Tag Archive: Annie Dillard


Ponder Some

Like Annie Dillard
I’ve learned to be
still enough so even
birds ignore me, they
settle so close oblivious
to my presence, the more
of this the better I think
– the great divide gone just like that.

Though
there certainly is a food chain.

© Chagall 2016

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Once Again, Battenkill

Morning atop a large rock, a stone lily pad
in the middle of the stream a team-span wide
while cold waters lap at the edges, one can ride dry
at the high round rump. I’m here in perfectly old,
tattered blue-wool pullover weighted right against the vigor
of this new day; how wonderful so much morning remains
to while away.

Dense clusters of small gnatty flyers dance in ancient patterns
in the rays of early sun, radiant light, pervasive heat
waves in mirage, they flutter there bursting from vernal pools.

Rainbows used to dance here, leave small wakes, glide on eddies,
do backstrokes, with no one watching; masterful puppeteer of lightweight test,
set dry flies still, perfectly still, with but the slightest tremor, concentric break of the surface, from the rainbow’s vantage, just enough to stir curiosity,
a sniff, a poke, enough to spring the snap.

Nothing sadder than a rainbow in mid-air, regretting prior impulse,
the change is sudden, inevitable, decisive.

Snow on Battenkill falls in crunches, bunches in feet to yards
high, the wisteria that bough low to the banks, shaggy warm under cold,
lilac tongues out panting, with winter body heat home to dead butterfly larvae;
dome holds the sound in, the sound out; you can walk anywhere,
the terrain is level, white and wet.

Though not witnessed by anyone or anything, I left footprints in November
in the carry along the north rise, that held their shape and depth,
through March.

I look forward to final frost, to clear and distinct birthing,
of all that is, there ever was; the future is merely supposition,
isn’t it? The ice, the same as the dew.

I would rather choke on the freezing waters filled with silt from the moving
running bottom, than trapped in the upper layers locked frozen in time.

Chagall 2016

Please see here for the original Battenkill

Bunking Down

A bedroll at the timberline, thin air shallow breathing
feels like snow, I’m alight, the blue of the moon is brilliant
across the fields brocades of frozen mist
never-ending giving, a place to bury one’s head
when it storms, a shawl over the neck and shoulders
a biscuit dunked in strong hot sweet black tea

I cut so it appears as if nothing’s been removed
odd over time how it doesn’t diminish
though I repeatedly shave a sliver
more often than not, every now and then
sometimes late than sooner
a paring, a sharpener, tiny fanned whorl of paper-thin wood shave
beautifully splintered skirts of pastel colors, pointed graphite

Atop the mountain I thought I’d write more
instead I live more without any need to narrate
to capture – to curate – to memorialize
to relevate

I howl insane and loudly under my blanket
I kick off a muffled echo
I giggle to myself in the dark night
I conspire with no one but the others who disenchant
disassociate in that space we reserve like a headband

Chagall 2015

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