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.

Day 224 – Its Season Has Passed

Its Season Has Passed

Day 224

Winter Scenes by Karen Stephens

I have

               seen Winter; its cold, grey mornings,

Its frozen mist-drops clinging to yielding tree branches,

Its glass-like tears sparkling in the short noon sun,

I have seen Winter.

I have

               heard Winter; its fast-moving wind noises,

Its sharp voice piercing the solemn quietness of the day,

Its crunch where the crusty snow gives way,

I have heard Winter.

I have

               touched Winter; its frosty whispers on my face,

Its white, wet iciness in my boots,

Its fresh, clean air, breathed in deep draughts,

I have touched Winter.

I have

               known Winter; in its most violent tempers,

Through its placid dreamings,

In its soothing vastness,

I have known Winter.

 I am de-Christmased.  The ornaments are tissued and boxed.  The lights are rolled and bagged.  The tree branches are sorted, bundled and packed away.  My home has a certain strangeness to it now that the clutter and bright lights of Christmas are gone.  It looks naked.  I like the nakedness of the house now, though it could certainly use a bit more stripping.  Now the bleak cold of January can take over.  And that means that Spring is inching ever closer!

(today’s poem is brought to you by my lovely friend, Karen Stephens)

January Will Have its Way...