon!! Me, I'm out of the chair too (for now) xxx

deb said...

This is fabulous.
Just fabulous.

(and I hope you are feeling better? )

off to listen to your voice ....

Gwei Mui said...

Great piece, the perfect way to start my day!

Astrid said...

This time I think I go for a hot chocolate.....
It is snowing here JUST a little bit, but hail and black ice will be soon here too.
A wonderful poem, snow is one of the wonders of nature, arn't there only 9 ice cristals that make the snow.
Things like that fascinate me.
Have a wonderful day.

Ruth said...

♥ Kathy, thank you for that!

Susan said...

You made me see every little thing. "...the frozen white platter of the pond"...nice.

So glad you're feeling more like yourself, sweetie.

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, George. I took this walk yesterday morning. Everything was so quiet, not even the sound of birds, or the sight of them. I almost felt that the Rapture had taken place. :)

It is an honor that you'd think of this poem for your special Gaelic family history. Maybe for a second printing? ;-) But it really means a lot to me that my connection with Nature conjured your connection with your ancestors, because I decidedly want to envision us humans as one with Nature, always. I'm also encouraged that this Christmas thought was a positive one for you, after our blog discussions of late, here at mine, at Robert's and at yours, about the onslaught of Christmas commercialism. We can reach down to the meaning of mystery, even in this holiday time; it just takes some silence and reflection.

Ruth said...

Friko, thank you, my friend. To be clear, the poem came after the illness, yesterday, after I felt like a new person and I badly needed a walk outdoors. I'm glad you saw the poem in a universal way.

Ruth said...

Robert, thank you so much!

Hard to believe we still haven't had the snow you've gotten there in the UK.

Ruth said...

Lakeviewer, thank you, it was delirious in my mind and poem anyway, and I have the license. :)

Ruth said...

Cait, thank you very much. Your snowfall poem is very beautiful, and I love feeling that connection with you in Wales, via our love of winter, and being inspired to write poems about it.

Ruth said...

Pat, thank you, my traveling friend. Let me be clear though, I wrote this after I felt better. I had nothing in me to write a poem when I was sick. When I went for a walk yesterday, I found a quiet and changed world from the last time I walked out there . . .

Judy said...

Mmmmmm.... I always feel so relaxed when I come visit your blog! Thank you for that gift. No snow in my part of Iowa yet.

Shari Sunday said...

I think this might be my favorite. Just lovely. I have lain on the sofa in a daze, too sick to even push the buttons on the TV remote and watched the tiny oak leaves float past the windows, but I would love to see a snowfall. I lived in Pennsylvania the year my daughter was born and buddled her and myself up for a walk such as you describe each morning. Such a magical time for me.

Marcie said...

So beautiful. I can hear the rhythm of the wintry forest in your words!!

Julie said...

Ruth, stopping in to say hello and Happy Holidays to you and your family. As you already know from Boots and Astrid we have snow here, Im a couple hours from them to the east.Its been darn right bitter and icey. Ive read everyones blog and enjoyed them! Such lovely pictures and and stories. Its a the taste of home I needed. Stay warm and safe.
Julie in Holland :) Oh yea Congrats to Boots on her card being renewed. Great news ! :)

Oliag said...

Poems of nature are my favorite perhaps because they describe the indescribable or the often described in a more beautiful way...and yours are among the best...This poem took me walking with you as well as your photos do. (Did I use the word "well" correctly here?)

I am glad to hear that you are feeling better...

Dutchbaby said...

I'm so sorry you were so ill and glad that you are now better. What is it about the first outing after an illness that sharpens our observation skills into overdrive? Your poem is vivid, crisp, invigorating.

Babs-beetle said...

Sorry you have been ill, and glad you are feeling better now.

Another lovely post :)

Jane said...

So nice to see you are podcasting! I've missed blogging but am back and enjoying you as always!

who said...

I like your poems that sound spontaneous, like a sudden dance.

Arti said...

