This month, I’m writing words and posting images relating to the landscape of memory. I hope to write poems most days and also share photos, quotes, and more prosaic thoughts related in some way to memory, nostalgia, longing for place, remembering and forgetting, landscape, dreamscape, landscape’s memory and memory’s landscape, the intersection of the layered historical physical world with personal memory, the frames that both landscape and memory use to contain and order our focus, the landscape of childhood, the landscape of devastation, how memories lie and tell the truth, the fragmentation of memory, how landscapes shape us and our memories, and so on. All the posts will be linked to the Introductory Page as they are posted. Thanks for visiting.
Today, a poem and three photos from a walk.
The woods in February seem quiet
until you move. Then the crunch and
shatter of icy snow meddle your head,
blotting like a clean damp sponge almost
every lively note and rasp of chickadees and blue jays,
making voiceless the fall of needled fir and spruce twigs,
reminding you that won’t hear a coyote
before a coyote hears you.
It’s easy to think you walk alone.
The ground today is marshmallow brickle,
a sheen of light rain — a billion billion breathing
earth animals, every lake, river, ocean exhaling, sighing —
glazing a pearly meringue that’s about to splinter
and take you with it, shard after shard
softly scraping and shearing, folding you into
the murmur of sorrows that hums below sound,
that rolls through the hollow within,
felt more than heard,
something coming unstuck.
Unstuck, again you are walking, alone,
clattering, muffling, clattering, muffling.
A slash of wind washes over your tracks,
bears away your vanished impressions,
bears you away, vapour and grain,
a cloud deliquescing,
The snow shivers,
remembers lost winters,
the wail of the lonely sky.
My phone took this photo of my blue glove as my snowshoe latched onto a shrub’s bushwhacked trunk and I clattered into the crusty then soft snow.