Wandering in Woodacre – 20 January 2021

Contemporary American Art – Douglas Manry: Part I of II.

Below – “Cats Chasing Spirits”; “The Hospital at 4 am”; “Circus Ghosts”; “Endless Night”; “The Magic Shop”; “Carnival.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 20 January 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, an American poet and philosopher: Part I of II.

“The House Dog’s Grave (Haig, an English bulldog)”
by Robinson Jeffers

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment,
You see me there.

So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking pan.

I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through
I lie alone.

But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read–and I fear often grieving for me–
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.

You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope than when you are lying

Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dear, that’s too much hope: you are not so well cared for
As I have been.

And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . .
But to me you were true.

You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,

I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Below – Robinson Jeffers and Haig.


Contemporary American Art – Douglas Manry: Part II of II.

Below – “The Black Cat”; “She Died”; “When Sun Shines Through the Rain”; “The Hospital at 4 am”; “Remembering Lenny (Legs)”; “Closing Time.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 20 January 1962 – Robinson Jeffers, an American poet and philosopher: Part II of II.

“Boats in a Fog”
by Robinson Jeffers

Sports and gallantries, the stage, the arts, the antics of dancers,
The exuberant voices of music,
Have charm for children but lack nobility; it is bitter earnestness
That makes beauty; the mind
Knows, grown adult.
A sudden fog-drift muffled the ocean,
A throbbing of engines moved in it,
At length, a stone’s throw out, between the rocks and the vapor,
One by one moved shadows
Out of the mystery, shadows, fishing-boats, trailing each other
Following the cliff for guidance,
Holding a difficult path between the peril of the sea-fog
And the foam on the shore granite.
One by one, trailing their leader, six crept by me,
Out of the vapor and into it,
The throb of their engines subdued by the fog, patient and
cautious,
Coasting all round the peninsula
Back to the buoys in Monterey harbor. A flight of pelicans
Is nothing lovelier to look at;
The flight of the planets is nothing nobler; all the arts lose virtue
Against the essential reality
Of creatures going about their business among the equally
Earnest elements of nature.

Contemporary Estonian Art – Eduard Zentsik

Below – “Berry Fairy”; “Morning”; “Sky girl”; “Music tenderness”; “Angel and the swan”; “Secret of heart.”

A Poem for Today

“The Paleontologist’s Blind Date”
by Philip Memmer

‘You have such lovely bones,’ he says,
holding my face in his hands,

and although I can almost feel
the stone and the sand

sifting away, his fingers
like the softest of brushes,

I realize after this touch
he would know me

years from now, even
in the dark, even

without my skin.
‘Thank you,’ I smile—

then I close the door
and never call him again.

Below (photograph) – Larry Simon: “Walking Away”

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