Reub's journey

09 January 2013

Honoring the gods of the vertical

OK, time to get up and at 'em.  I've allowed myself a week of lazy time after the busy-ness of the previous 3 weeks. Time to get vertical.



Vertical

Perhaps the purpose
of leaves is to conceal
the verticality
of trees
which we notice
in December
as if for the first time:



row after row
of dark forms
yearning upwards.


Honoring the horizontal: I envy John his ability to take afternoon naps on the weekend.

And since we will be
horizontal ourselves
for so long,
let us now honor
the gods
of the vertical:


Tall grass in back of the house.

stalks of wheat
which to the ant
must seem as high
as these trees do to us,




Chicago buildings are awesome.

silos and
telephone poles,
stalagmites
and skyscrapers.




Oaks aren't the only inhabitants of our back yard.

But most of all
these winter oaks,
these soft-fleshed poplars,
this birch




Madrone trees outnumber birch where I live. Cool bark.

whose bark is like
roughened skin
against which I lean
my chilled head,
not ready
to lie down.

"Vertical" by Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light. © Norton, 2010.


I really like that poem.


21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this lovely moment!

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    Replies
    1. Poems are lovely moments, aren't they?

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  2. I really like the poem too. And the picture of the Madrone tree is stunning.

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    1. Never saw a madrone until moving to the west coast. They're so strange.

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  3. VERY cool bark! love the tall trees, too! but i'm 'prone' to naps, myself. :)

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  4. Replies
    1. So soothing I might just have to lie down again.

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  5. Lovely poem and splendid series of pics. How are you Kerry. Happy New Year & Best Wishes. Regards Ram

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    1. Hi there RR! Happy New Year & best wishes back to you! I must go catch up on your latest travels.

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  6. i really like it too and while i admire his ability to nap, i am not a napper .. waking up once a day is really all i can handle ..

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    1. Me too. I'm bleary when I awake & don't like the feeling during the day. John wakes up bright-eyed.

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  7. I love it, too. I've never heard it before! Great photos to go with it!

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  8. I'm with John....I can get horizontal just about any time. But I do like your verticals.

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    1. You know that is a great skill to have. Really it is. I wish I could do that!

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  9. When I'm vertical, I'm vertical all the way. Likewise when I'm horizontal, which, now that I've been vertical going on close to 70 years, I find myself more often ;)

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I think I know what you mean. Try to stay vertical for as long as you can.

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  10. Replies
    1. An idea for a childrens' book...a bit derivative, but still...:)

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