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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

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So much for bleak midwinter

When Patrick and I drove up to Arkansas from San Miguel de Allende in his baby blue '64 Comet, it was springtime. "Well, what do you think of Arkansas?" he asked me, somewhere between Texarkana and Little Rock.

"Bushy," I replied.

In fact, I found it claustrophobic. I had spent most of my life on an island. I was used to being able to see into the distance. I was more at home in the high desert than I was here.

I have never completely lost that choking feeling. It is so lush here. In the spring it feels like the honeysuckle vines might snake around your ankles and pull you under. Not all the foliage dies back in winter. The magnolias and pines and camelias are evergreen. But enough of it falls to the ground that you can finally see the trees for the forest. Everything seems sharper and more clear.

I am no photographer. But here is a little story in pictures. I'm supposed to be locked upstairs writing poetry. Don't tell anyone you saw me here.

The sun came out.

So I took Fanny, our Rottschund for a walk in the woods.

Her front end is no more attractive, believe me.

When the boys and I ponder what god looks like (if god had a look),
my guess is sunlight on the water.

This is what god looks like to Fanny.

Those are clusters of mistletoe. Do you know how they get the mistletoe out of the trees for Christmas? They shoot it down with guns, that's how.

I wrote a poem about midwinter once. It was published in this book. If you go in for that sort of thing, you can also read it here.

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