Framing the Morning

The tax bill. Hmmmm. Maybe some of you will benefit. Of course the bill is about money itself. Economics, our type of economics, often leaps out of its own context and enters us in ways we might not realize or believe has an impact. “Pay attention.” Does it imply that the other is to pay and therefore lose something and then expect something in return? If so, then what if we just give attention? I like to think that the latter is a way of loving. Attentiveness is an act (There’s a verb within that noun.) of love.

Framing the Morning

Next to the sofa, books: an atlas, the poems of John Clare,
        a guide to wildflowers.

The sudden lash of light across the kitchen window sill—
        the silver top of the pepper mill
        the pale yellow of the egg timer
        the sparkle of whisks.

Under the hemlock, empty seed cases across the mulch, dark
        droppings left by the scatter of sparrows.

In the branches, chickadees, nuthatches, cardinals, then
        the flash of a goldfinch;
        across the yard, the cat curled by a rotting stump.

Clouds come. The sun lifts itself into the crown of trees. The leaves

Toast. Currant jam. Coffee with cream. The chipped
        plate with the half moon painted in its center.

Out by the swatch of jewel weed and day lilies, two
        chairs, the light falling across them,
        their shadows growing longer.

The morning paper, folded open to the crossword.
        On the porch, a blanket and binoculars.

–Jack Ridl

from Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press)

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14 thoughts on “Framing the Morning

  1. Oh, Jack…..the binoculars, seeing more than we ever wished, up close, the vulnerability of tiny birds in the morning cold, sharp edges of ice on snow laden limbs, feathery grass bending in the wind….it is frighteningly beautiful up close….be warm, dear friend. Love, Ginny

    • Ginny, to have you read what this poem wants to invite is a gift to me, a joy.
      It’s the eye of a photographer who sees the numinous.
      Thank ye.

  2. A paradise.

    The “Clouds come” stanza is exquisite, and more than a turn. It places the scene in the surrounding natural world–opens our eyes to the oneness–


  3. Books and poems have become my lifesaver these days. My shelf by my computer are where my poetry lives and lean when I am reading one. My histories and biographies are above and they to lean when one is housed in my lap, or bed to read. And finally the fiction that takes me away from life completely are all over by my bed.

    I am presently looking looking for where I put my Joy Harjo poetry. She holds mystery and wildness which I love! Thank you for introducing me to the lines that are so much my life these days!

    Chris Caughey Holland

    • I would have no idea that I’ve been of this help, Chris, had you not told me.
      I’m knocked out and so so grateful to know this, a humbled and feel lucky to have been there.

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