Alan: Skaila Kanga (named for the harpist) was one of a kind, and yet utterly typical of her race. The brave ones, the bold ones, never lasted. All 9 lives at once.
In Thin Air: A Letter
She loves this land, but sometimes the quietness goes out of me
and I’m filled with a rage to crumple it into some semblance
of comfort: topsoil, a farmhouse built by our ancestors, rising,
with elms, from the midst of good hayfields.
A wet spring, and June no better. The corn disappears yet again
under water: we could run a brickworks better than a garden
down in that clay muck.
The cat went two nights ago. A yowling from the thickets.
Rain came, heavy, with lightning from the south: any scraps
of her gone by now. A friend missing; a presence rubbing
at our dreams, slipping away each dawn.
I’d like to live on an old New England farm with house cats,
barn cats, field cats, feral cats, their shapes and identities
blurring one into another like the stone walls sagging into
the ledgy bluestem fields.
... Our friends so few that they come and go in the shape of a
mere and marvelous cat ...
Nancy: This may well be the hare that ate all the tulips, but still – today there’s enough peace for both of us.
Young Hare With a Star On His Forehead
The gods so loved the animals
that they made the pig unclean
that they made the cow holy
that they made the lamb a sacrifice
that they made the goat the bearer of guilt.
But you, small hare, they overlooked.
The hare is here again today.
Mild, so innocent of evil that
he sees Me, not a ghost, a demon
not an angelic savior.
Just one on whom the sun shines
equally, neither bowing to the other.
And so we sit
nothing but green between us.
His first June
mine one of the few left
and everywhere, the compassion
“In Thin Air: A Letter” first appeared in Slow Dancer magazine.