Depression

Dear Dana,

Three days of hurricane-remnant weather —
a tropical depression — have brought varying
& unpredictable amounts of rain. Today
we’re in a cloud, which acts as
an acoustic blanket, letting me fantasize
that I’m living in some mountain fastness
a thousand miles from the nearest factory
or highway instead of just two.
The night before last, hard rains
loosened the bark on the lower limbs
of the dead elm in my yard, and I woke
to find the tree half-stripped. A pair
of nuthatches — bark-gleaning birds —
flew in & discovered the change
while I watched, spiralling rapidly
down the bare columns of wood
on their big clown feet, poking,
calling. The fog reminds me of early June,
and makes me miss the wood thrushes
& their melancholy flutes.
It occurred to me that memory
provides its own layer of vibrato,
whether or not the original tone
still sounds. But sadness wasn’t
the whole of it: the low pressure
provokes a mild elation in me,
as what was once a boiling fury
passes over these tired, old mountains
without opening its eye.

P.S.
With our internet connection
rapidly degrading here, I may soon get
my wish for isolation. Which
was never of course my wish.
So I wonder if I really could live
without the highway & the railroad,
the quarry & the factories,
the human presence implicit
in all that noise?

13 Comments


  1. Mild elation. That describes perfectly the feeling I get when the fall rains come. Lovely.

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  2. “the low pressure
    provokes a mild elation in me,”

    A late season mixing of memory and desire. Beautiful passages..vibrato as a memory echoe is very evocative. One can almost see the sound-waves spreading out from June to arrive in October. Or would that be May to December? (grin)

    As for the horrible hint of bloglessness. Don’t even go there. I don’t care if you have to type your stuff up and mail it out to someone who has a blog to publish..this silence of the blog must not happen!

    Speaking of silence. Do both of your e-mail addresses
    not work or should I have used the -in-the-blog santified e-mail which I didn’t discover until too late. (grin)

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  3. Hi Hugh and Joan – Thanks for the comments. Yes, I’m afraid it did happen: we lost our DSL connection here, and may not get it back for a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’m struggling with dial-up, or walking into town to use other people’s computers (I don’t have a laptop). And I’m locked out of Via Negativa at the moment, since login was restricted to my DSL IP address, for security reasons.

    I don’t know which email you’re using, but last time you sent me something it went into my spam folder and i didn’t discover it for a while. Using the Contact form here is a safer bet.

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  4. Oh, Wow! Really sorry to hear that. But way glad to hear you have hopes of eventual re-connetion.

    In re my vapor-mail? Twas nothing. Couple weeks back I sent a humor riff on Eames chairs, but your mall post which inspired it was a little more serious in content and scope than the poem and I didn’t know how to upload the pic to comments. No matter. At least I didn’t offend anyone. What did I know. You might have been a descendant of Eames. (grin)

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  5. Crap about DSL & infuriating about a locked-out blog…forgetting the keys were not in your pocket, or leaving on vacation without necessities of underwear & camera.

    Lovely poem: “big clown feet” is just so right and the idea of vibrato of memories is terrific.

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  6. i love rain. it’s a blessing of GOD .most of the people say they do not like rain because it cause lot of problem so dear problems are in our infrastructure not in rain.

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  7. Joan – You didn’t get my reply to your Eames Chair poem? I’m almost positive I wrote back. (Maybe that went in YOUR spam folder? Maybe we have incompatible email systems?) I loved it!

    Deb – Thanks; glad you liked those images. (It’s not infuriating, actually – that’s what I want ot happen. Ever since this blog got hacked last winter, I’ve been kind of paranoid about security.)

    Sony PSP Memory – Wow, thank you for being human! I took the liberty of deleting your link, but am leaving your comment because it looks as if you may have gone to the trouble of actually reading the post – and your comment is charming. Why aren’t all spammers like you?

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  8. Found your e-ply in Spam filter. Geesh! What a relief! Spam doesn’t like Eames Chair pics, I suppose. Thanx. :)

    Back to this poem..as a child I used to experience more than just mild elation prior to a storm. It was as if something mysterious and wonderful were about to happen as indeed it was. We also used to splash barefoot in the gutters with umbrellas when the rain arrived. (sans lightening and thunder )

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  9. beautiful letter. i thought the choice of language and flow were nearly flawless.

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  10. Thanks, Lissa. Hopefully Dana will respond soon – I’m anxious to see where this conversation will go.

    Reply

  11. howdy love the poems. hope your DSL is functioning properly. I’m the VZ tech. out earlier in the week. I’ll be checking in with you this weekend to make sure all is well with DSL.

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  12. Hey Kirk – Thanks for stopping by. We did have an 11-hour outage the night before last, but it came back on just as i was talking to someone at a VZ call center (a helpful guy in Canada), and has been good ever since. He said something about an outage in the Pittsburgh area, so maybe it was part of that. Not sure we’re actually going to get any rain this weekend to test whether the problem is in the line.

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  13. Kirk, will you please go work at BlueHost? They need customer service folks like you. Mkay? ;)

    Reply

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