Sunday, October 28, 2012

In Late Autumn

still a surprise

in spite of mounting evidence
to find that immortality
isn't likely

~ arem

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Let Us Admit

Let us admit

some of us can see dragons from here,
though we don't believe in dragons.

And some of us can just about
make out the conversations

of the several gods, though we don't
believe in them, their little indignations.

~ Ralph Murre

(this is an excerpt from a larger piece I'm working on)

Saturday, October 06, 2012

a little fiction

Stitches in Time
   ~ Ralph Murre

It, too, is called a thimble; this heavy galvanized fitting I splice into three-strand hawser on deck.  Outbound tug Maria.  My old man at the helm.

But the notion of “thimble” takes me back to that other sort, silvery there on the third finger of her arthritic hand.  Grandma Maria.  Seems it’s always been there, protecting that fingertip from the little stabs she knew were coming, leaving the rest of her bare to the unforeseen wounds that would come.  There was the thimble as she pushed and pulled needle and thread, stitch on stitch, as depression flour sacks became dresses, as a spare blanket became a suit.  Stitch on stitch, still, as my christening gown was shaped.  White on white, as a tiny row of sailing boats was embroidered upon it. Rising infant to be bestowed beneath crosses of cathedral’s spires on the high hill.  And her father before her, sewing stitch on stitch, white on white, patching sails blown out ‘round The Horn, stitch on everlasting stitch, triangle needle and leather palm, from Roaring Forties to Tropic Trades, and more than once, stitching a shroud: a benediction, a blessing. Fallen sailor to be bestowed beneath crosses of brigantine’s rig on the high sea.  Aroma of pine tar, beeswax, mutton tallow.  A very old man, long at anchor, calls out “Daughter, bring me rum.”  She looks up from her sewing and agrees, “A thimbleful, Father,” as an ocean of time slides by, sewn with a meridian of stitches.

The faithful Maria rises to meet the oncoming swell. Settles. Rises again.