#iNeedFeminismBecause #intersectionality #smalltown #endpoverty #environment #climatechange Dürer would have seen a reason for living in a town like this, with eight stranded whales to look at; with the sweet sea air coming into your house on a fine day, from water etched with waves as formal as the scales on a fish. One by one in two's and three's, the seagulls keep flying back and forth over the town clock, or sailing around the lighthouse without moving their wings -- rising steadily with a slight quiver of the body -- or flock mewing where a sea the purple of the peacock's neck is paled to greenish azure as Dürer changed the pine green of the Tyrol to peacock blue and guinea gray. You can see a twenty-five- pound lobster; and fish nets arranged to dry. The whirlwind fife-and-drum of the storm bends the salt marsh grass, disturbs stars in the sky and the star on the steeple; it is a privilege to see so much confusion. Disguised by what might seem the opposite, the sea- side flowers and trees are favored by the fog so that you have the tropics first hand: the trumpet-vine, fox-glove, giant snap-dragon, a salpiglossis that has spots and stripes; morning-glories, gourds, or moon-vines trained on fishing-twine at the back door; cat-tails, flags, blueberries and spiderwort, striped grass, lichens, sunflowers, asters, daisies -- yellow and crab-claw ragged sailors with green bracts -- toad-plant, petunias, ferns; pink lilies, blue ones, tigers; poppies; black sweet-peas. The climate is not right for the banyan, frangipani, or jack-fruit trees; or for exotic serpent life. Ring lizard and snake-skin for the foot, if you see fit; but here they've cats, not cobras, to keep down the rats. The diffident little newt with white pin-dots on black horizontal spaced- out bands lives here; yet there is nothing that ambition can buy or take away. The college student named Ambrose sits on the hillside with his not-native books and hat and sees boats at sea progress white and rigid as if in a groove. Liking an elegance of which the sourch is not bravado, he knows by heart the antique sugar-bowl shaped summer-house of interlacing slats, and the pitch of the church spire, not true, from which a man in scarlet lets down a rope as a spider spins a thread; he might be part of a novel, but on the sidewalk a sign says C. J. Poole, Steeple Jack, in black and white; and one in red and white says Danger. The church portico has four fluted columns, each a single piece of stone, made modester by white-wash. This would be a fit haven for waifs, children, animals, prisoners, and presidents who have repaid sin-driven senators by not thinking about them. The place has a school-house, a post-office in a store, fish-houses, hen-houses, a three-masted schooner on the stocks. The hero, the student, the steeple-jack, each in his way, is at home. It could not be dangerous to be living in a town like this, of simple people, who have a steeple-jack placing danger signs by the church while he is gilding the solid- pointed star, which on a steeple stands for hope. Buy the Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock, from an indie bookseller here.
Tag Archives: environment
The Creation: “And God stepped out on space…” by James Weldon Johnson! Pretty fantastic.
RE-imagined poem by James Weldon Johnson. Still the same G-d, people. Beautiful images Weldon calls forth, as if he was there there- one of these poems that you can feel the amazing of our world, our trees, our rivers, our deer, our elephants, our woods and jungles… Unbelievably beautiful what we have to take care of. Care. Of. Read and weep.
And then give freely to the World Wild Life Fund and Green-Peace.
Quick thoughts on image:
“Toiling over a lump of clay
Till She shaped it in Her own image;”
God had to toil to make us into her image. Everyone who has worked with clay and has attempted to shape a human or any animal, knows how hard it is. You start out roughly, you add on, you take off, you squeeze, you pull a bit this way. That way. Making stars seems to have come to God easily. She threw the light against the darkness. With us, she had to think. What was important. She didn’t create us like the trees, or the rivers. Why would it be so hard to create an image of God? You have to understand yourself if you want to describe yourself. God had to think about what made her who she was. She could create, so she gave us that. We can make dark and light in our life. She gave us that choice. She gave us a smile. She gave us words. She knew she was lonely still and she made us look for others. She made us want community and love and closeness. She taught us how to kneel down and toil over what is important.
And God stepped out on space,
And She looked around and said,
“I’m lonely —
I’ll make me a world.”
And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.
Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said, “That’s good!”
Then God reached out and took the light in Her hands,
And God rolled the light around in Her hands
Until She made the sun;
And She set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
She hurled the world;
And God said, “That’s good!”
Then God herself stepped down —
And the sun was on Her right hand,
And the moon was on Her left;
The stars were clustered about Her head,
And the earth was under Her feet.
And God walked, and where She trod
Her footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.
Then She stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And She spat out the seven seas;
She batted Her eyes, and the lightnings flashed;
She clapped Her hands, and the thunders rolled;
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.
Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed her finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out her arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea;
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around Her shoulder.
Then God raised Her arm and She waved Her hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And She said, “Bring forth! Bring forth!”
And quicker than God could drop Her hand.
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said, “That’s good!”
Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that She had made.
She looked at Her sun,
And She looked at Her moon,
And She looked at Her little stars;
She looked on Her world
With all its living things,
And God said, “I’m lonely still.”
Then God sat down
On the side of a hill where She could think;
By a deep, wide river She sat down;
With Her head in Her hands,
God thought and thought,
Till She thought, “I’ll make me a body!”
Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
She kneeled Her down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of Her hand;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till She shaped it in Her own image;
Then into it She blew the breath of life,
And body became a living soul.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)
Creation poem II (by Dutch ship’s doctor Jan Jacob Slauerhoff)
God’s child kept blocks in his apron’s pocket,
which it had been playing with in the clouds.
But when she, tired, bored, then wished to clear the decks
She saw into the box and could not fathom
how ever to fit them, neatly ordered stacked.
Because God was stern, but slept, so was no danger.
She let them drop, without a further glance
and made straight for a pretty sculpted angel.
The blocks fellthrough stark empty skies,
And reached an empty world, where
They remained as thrown.
Most shattered into hills and dales;
And those, whole, in one piece, formed here and there
the far wide cities and the smallest towns.
SUPPORT planet Earth and all of our creatures:
For symbolic polar bear, penguin and Lion ADOPTIONS: http://shop.wwf.ca/collections/adoptions?gclid=CIv5rPS03MICFak-MgodfDoAlg
Monster Boats are gobbling up all the fish: it is NOT fair. Support local fishing-folk. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/
BUY the book:
NEW from a local bookstore: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780195125634
Song of the Open Road. Ogden Nash.
Song of the Open Road
I think that I shall never see
A billboard lovely as a tree.
Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
I’ll never see a tree at all.