This Is Just To Say

The internet in my house went away. And then my country erupted into weeks of roiling, civic turmoil which demanded my full attention. Unsettled times, for everyone. The weather turned. Autumn crept onto the lawns in the park today and salted the grass with a coating of first frost. The sky darkens at the playground with my daughter. We race home to beat the darkness to it.

Leaves fall. Pulses drop over Syria instead of bombs. Iran is in glasnost mode. A slow, thawy, Persian spring in the middle of a falling autumn. The season is a horn of plenty. The plums spoil in baskets and bowls, turning soggy before we can bake them into pies or freeze them into our freezer, like William Carlos William.

I’m thinking a lot about the poems of Seamus Heaney since he died. HIs blackberry poem could be about our plums, or about our lives:

But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.

Each year I hoped they’d keep / knew that they would not

Or as Williams said:

This is just to say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Or in a different poem about plums, he wrote:

To a poor old woman

munching a plum on
the street a paper bag
of them in her hand

They taste good to her
They taste good
to her. They taste
good to her

You can see it by
the way she gives herself
to the one half
sucked out in her hand

Comforted
a solace of ripe plums
seeming to fill the air
They taste good to her

But I digress. This is just to say that I am back, and I have a ton of things to talk about. The Pope interview, Iran, Machiavelli. I hope against hope that some of you are still reading.

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5 comments
  1. I am reading, now. New to your blog so have some catching up to do, but your writing is captivating. I’m looking forward to more posts, so keep writing.

  2. Austin Starr said:

    I love the this is just to say poem. A poetry writing group I sometimes go to here in a neighboring town in Mexico used that first line as a writing prompt. Actually, tho, ‘global warming’ is a smoke screen, a way for the oligarchy to take humans’ attention away from the horrific damage we are doing in the oceans — and the rivers in Africa — of the plastic we are dumping. Also, the carbon credit trade will be the next ‘bubble’ — like the sliced and diced mortgages, the dot.com, etc. Watch what happens. The hugest release of carbon dioxide is from the oceans. And, look at it like this . . . Al Gore is ‘leading the charge’ about global warming. He’s the one who sold the US on NAFTA remember? And what has that done for the planet. Just saying . . . because a cause is popular, doesn’t mean it’s rite.
    enjoyed your blog. hang in there!

    • Release said:

      Thanks for the happy words. I’m afraid your argument about climate change doesn’t really make sense (reality cares not at all about whether or not Al Gore is involved, climate change is a Gore-independent fact about the world), and since this is a political question of the utmost importance, I strongly encourage you to read, for instance, the Wikipedia page on it:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming

      Or some other primer on it, like this excellent one:

      http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/exec-office-other/climate-change-QA.pdf

      Hope to see you around again!

      • Austin Starr said:

        yeah, well, perhaps I misspoke using Al Gore as an example. you have as much chance about convincing me that climate change is a real threat to the planet as, it appears, I have of convincing you that it’s a smokescreen, a way to have the next financial bubble be about ‘trading carbon credits’ and distract people from the fact that WE ARE DROWNING THE OCEAN IN PLASTIC AND THE AIR AND SOIL WITH CHEMICALS.
        let’s just agree to disagree on this one, ok?

      • Austin Starr said:

        ‘climate change’ is a smokescreen for the plastic we’re dumping in the ocean — 5 enormous plastic islands, one the size of Texas which are devasting all the poor creatures who lives in the oceans — the photos break my heart — and the poisons we’re putting in the soil and air many marked — who else — Monsanto. Americans alone discard 5 billion plastic water bottles/year, 23% of which is supposedly recycled. The Gore connection is, to me, significant, because he’s an opportunist who sold NAFTA for the powers that be. I agree, tho, that the logic is shaky. As long as people feel empowered they are saving the planet by minimizing their carbon footprint, blah blah blah, they won’t look at the big picture. Your suggestions that I educate myself are misplaced altho, I’m sure, well intended. I have spent many, many hours studying this and have concluded that the science is bunk, and the oligarchy’s agenda is to create a carbon credit exchange which will be the next bubble created by the monsters on Wall Street. So, let’s just agree to disagree on this one, okay?
        (You may have already gotten a reply from me — it’s not easy to tell sometimes if they go out.)
        Austin

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