Thursday, March 20, 2008

Overheard on a Salt Marsh

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?

Give them me.

Give them me. Give them me.

Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man's fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads, I want them.

I will howl in the deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.

The Brooding Heron artwork you see at the blog is by the wonderful Jackie Morrie, who has worked on the lovely Discworld Calendar and other projects of note. You can see her painting of Sam Vimes and baby Sam here. Her latest book is titled The Snow Leopard


I came across this review of a new film titled Unforseen when trolling the net for nature poems:

The subject is land development - specifically, what 30 years of profit-bent private sector building has done to Austin, Texas. It's a topic of crucial interest to almost every American town, village, and city, and it inflames passions on both sides....The film's case against overdevelopment needs to be, and could be, aggressive, airtight. It should play to the unconverted. Instead, "The Unforeseen" gives us . . . poetry.

I disagree. Poetry speaks to both heart and mind; it is only in the joining of these two forces that complex problems can be resolved. This is from the poem Santa Clara Valley

What had been foreseen was the coming of the Stranger with Money
All that had been before had been destroyed: the salt marsh
of unremembered time, the remembered homestead, orchard and pasture.

Indeed. I know this place well. It was once called the Valley of Heart's Delight. No one calls it that anymore.

As Robert Redford observes, you can't solve problems unless people are moved and inspired.

Like the goblin in the poem above, we humans are too often willing to trade what's irreplaceable and immensely dear for what's immediate, shiny and cheap.

How very poor that makes us.


First Poem: Overheard on a Salt Marsh by Harold Monroe


Hecate said...

That is one of my v favorite poems in the entire world.

Dj Connell said...

Salt Marsh or Santa Clara?