Of Golden Leaves and a Crescent Moon
Full days. Where to begin?
A solitary train ride, as sun set over Hudson waters... rays slant, blushing on blue, then fading to charcoal as night descended. Walking alone through New York city streets, buildings rising mammoth, imposing, making me feel my smallness, taste it like strong tea brisk in my mouth.
Or the lone tree on U.N. Way still dressed in golden leaves that flipped like pennies in a child's hands. I stopped to take it in, there on the rushing streets of the city that never sleeps. On my way to hear Os Guinness at the Roosevelt. The Roosevelt, decked for the holidays, in greens and reds, sparkling lights, jazz music greeting me at the door. Chatter and velvet and the smell of cinnamon and vodka in the air.
Maybe I should speak of the crescent moon over the East River, exuding gentility and power like the grandfatherly poet Samuel Hazo who I heard Tuesday night. Steady and enduring as that crescent moon, he recited straight from memory for over an hour. Recited his own deep verse and a little Shakespeare, in an old Catholic church of stone and wood and flickering candles. Verse to make me laugh and cry. And he asked...
... can you think of one thing someone has said today or this week... one thing that you will never forget... if you can't, you must question your attention to the poetic that is all around you, waiting to be heard, sniffed, tasted...
In silent answer, the flavor of grapes came sweet in my mouth. Katie's grapes. Little three-year-old Katie, filching Grandpa's grapes from the Thanksgiving basket. The basket that had sat empty on that holiday, waiting for each of us to put our piece of fruit in it. Fruit we silently assigned a joy and a sorrow that we brought to this year's table. Grandpa's fruit: grapes. But who knows his joy and sorrow?
Mommy! my youngest had cried, Katie's eating Grandpa's joy and sorrow!
This is the line I won't forget. Like night falling on the Hudson, and a solitary train ride, and the golden penny tree, and the moon, the crescent moon, shining alone, seemingly small against the giant of New York City. The poetry of life, come to visit. Come knocking, asking, will you take me in?
Basket and Fruit photo by Saima Barkat. Used with permission.
Ann's Waiting Hope
High Calling's Random Acts of Poetry: Christmas Lament
LL's Midnight's Gift
Erica's Waiting Sky
Marcus's Where We Live