There are so many things to write about this week to bring you down. Spent an evening with music teachers whose lives, not mere jobs, were taken from them.
And of course…
Krista Tippett — many of you know her project “On Being” — wrote about how there are now two separated worlds. One imposes itself on us. The other is the one we will not give up, our own.
Let’s get back to how remarkable it is that day after day, hour after hour, each of us keeps attending to what matters.
Here amid the ice and snow, the local coffee shop is open. My buddy David and I had our coffee and pastries this morning with the owner, Renee. Every Friday from 6-9pm, her 80-year-old dad and his buddy Ron play their guitars and sing here, two guys who have a deeeeep and long friendship that comes out as they glance at one another, nod, and smile. They’d play if no one was there.
And that is what we are all doing: playing our “guitars” and being with one another. What otherwise might simply be what we do, has become an unintended act of resistance.
No matter what — whether it’s a job, an interest, another check off the to-do list, a passion — it has become in its everyday way what keeps us going, what we hold in our hearts.
Feed the birds. Shovel the walk. Listen to your music. Head to the coffee shop, and say hi to Renee.
How good it is to be
in here, on the couch,
the dogs asleep on the pillows
as if we are safe in the great
Kingdom of Snow. Death
with its lisping end rhymes
stands under an umbrella.
The snow against the windows
is a language, its assonance
an uninvited solace. Cold
will come again. We can’t
move south. We have sweaters.
We depend on a shovel
and the neighbor’s plow.
We depend on music, on
knowing we no longer
need to say we love one
another. Love is Emanuel.
This snow. The wind.
This music on the radio
is music on the radio.
The dogs sleep with
their names. The cold,
this music, this snow.
First published in The Louisville Review
Subsequently published in Practicing to Walk Like a Heron (Wayne State University Press)
About that Party
Okay, I really, really, really believe that you will have a great good time on April 5 at the Douglas United Church of Christ at 6:30pm, where we’re holding the reception for my new collection Saint Peter and the Goldfinch.
BECAUSE at 6:30 the shake-up-the-house choir PERSISTERHOOD will open for us, singing, and lifting your spirits above the spire.
THEN at 7pm, The John Shea Trio will take the stage with me, and we will blend the poems with exquisite jazz. John’s created a program to savor.
And then the jazz trio moves with us to the party, and we… party!
I don’t care if you have other plans, live in Germany, or 376 miles away — be there! I have no problem unselfconsciously promoting this. This party is for YOU!
More Good News
My March 30 workshop “Poetry Trauma: The Way to Recovery” is now full. Let me know if you would like to be on the waiting list. If we get enough folks on that waiting list, we will offer it another day.
Kristin Brace’s new chapbook, Each Darkness Inside, can be ordered through April 12 from Finishing Line Press. It will be shipped in June.
Saugatuck’s D.R. James has a new chapbook coming out! Click here for a pre-order discount!
Daughter Meridith is featured in an interview along with her artwork in the latest Holland Weekly. Check it out at hollandweekly.com
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Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.