By William Jay Smith
All night the wind swept over the house
And through our dream
Swirling the snow up through the pines,
Ruffling the white, ice-capped clapboards,
Rattling the windows,
Rustling around and below our bed
So that we rode
Over wild water
In a white ship breasting the waves.
We rode through the night
On green, marbled
Water, and, half-waking, watched
The white, eroded peaks of icebergs
Sail past our windows;
Rode out the night in that north country,
And awoke, the house buried in snow,
Perched on a
Chill promontory, a
In the mouth of the cold valley,
Its white tongue looped frozen around us,
The trunks of tall birches
Revealing the rib cage of a whale
Stranded by a still stream;
And saw, through the motionless baleen of their branches,
As if through time,
Light that shone
On a landscape of ivory,
A harbor of bone.
My kids had a half-day of school yesterday and have a half-day today so I am accomplishing exactly nothing. Well, I did have an enjoyable bit of afternoon yesterday with a multitude of boys in the house, chatting with the mother of one who's from Bangladesh and is very interesting, but for the most part it's been running into the kitchen to make sure no one has left the sesame sticks out on the table where the cats can bat them around and running down the basement to make sure no one has left an open bag of marshmallows where ants could find it. (Enforcing the "no food out of the kitchen" rule has been utterly hopeless.) Today the younger one has a follow-up doctor's appointment to check on his eyes following the incident at school that left the welt on his head. Poor guy.
A Vendredi picture. This is why I love my Nikon Coolpix 995 so, so much: because even though I know very little about light settings, it took this picture of Venus over the townhouses across the way with remarkably little blurring. Everyone knows that Venus transits the sun on June 8th, right? It will move like a black dot across the face of the sun, and cause astrological and erotic upheaval if you believe in that sort of thing, but it's a very cool event for amateur astronomers anyway because a transit of Venus was instrumental in figuring out exactly how far the Earth is from the sun. The transit will be visible in Europe, Africa, Asia, and eastern America, and lots of local observatories will have viewings.