The poetry round-up this week is hosted by Michelle Kogan.
I haven’t felt like writing these past two weeks, nothing I have to say seems worthy of being written, or perhaps the real reason is the sense of confusion and anxiety I feel well up every time I try to address what it is that I feel and think.
My children have hunkered down in their Brooklyn apartments, working from home and trying to stir as little as possible into deserted streets for the occasional trip to the grocery store or laundromat. They sound tired, stressed, uncertain, and more than just a bit without a sense of hope. The future, even tomorrow, seems full of dread. Once their self-quarantines have come to an end, they plan to drive up to the farm for as long as necessary.
Here in upstate New York, farm life goes on for one and all. I can see lights twinkling from the dairy down the valley early every morning, and the cornfields everywhere around us are already being prepped for Spring planting. The feed store, which I visit at least once every week, is still a busy place. Yesterday was warm, which made me commit to putting through the order of summer flower seeds I’d been pining after. The Angora goats arrive in two weeks, and I went ahead with plans to build a small pen for them within the barn. The flock will be sheared soon, and I am getting ready with plans for their gorgeous fleeces.
It’s important to stay abreast of the news in times like these, and so I dip in here and there to learn what I can. Little of the news is good, it seems, and then I read about good people doing good deeds. It brings to mind Fred Rogers’ observation :“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” There are many people helping out there, rising to the occasion, doing the hard things necessary to keep others safe and well tended to.
And there is Nature, free of charge, offering her comforts, too…
Lost by David Wagoner
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.