Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thoughts on Katyn

A poem I wrote upon hearing of the death of the Polish leaders last week:

Katyn                     April 15, 2010

A husk of a fuselage sits
in the flattened circle of burnt tree
trunks. Our Solidarity is that our
history moves in perfect centennial
circles. A phone rings in Russia. A
phone rings in the forest. While
you were sitting here preparing your
souls to remember that loud
invisible moment in these woods,
it happened again. Things fall
out of hands. Some sit down
very slowly. A man standing to t he right
of the podium out of respect
for the one who will not speak
today reddens and tears saturate
his mustache. Become
a grain barge drifting down the
Vistula to Gdańsk‎ in another
century. A horse drawn plow turns
up a rusted Teutonic sword, too
heavy to lift with one hand. Our
ancestors were made of stronger stuff.
Our word for Strike was God. Think of
Anna Walentynowicz, and a picture
of Our Lady of Czestochowa in
a plastic folder hanging on the
gates of the docks. And only five
years ago—the Pope. September,
October, Oswiecim, Siberia. How
can we bear to consider the loss
of the sites your eyes beheld
when your death by fire tells us,
tells us with a bell of judgment
that we must see such thing
ourselves? We are headless in the
highway of all armies, and there is no
one to blame but God,
who is on our side,
and always kills the mourners.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Second Go Around...

Well, gardening season is starting back up again. We've managed to pick our snow plower's generous helpings of gravel out of the lawn before the grass really takes off, thanks to two small press-ganged cousins of mine. Our next pre-big spring growth spurt tasks will include digging a big ol' hole for the forsythia, moving all our blueberriy bushes (such as they are) down the hill, and relocating the last of those ratty old lilies before we have to re-till their intended bed.

Then, the big job begins: We are going to take everything out of the garden, reorganize the beds, and start all over again. I had hoped we would have finished all this last year, but it was not to be. Lack of labor and lack of time really ate things up, but this summer I'll have my boyfriend Chris back home to help with the heavy stuff, my squad of gardening cousins, young and old, and my mother Jane is going to pay me for my own efforts so that I can consider this my job, and thus have more time to devout to it!
Here's Thomas, one of my little helpers, rooting around with our dear Sheltie Baxter in was is currently the far bed. Everything in this bed is tilled and has been living under black plastic for almost a year. Between him and the car are the last of the wayward lilies, and that jungle of spearmint will have to go too. It's so invasive, we probably won't put it back in the garden; I'll probably transplant it into the one of thew fields where it can do it's thing uninterrupted. I'd hate to lose it altogether, because the stuff is wonderful. I've been steeping it in my tea and I love it!
Yep, everything must go. Part of this initiative came out of the fact that we can't get our lawnmower down the original paths that Jane designed. We were going to leave the large bush on the right, but I kid you not the damned thing was blown clear out of the ground last autumn and we found it in the road way down the hill. Looks like we're gonna need something else to hide our view of the neighbor's cars.