Sunday, March 29, 2009

Snow in springtime

Updated my blog template (the things we do when we're procrastinating on other things *cough* taxes *cough*), though I didn't make any really drastic changes -- but I did finally move over to Blogger's widget system. I added a few things over in the right-hand sidebar. I may have accidentally dropped a few blog links when I did it, as I kept getting distracted by various things (email, cats, snow... yes, snow) so if your blog isn't over there and it should be, please do let me know!

I have two poems in the new issue of fiore, which is available around & about Bloomington. If you're not in the vicinity and you want a copy, you can contact the editors; or, if you prefer, drop me a note (ahaines at gmail dot com) and as long as my supply holds out I'd be happy to drop one in the mail for the cost of postage and a big envelope. Couple bucks, maybe.

Here's one of my two:

My Clothes

Some days I can’t even wear my clothes
without getting them muddy, or bloody,
or losing my jewelry,
or tripping over my own shoes like a fool.

Days like that, I wish I could
be unclothed without being naked,
sleek as a minke whale, protected
as a swift fish.

I would fly from morning into night
and introduce myself to angels,
relying on their forbearance
and the skeleton key of my own name.

Then I notice the stain
on my collar, ink on my sleeve,
the undarned sock where my toe pokes out
and I stumble back to earth

where every rise
and set, each transit of the stars,
hurtles past outside the confines
of my stunningly limited grace.

--Anne Haines
first published in fiore, issue 2, March/April 2009

* * * * *

The other night, shortly before midnight, I heard a great horned owl outside my window -- so close and so loud that I heard it even with the TV on and all the windows closed. So clear that the younger cat perked up his ears and made his eyes all big and sat reeeeeeeeal still for a minute. It hoo-huh hoo-hoooooo'd about every thirty seconds for close to half an hour before a noisy car went by and either scared it away or made it decide to hush up. I'm right smack in town, half a block from a fairly busy four-lane road; it's not unheard-of for me to hear owls around here, but this was by far the closest and the loudest. I went out into the back yard and though I didn't manage to see it, I did pin down the exact tree it was sitting in.

If I notice any missing bunnies, now I know who took 'em.

It was quite remarkable, though. I don't know what it was going on about, but it was calling very persistently for a while. Pretty cool.


Lyle Daggett said...

I've only heard an owl once here in Minneapolis. It was one night many years ago, I was on the front porch of my mom and dad's house, and the owl's hoo-hooing was coming from a little down the street. (The house is across the street from the largest cemetery in the city.)

Believe it or not, though, hearing an owl calling from a cemetery isn't the most evocative moment I've experienced of something like that. One summer evening years ago, as I was coming home -- it was a full moon -- a black cat ran across in front of me. The cat was missing most of its tail. I recognized the cat, it lived in the building.

A black cat with most of its tail missing crossed my path on the night of a full moon.

A few nights later I was talking to one of my witchy-pagan friends, and I told her about the black cat-full moon encounter, and she immediately exclaimed joyfully, "Oh, then you'll have good luck!"

Emily A. Benton said...

I heard an owl outside my window last night. (Cats also did the freeze/listen.) There are a lot in my neighborhood and surrounding ones. We have a raptor center here that's done studies on our "urban owl" population. I think they said anywhere with tall trees and a creek nearby is good hunting ground for owls. They don't care if humans are around.

Anonymous said...

Anne, that is a fantastic poem. Really, nice work. It stays with me...

Lisa Allender said...

Owls, indeed. We have a few here. We are 5 minutes from a major mall, 10 minutes from a major interstate highway, yet the woods behind our house is filled with coyotes, deer, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, and owls. The hoo-hoot of an owl is both alarming, and somehow--after hearing it for an hour or so......soothing.
I love this poem, Anne. Thanks alot for your good work!

Lydia said...

I like "The skeleton key of my own name."

Anne said...

Takes me forever to respond these days, doesn't it? Sigh. Anyway, thanks for the responses & especially the kind words about the poem. I appreciate it all!

Dawn said...

Anne, if you would like any extra copies of fiore, we have some archived. Just let me know.

Dawn (fiore)