Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Moss Garden

The Moss Garden

Somewhere outside Kyoto’s line, she said,
they stumbled across the famous garden of moss,
the smallish sign so plain it could have been
overlooked. No temple, only moss.
So they entered the walkway with little expectation,
the silence creeping in, much like expectation.

Instead of leading them to the garden directly,
two monks had led them to a different task,
requested they copy three hundred characters,
the ink and paper set down for the task.
And this, too, was a practiced form of prayer,
left behind for those who had forgotten prayer.

The monks left brushes, ink, and bowls of water.
They asked the seekers to write, to pray. But prayer,
any prayer, wasn’t easy. The brush and ink,
the doubting hand, made not for simple prayer.
And even as I write this, I do not want to pray.
This story changes nothing; I do not want to pray.

--C. Dale Young

Monday, November 24, 2008

Garden Master 3 Video Game

Well, it's actually an ad for GameStop insinuating that gardening is quite boring. I WAS INSULTED. I get insulted a lot, that's my own blessing, but I choose this to be especially insulted about today.

And why not check out the Sims 2 expansion pack, Mansion and Garden Stuff, where you can create wondrous gardens and improve the interior decor of your house. Now THAT sounds boring.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bamboo Torture

You can torture someone by growing bamboo into them (something that apparently happened in WWII). I love me my Mythbusters on the Discovery channel. They proved that within only 3 days, pointy, piercing shoots can grow many inches into a human torso. After a few weeks, a 12 foot stalk will be high above you.

I've always wanted to find a way to meld my horticultural interests with my slightly therapeutic / illegal fantasies.

Fall = 63 / 13

63 today, 13 tomorrow night. I'm not even sure what day, month, year it is anyway, and Nebraska goes and does this to me. It's fall, see:

'Golden Spirit' smokebush is a rainbow of color.

Amsonia, surrounding the still young 'Black Lace' elderberry.

'Brilliantissima' red chokeberry is quite red, and the berries are still there.

'Little Henry' itea looks much like its slightly bigger brother 'Garnet.'

Weeping bald cypress making me weep.

For some reason this just dead morning glory from a few weeks ago makes me think victorian. Or gothic. Or grandmotherly.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Possible About Many Theory Clock Arranged Mice

--Reading 90 application files for a search committee looking to hire a new English prof.
--Grading 44 creative nonfiction essays.
--Wondering when I will write / outline a presentation for a conference I attend next weekend.
--Wishing I didn't have to fly again.
--Saying no to something I wish I could say yes to.
--Choosing books for two classes next term. Book orders due soon, but at least I got the classes I asked for in my last term as a grad student. LAST TERM! Oh praise all the various deities (which very well might be the same one).
--Thinking about my dissertation, but unable to work on it. 270 pages in stasis.
--Knowing I've not sent out any poems to literary journals this fall (this is equivalant to a squirrel not packing away food for the winter--I may have a dead year publication wise which is, in this business, career suicide. But at least I have essays out).
--Observing the last of the potted annuals die. Die. Die. Die.
--Waiting, praying, for two big things to swing our way. Actually three things. A house. An essay. A job.
--Wasting time whining here into digital oblivion.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

October--Mary Oliver

Not all of it, but most of it, lineated incorrectly....


There’s this shape, black as the entrance to a cave.
A longing wells up in its throat
like a blossom
as it breathes slowly.

What does the world
mean to you if you can’t
trust it
to go on shining when you’re

not there? And there’s
a tree, long-fallen; once
the bees flew to it, like a procession
of messengers, and filled it
with honey.

Look, hasn’t my body already felt
like the body of a flower?

Look, I want to love this world
as though it’s the last chance I’m ever going to get
to be alive
and know it.

Sometimes in late summer I won’t touch anything, not
the flowers, not the blackberries
brimming in the thickets; I won’t drink
from the pond; I won’t name the birds or the trees;
I won’t whisper my own name.

One morning
the fox came down the hill, glittering and confident,
and didn’t see me—and I thought:

so this is the world.
I’m not in it.
It is beautiful.