Sunday, March 21, 2010

Evening Poem

The nesting sun is silent as still water
in after-rain peace; the clouds about her
take the same blaze on their wan terminations.
The chain of spire trees, darksome below,
are like the naked edge of the world.

Even the birds drop their chant to listen -
listen to the large witness of the world,
that its words are with evening reimbursed
in the after-rain peace - and then harrow
out their song again; same song, newly,

while more winnowed clouds gather like shot sheets
over the fire of the world that faced us.

Garden Sprawl Friday - on a Sunday

The first day of spring, or the day after, is a good time to have a new GSF post. My small experiment with overwintering carrots, cabbage, onions and rutabagas has been, well, an experiment. Which is to say, I'm learning and observing.

I started them off at a good stage in late summer, perhaps being a bit too young going into winter, and many have pulled through, though only to get obliterated by insects or the now on-coming slugs, looking to feed; and with the record warm winter we had, there is probably a lot of them.

I have been especially impressed with the carrots (Royal Chantenay). Their tops died off of course, but now their tops are sprouting again, and their roots are immaculate; it's just how to deal with slugs. They eat the tops, and then they do their best to feed into the root from the top down. They don't go far, but it's enough to kill the carrot.

There are no onions left. I don't know if that's because all of them got harvested through fall or not or what. The cabbages do great through winter, especially this variety, January King:

I've pictured the two most photogenic. The others are smaller and fighting back after being munched down. Again, insects or slugs. The leaves I put into the beds for winter are housing them, providing shelter and warmth.

The garlic is making its way:

And I cleaned out the greenhouse (not heated)

and seeded lots of varieties of lettuce (the seed I saved from the Cos lettuce last year was the first to come up), leeks, onions, cabbages, endive and raddichio, to be transplanted in April some time. I sowed March 1 and 2. In that time we've had frosts, highs of fifteen (celsius) and lows of 0, or just below (celsius). Of course, the temperature is higher in the greenhouse.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In paradise...someone wish to translate?

Those distant objects starting at 8:25 (like the bus) are mirages by the way; people and things moving who knows where, many miles away, and their images literally transported on or near the horizon.

Sketch - Potatoes, Onions and Cloth

Joe Pesci goes back some. He's aged well.

The houses watch each other

Driving Through Sawmill Towns
By Les Murray


In the high cool country,
having come from the clouds,
down a tilting road
into a distant valley,
you drive without haste. Your windscreen parts the forest,
swaying and glancing, and jammed midday brilliance
crouches in clearings ...
then you come across them,
the sawmill towns, bare hamlets built of boards
with perhaps a store,
perhaps a bridge beyond
and a little sidelong creek alive with pebbles.


The mills are roofed with iron, have no walls:
you look straight in as you pass, see lithe men working,

the swerve of a winch,
dim dazzling blades advancing
through a trolley-borne trunk
till it sags apart
in a manifold sprawl of weatherboards and battens.

The men watch you pass:
when you stop your car and ask them for directions,
tall youths look away—
it is the older men who
come out in blue singlets and talk softly to you.

Beside each mill, smoke trickles out of mounds
of ash and sawdust.


You glide on through town,
your mudguards damp with cloud.
The houses there wear verandahs out of shyness,
all day in calendared kitchens, women listen
for cars on the road,
lost children in the bush,
a cry from the mill, a footstep—
nothing happens.

The half-heard radio sings
its song of sidewalks.

Sometimes a woman, sweeping her front step,
or a plain young wife at a tankstand fetching water
in a metal bucket will turn round and gaze
at the mountains in wonderment,
looking for a city.


Evenings are very quiet. All around
the forest is there.
As night comes down, the houses watch each other:
a light going out in a window here has meaning.

You speed away through the upland,
glare through towns
and are gone in the forest, glowing on far hills.

On summer nights
ground-crickets sing and pause.
In the dark of winter, tin roofs sough with rain,
downpipes chafe in the wind, agog with water.
Men sit after tea
by the stove while their wives talk, rolling a dead match
between their fingers,
thinking of the future.


From Learning Human

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Be Newly Taxed and Be Newly Consuming: Problem Fixed!

If he were alive today, Jim Varney could possibly, possibly single-handedly "resuscitate" the economy through consumerism (for a little while at least) but since he's dead (God rest his soul) that option is totally out - know what I mean?