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Creek Running North

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November 27, 2004

Farland

The women's hands - long, slender fingers -
curl around pint glasses of coffee and tea.
Siona plays at concern.
"They have no wild animals," tuts Farland.
"no crime: the prisoners leave jail
to go home for the weekend.
The worst I face walking across Iceland is
I could fall into a crevasse."

The Arab women
dark eyes smouldering at some private joke
clear their table. Young Chinese athletes
eyes wide unguarded
watch Farland mimic the ducks on her frozen pond.
Her wings spread wide. Her eyes
the Colorado sky, ten thousand feet
eight in the morning.

At the People's Park free box
Farland found a skirt, mosquito-net taffeta
something beneath that looked enough like silk.
She held it out, lamented.
"This has such a tiny waist."
(It fit, almost, despite her pants.)

She moved to unsnap: I stopped her.
"You are not taking that skirt off."
(Certainly the first time
the sentence has ever passed my lips.)
Homeless men asked for curtseys.
Seated now, she smooths it as we drink.
It is an unlikely purple,
four-year-old princess grape
Columbine blooming in fell-field storm
sky in the water as I drive home.

Posted by Chris Clarke at November 27, 2004 05:50 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

Chris.

I'm honored. Farland loved the poem: I don't think she'd been so surprised in ages. She has a few questions for you (something about birds that build nests out of prickly pear) -- expect an email upon her return.

So thank you, again. I had a wonderful time. And not to worry: I'm still intending a weekday SF visit.

Posted by: Siona at November 27, 2004 11:38 PM
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So neat to read of the same event from another point of view (and in another, well-done style).

Posted by: Robert at November 28, 2004 01:49 AM
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Oh oh oh...

exquisite

like the flesh of a prickly pear perfect ripe and turned to the sun for its moment of glory.

Posted by: Pica at November 28, 2004 07:34 AM
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We seem to have a prickly pear theme going here. Which can mean only one thing: time to go to the Mojave.

Which is, of course, what everything else in my life means all the time.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at November 28, 2004 09:48 AM
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Thanks for this memorable portrait of a woman I, too, would like to meet someday. I'm going down my blogroll in alphabetical order, BTW, so I haven't actually read Siona's account yet...

Posted by: Dave at November 28, 2004 12:13 PM
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Touched, and at the same time painfuly aware of my need to remain too too private. Like a jay bird, squawking in the tree. but I'll fly at the slightest movement.
Siona and I were sharing thoughts about our ever hungry eyes. How we are unable to not see/not read things. We can't tune out. We read the ads on those insulated rings around take-out coffee cups, we listen intently to the horrible ads on the telly and there fore are unable to watch anything except PBS. And there I was in my toxic Motel 6 box reading the label on the taffeta fairy skirt and it is made up of 50% polyvinyl chloride and 5% rubber.
Now about the prickly pear. Two times in the last few weeks I've found nests in my wanderings and climbed up to find them ringed by prickly pear cactus. What kind of creature does that, and how do they transport those spiky things up to the nest and what for? The nests were very different. One in a scrub oak about 10 feet off the ground and one in the crook of a pinion pine at a bit above eye level.

Posted by: farland at November 30, 2004 04:51 PM
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That adds up to 55%. I wonder if the other 45% is the air in the netting.

I was all set to guess who was building those nests until you said they were up trees. Woodrats build nests out of cactus sections fairly often, but woodrats are, to my knowledge, earthbound. Cactus wrens nest IN cacti, and are adept at handling small sections if need be, but that sounds wrong for them - not to mention location.

I wonder if it might be squirrels. At least one of the nests.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at November 30, 2004 04:59 PM
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