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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Poem: Potluck: Moon

We have continued our tradition of Tuesday evening farm potlucks, even with the colder weather, though it may be time to quit for the winter. Our tradition has included, in addition to the blessing (usually eloquently delivered by Tom), the reading of a poem. We want our farmers to be cultivated, as well as the farm.

Last night I read one of Gary Snyder's poems. I don't always like them, but every once in a while that translucent simplicity is just perfection. As I read to the hungry circle, I watched the moon, a thin golden crescent, just above the hills. Overnight, somehow, this description arrived. It's all mine, though I hope maybe Gary Snyder in one of his lucid and not too sentimental moments would like it too.

Potluck on Sulphur Creek

November moon: an empty bowl,
shining in reflected light,
dragging darkness behind
like an old coat,
a beggar’s cup,
balanced on the hill.

Come. Join us.
Here, sit here. This is my spot
by the fire pit.
You can borrow my good friend and
this plate, this food the work
of many hands. The sweet potatoes
grew right over there.
Someone has a banjo. There’s a guitar,
and at least one dog.
The creek has stopped to listen.
Tom throws a log
on the fire. We lean in
to the circle of light, watch
the beggar’s cup moon
tip over the hill, still empty,
don’t mind the darkness
it left behind.

Come. Join us. We
have plenty.
It is not much, but it is

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