Thanks for relishing with me the beautiful time at the lake with Inge, what we think of as our autumn writing retreat. Besides our luxurious hours reading and conversing, I did not do any new writing there, but I did edit, shuffle and organize poems for the book I want to self publish. I was encouraged because I got farther than I expected, with even a tentative title and cover design. I have much to learn about publishing, ISBNs, and all sorts of things I would rather not be bothered about. A dear blog friend has been of great help and is giving me time on the phone today to answer questions. While I don't care all that much about "marketing" this book, seeing it as more of a small offering to those who have asked for something like this from me (so very kindly), I suppose it would be negligent of me to press ahead without ample forethought.
Anyway, this poem was written after returning home. It almost sounds as though I could use another retreat, but don't worry: winter is coming, with plenty of time for naps near the wood stove on weekends.
Stacking in October
For a few minutes’ interlude from Sunday rest
I stack firewood in the corncrib from the pile
at its door. Wrists ache. My body is heated
from within by menopausal hot flashes. I am not
exhilarated by the exercise, feeling my age. I must
sweep off the curled, dried leaves on the porch
before the wicker and potted wilting impatiens
are mere crispy mounds, like bracken covered in kudzu.
So, too, I must pluck hairs from my chin. How like
honey the sun flavors the quiet air—my one clear hope
and pleasure in these autumn minutes, until powder
rifles and shotguns ring peals from neighboring land.
Prizes are claimed, herds thinned. Winter is coming
with its losses, its sleep, and its recycled comforts.
Poetry should be heard.