All That Cycles Through Lives Moving

Letters on letters

Letters on letters

18 March 2014
5:28 pm
Iona

T.–

I’m waiting for dinner, after having a great Skype conversation with Sarah. It’s nice to feel connected, even in a place which is so remote. Apparently the weather will be very bad for the next two days, and it’s assumed that the ferry won’t be able to get across again until later in the week. It’s a good thing I got a package from Andrew yesterday with some letters from InCoWriMo: International Correspondence Writing Month, which was in February. How did we miss this? I listed my address on the forums, completely forgetting I was leaving for Iona a few days later, and so now I have 12 letters from new pen pals to reply to. That will keep me busy while the rest of my potential mail gets piled up in Oban or Fionnphort, unable to make it across on the ferries for a few days.

Reading some great books, like Deaf Sentence by David Lodge, and Earth Elegy by Margaret Gibson. Everything is going well.

The Man Moves Earth
Cathy Song

The man moves earth
to dispel grief.
He digs holes
the size of cars.
In proportion to what is taken
what is given multiplies—
rain-swollen ponds
and dirt mounds
rooted with flame-tipped flowers.
He carries trees like children
struggling to be set down.
Trees that have lived
out their lives,
he cuts and stacks
like loaves of bread
which he will feed the fire.
The green smoke sweetens
his house.

The woman sweeps air
to banish sadness.
She dusts floors,
polishes objects
made of clay and wood.
In proportion to what is taken
what is given multiplies—
the task of something
else to clean.
Gleaming appliances
beg to be smudged,
breathed upon by small children
and large animals
flicking out hope
as she whirls by,
flap of tongue,
scratch of paw,
sweetly reminding her.

The man moves earth,
the woman sweeps air.
Together they pull water
out of the other,
pull with the muscular
ache of the living,
hauling from the deep
well of the body
the rain-swollen,
the flame-tipped,
the milk-fed—
all that cycles
through lives moving,
lives sweeping, water
circulating between them
like breath,
drawn out of leaves by light.

*

Goodnight,
M

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