I know: it is Saturday and not Friday, yet Friday came and left too quickly. No time to blog and so the poem that no one will read is posted today. This is a fresh poem; newly minted. Worked on and "finished" just moments ago. No, of course, there is no such thing as a finished poem, but this one seems done. Rather than let it languish until next
Friday, here it is....
Upon opening a new book:
Picking it up from a stack of books on my night stand
Bought last Christmas at Powell’s. Reading what I thought
an untouched collection of Wendell Berry’s essays;
surprised to find it already underlined.
A virgin book is one kind of pleasure;
a used book, already marked, is another. And
I find myself wondering who was here before;
here, first, before me?
There are notes on the title page; a “burning man”
memento between the last page and the back cover.
Burning man and Berry?
Any book is a kind of here, a liminal space between
author and me; a place of expectancy and
hopefulness, of possibility, and,
to use Berry’s own rich word,
imagination. Berry’s books, so particular in their
connection to the land, are a special liminality.
Who else walked here in this field and why?
I look around for him (graphological guess).
We have underlined the same and different passages.
What struck him about this sentence and its
idea—one that seems not nearly as important
or well said to me as it was to him? I wonder
what he was thinking when he underlined this and
placed a star in the right margin—“Farming
becomes a high art when farmers know and respect
in their work the distinct individuality of their
place and the neighborhood of creatures that lives there.”
A pleasant companionable mystery.