Friday, May 22, 2009
Weiser River Pillow Book #6
(Here's the May installement in Eberle's Weiser River Pillow Book series. If you'd like to know more about this work, please check the links here & here. You can find links to all the installments so far—December thru April—on the links under * Eberle's Corner * about halfway down the page.)
FROM ANGUISH TO PIE
Anguish angoisse angular arugula angel ungulate
angle angst agonia origami
Aragon, tarragon, paragon pie.
THE THING ABOUT WITCHES
The thing about witches is that they were independently minded—loners. That’s European witches, anyway. In Brazil and Bolivia they seem more integrated into the social structure. But it strikes me that all the lore about books of spells and other paraphernalia has been added to obscure the important fact that witches had no formulated tradition, that what they did was make up their own rules.
And learn from the land, about plants. But not to come up with poisons or medicines, not just for that, mostly to be connected—to the land, through what is observed and what is taught by the slow process of growth. Last week I told myself that if I felt inclined toward religion what I would do would be to learn one from this land—that ten acres of land with water would provide all you need for a civilization—with its own art forms, religion, values, and sustenance. I went outside and put some dried lavender beneath the metal pig-lady goddess, who lives in a shrine made from part of a tractor.
TOWELS ON THE BATHROOM SHELF
The faded pink one, with holes—for orphan days.
The thick black one that sheds slightly—when the illusion of opulence reveals its flaws.
The deep blue one—perfect, a reward reserved for harmonious days.
Striped ones—always go on the hand towel rack, for unexplained reasons.
The peach one—somewhere between the pink one and the blue one.
Turquoise—you have to be feeling a bit brash for this one.
The ones my companion brought with him to live here—still look exotic and exciting.
My grandmother’s, with rose appliqués—are fading, poignantly—death again.
THE FIRST LADYBUG
The first ladybug seen from beneath the cottonwoods starting to fill the air with cotton somehow makes me want to let the wild roses grow right into the laundry room—prying the siding apart as they have already started to do, and twining into the secret place where the totem umbrella lies month after month, untouched.
THE PARADE OF LEAVES
Cottonwood, willow, currant already jaded, the spiky blackberry and the elegantly down-curving elderberry, those of the serviceberry have serrated edges, those of the chokecherry do not, these are the ones I have come to know and it is strange to think that they unfurled in their stately, hurtling order before I came here to live among them.
THE SUMMER IS FULL OF GHOSTS
The summer is full of ghosts—of longings from other times of warmth and sun—longing built upon longing, in some kind of endless algebraic proof of itself. And yet this place comes closer than any I have known to containing what I love. Still, there are rustlings in the bushes—invisible things on the wing, with sharp beaks and singing.
THINGS THAT LOOK WELL AGAINST GREEN HILLS
Crayon-colored farm equipment.
THINGS SEEN ON A SHOPPING TRIP TO THE LAND OF THINGS
Garden hoses colored blue and purple instead of green.
A display of beef jerky in the men’s underwear section.
Bubble gum chips sold in miniature milk cartons.
LUCKY STRIKE AT THE DUMP
3 fans, various sizes.
Large iron hook.
Large metal hoop.
Bucketful of small metal bits.
SOME COLORS AT THE FARMSTEAD
Pumphouse: drifting sea and pink.
Pig-lady shrine: John Deere yellow and green, pomegranate.
Western shop wall: sombrero.
BLOOMING, MAY 22
Honeysuckle, columbine, iris, lilac, wallflower, geranium, phlox, dianthus, syringa.
Edible: watercress, sorrel, chives, cilantro, thyme, oregano.
Theoretically edible: cattails, camas root.
TIME AND TIDE
Charcoal vacuum filters, change twice a year.
Air filters, every three months.
Swamp cooler, clean out in the spring.
Refrigerator, when relatives are coming to visit.
Is it better to clean under the stove burners when the moon is new, do the dust bunnies increase when the moon is on the wane and trailing behind it the glittering flux of the object world—a milk jug emerging in the draw, a beer-bottle cap winking in the corral.
BIG HOT DAY
2 starlings trapped in the chimney—dismantling the stove pipe to let them out.
Cleaning out the swamp cooler pump and pan.
Hanging 2 sheets on the southwestern windows-- from the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store—torn, darned, and nibbled. One pale blue, one pale green. They make an underwater light pour across the living room.
THE ORDER OF THINGS
Peonies after the lilacs, before the hedge roses.
Irises after lilacs.
Elderberries flowering after the currants berry.
TREES AND THEIR BEETLES
The bane of the locusts and their elegant branches, a borer resembling a wasp, cleverly, since that is its great predator. The box elder trees growing around an abandoned homestead I drove past hundreds of times before finally exploring it. The familiar deities of these localities presiding: a toppled refrigerator, large car parts—and swarming cities of box elder beetles.
EARLY MORNING THOUGHTS
Every embarrassing thing you’ve ever done.
Thinking how pleasant it is that two days still remain in the month of May—then remembering how you used to hate the calendar and drew up lunar calendars to follow instead.
Thinking you can give up some high-minded principles that made your first few decades more noble, but uncomfortable.
In the pond, in slow motion, a bullfrog which has its mouth almost entirely around another’s head.
A baby porcupine in the garden, without quills, defenseless.
A wasp wrapped up like a mummy in a black widow’s web.
LATELY WE HAVE ASKED ALOUD
What is the process of galvanizing?
Why bush league?
Why the card in the carding of wool?
There it sits, the Oxford English Dictionary, but sometimes we love a mystery.