Tuesday, February 11, 2014

a million things to be: portraits 5/52

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"Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
'Cause there's a million things to be
You know that there are..."

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

If you lived here, there are things you would know

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You'd know that when the February air
gets cold enough, much

much colder than zero, a wide halo
of crystals forms around the sun

glistening like a muted rainbow.  The sky, too
pales on the coldest days, thins

out into a breakable boneblue.
The buses don't run, fuel thickens

in the lines, but the secretary calls each
family to assure us that the school day

will proceed.  You'd know the morning voices
of the married couple who own the local AM

radio station.  Her laughing voice tries 
to steer him from politics, and she never forgets

a celebrity's birthday.  If you lived here
you'd know that the sound of a line of cattle

shuffling across a frozen white field 
is like the sound of running water,

a warm sound that makes you stop
in momentary confusion.

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You'd know the clipped sound of  axe blade
splitting a log of lodgepole,

the precise heft of a perfect
downward swing as you fill

the woodbox.  Or the fitting of burls
and knots together

like puzzle pieces in the body of the stove
to make it burn tight and hot.  You'd fight

frozen water lines only to a point
because by now you know that sometimes

it is just too goddamn cold to thaw.
On your morning commute, you'd watch

through your cracked windshield, 
the etched ridgeline of the Pioneer Mountains 

grow rosy with morning and know that,
for a moment,

you are peeking into some other 
wild and desolate world.
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