Monday ( Blue Christmas) Musings

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Poem of the week from Poetry

Our Valley

We don’t see the ocean, not ever, but in July and August

when the worst heat seems to rise from the hard clay

of this valley, you could be walking through a fig orchard

when suddenly the wind cools for a moment

you get a whiff of salt, and in that moment you can almost

believe something is waiting beyond Pacheco Pass,

something missive, irrational, and so powerful even

the mountains that rise east of here have no word for it.

You probably think I’m nuts saying the mountains

have no word for ocean, but if you live here

you begin to believe they know everything.

They maintain that huge silence we think of as divine,

a silence that grows in autumn when the snow falls

slowly between the pines and the wind dies

to less than a whisper and you can barely catch

your breath because you’re thrilled and terrified.

You have to remember this isn’t your land.

It belongs to no one, like the sea you once lived beside

and thought was yours. Remember the small boats

that bobbed out as the waves rode in, and the men

who carved down to nothing. Now you say this home,

so go ahead, worship mountains as they dissolve into dust,

wait on the wind, catch a scent of salt, call it our life.

Phillip Levine

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Kate Daniels is going to be featured on Poetry Daily this Saturday.
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As the title to this post suggests, I heard Blue Christmas by Elvis this morning on my way to school. I love the holidays, don’t get me wrong, but it seems a little premature to be playing Christmas music already. Although, my sister sent me a picture message this morning showing at least six inches of snow at their house in Pennsylvania. Perhaps it’s closer than I think…

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