Day 247 – Something to Sink Your Toes Into


Something to Sink Your Toes Into

Day 247

Bogland by Seamus Heaney

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening–
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops’ eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They’ve taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They’ll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless.

Not that I would want to sink my toes into this cold mess, but I did sink my shoes into it as I wandered through this marsh looking for something different.  Alas, nothing different about tree trunks reflecting in standing water, but the time of year that I am actually catching this marvel IS different.  We should be buried in at least a foot of snow now, not mired in soft mud with the warm sun shining down on us.  Not that I am complaining – I’ll take the sun shining on my face any time!
And this photo, taken before I read One Order of Ordinary, Hold the Extra by the lovely Year Struck, of an ordinary tree in an ordinary swamp in and ordinary town by an ordinary woman, makes me very thankful indeed for the very virtue of ordinariness. And very thankful for someone who reminded me that being ordinary is a good thing.
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15 thoughts on “Day 247 – Something to Sink Your Toes Into

  1. Great photo and poem (I marvel how you are able to pair poem and picture so consistently). The bogs Seamus Heaney describes sound claustrophobic and incredible. Have you read or heard Heaney’s version of Beowulf, by the way? I enjoyed it very much on CD on a couple of road trips and recommend it….if one likes that sort of thing.

    • I actually spend more time reading poetry to match to the photo, than I do on the photo itself. I have yet to read Beowulf and as much as I read, that is a poor thing indeed.
      I need to tell you that your new home is lovely, Neil. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us.

  2. What a strange season. We are strange creatures, too, we “ordinary” people. We feel like we don’t stand out among the forest of our family, friends and colleagues when in fact each of us grows and blooms in completely unique ways. It doesn’t matter if the distinction is impressive or special or super-cool, it’s simply wonderful that we’re distinct.

    Don’t get sucked into the bog, Honeychile! It’s quite a lovely picture. Are there tons of tree photos out there? Uncountable trees of any particular species? Oh yes. But *this* is a beautiful photo of *these* trees. By a uniquely beautiful individual friend of mine.

    • I have seen some spectacular photos of trees in the blogs that I follow and I am continually amazed at the truly unique perspective those photographers bring to the table when presenting those trees. I had actually set out to photograph leaves frozen into the water, but frozen water is now UNfrozen and that idea had to be thrown into the files for use at a later date….
      And YOU, are one of those very extraordinary people to me – your artistic talent knows no bounds with the different medias you have mastered, you are a culinary genius compared to my less than stellar skills, and your personality, compassion and zest are beyond compare. You, my dear Kathryn, intimidate me! But I can live with that, because you are getting very dear to my heart.

  3. This image just stirs! So very beautiful! One of those that makes me do a little gasp when I first see it, and then sigh as me eyes slowly take it in. Thank you for the gift that is this morning!

    • And your words made me to a little gasp when I read them, Antoinette. Now, I will be completely honest here – this is not one of my favorite photos! As is normal for me, I need something to post and I weed out the ones with the most obvious defects then when I have myself down to three or four choices, go through them quickly for the one that appeals to my eye on first impression. And regardless of how I feel about that photo, if it is my best shot for the day, it is posted, good or bad.
      And it makes me feel so much better that you like this one! ♥

    • I hadn’t really thought about the texture for some reason, and there is a TON of it in this photo. I guess it is that I am so worried about posting a bad photo that I don’t pay enough attention to what I am posting – which is really quite shameful. I do pay attention to everyone else work – the nuances of the work I look at are mesmerizing so much of the time.

  4. I would beg to differ, my dear Lady. 🙂
    Photographs are not just photographs. Each one evokes a different feeling, a different image, a thought that comes unbidden and as such no two photographs are alike to my humble mind.
    This photograph has such presence, such rootedness and timelessness. It made me sit up straight and take notice.
    I would love to sit by that tree and sink my toes into the water. Perhaps, when my toes touch the water, it may take me back in time and give me a glimpse of a different world, as it was before the advent of mankind…..

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