It's a season of mystery indeed... i love your way with words and images, and of course, your life on the farm and in synch with nature is idyllic. I'm sure it contributes to your poetic mind. Hope you're feeling better by now and thanks for a haven of rest you've prepared here in your blog. I too am dwelling on poetry lately, in our urban chaos. So much more meaningful to find a piece of quiet here.

Barb said...

A wonderful poem/picture of wintry magic. I like the idea of each "going after the mystery in their own way."

Ruth said...

Margaret, thank you. I don't get sick often, thankfully, but these days, if I don't get anything done, no one is relying on me. Don is self sufficient. But you have a big family that relies on you!

Ruth said...

Ann, thanks so much. I feel great now.

Ruth said...

Shaista, cross poem pollinating? :)

I'm not sick now, just a three day cold. I'm glad you are out of the chair, and I wish you beautiful days of rest and pleasure.

Ruth said...

Hello, Deb. Thank you for such a kind comment. Yes, I am totally fine now, it was a short but intense cold.

Ruth said...

Hi, Gwei Mui, that's great, thank you!

Ruth said...

Hello, Astrid, I wonder if you have had more snow than we have. It wouldn't take much, because we have had hardly any. It just hasn't lasted on the ground. I had not heard that about 9 ice crystals making snow. Is there anything wiki doesn't have an article about?

Ruth said...

Susie, thank you, my friend. You had the big cruddy cold first. Please stay healthy through the holidays.

Ruth said...

Judy, that is very nice. Thank you so much. If you want snow, I hope you'll get it.

Ruth said...

Shari, what a sweet and beautiful image of you and your baby girl going out into winter for a walk. Fresh cold air is a wonderful, welcome feeling after being sick.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Marcie. Is there anything prettier than a woods filled up with snow?

Ruth said...

Hi, Julie, welcome to my blog as a commenter! It's been terrific meeting you, and knowing you are from Michigan, living in Holland like Boots. Yes, you got snow before us, which is strange.

Yes, it's happy news about Bootsie's card!

Ruth said...

Oliag, thank you, what a kind thing to say.You used "well" correctly, yes. Well I think so anyway. :)

Ruth said...

Dutchbaby, I like them three words. A lot. Just like I liked my walk in the vivid, crisp and invigorating air.

Ruth said...

Thanks a bunch, Babs!

Ruth said...

Jane, oh thanks! It's good to see you back.

Ruth said...

Dusti, this not only sounds spontaneous, it was spontaneous. :)

Ruth said...

Hi, Arti. I do feel better, thank you very much. It seems as though more of us are turning to poetry these days. I hadn't thought about it being related to the chaos, which perhaps is growing, or at least feels that way.

Ruth said...

Barb, thank you for that. Each of them does it without thinking about it. Me, I think too much!

Loring Wirbel said...

I so love these direct, minimalist natural poems - and especially hearing you read them! Hope you are feeling better. (We have gotten almost no measurable snow all year, maybe some tonight.)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Loring! I feel much better, thank you. Yeah, we're supposed to get snow this weekend too. We'll see. We have about 1/4 inch now. :)

I am working up the courage to read your no-doubt-excellent article on the Commoditization of Crazy Music. ;-) Actually, I just want the space and time to devote my full attention to it.

Hello to Carol!

Deborah said...

bucks have rubbed
on the social thrift
of sumac

thistle heads toppled
and surrendered bladders
of silk

the fallen tree
is piled in half-chopped logs
like stacks of half-
read books

These lines are particularly gorgeous, although it's unjust to single them out from the rest. Ruth, that you can write like this when you're sick, or at least recuperating, confirms to me that you're just brimming with this kind of beauty and that it pours out of you naturally. The stars and the planets have be lined up just so for me to even get to writing....

Hope ytou're feeling much better, and please please, I hope you are compiling your poetry for publication.

Ruth said...

Dear Deborah, you are so terribly kind to me, thank you. I don't know what has happened, but lately I seem to want to say anything I say in a poem. It means so much to me that it meets you in your heart.