By Robert Hass
Tomales Bay is flat blue in the Indian summer heat.
This is the time when hikers on Inverness Ridge
Stand on tiptoe to pick ripe huckleberries
That the deer can't reach. This is the season of lulls --
Egrets hunting in the tidal shallows, a ribbon
Of sandpipers fluttering over mudflats, white,
Then not. A drift of mist wisping off the bay.
This is the moment when bliss is what you glimpse
From the corner of your eye, as you drive past
Running errands, and the wind comes up,
And the surface of the water glitters hard against it.
Another from Poet's Choice in The Washington Post Book World from the new Robert Hass collection Time and Materials: Poems, 1997-2005. The book follows the seasons, beginning with a couplet about January and ending with the poem above, in which, writes Robert Pinsky, "Fulfillment is glancing, partial, scavenged from flux and distraction."
Had a nice Sunday, though each step of the way was unplanned. My sister and her husband went off and did their own thing for a while while my mother brought their younger daughter over to meet our newest kitten. By the time they all decided they wanted to go downtown, we had already decided to go to the Agricultural History Farm Park's Harvest Festival. It was an insanely warm day for October, nearly 90 degrees even though the sun was slanting low in the sky in early afternoon, and they had to rig a cover over the chicken coop to stop the chickens from hiding in the shadows inside, but we had a great time anyway.
At the blacksmith's demonstration. The unfinished spoon is still cooling.
A historic tractor plows up potatoes for kids to gather.
After the plow, the prizes! We brought home three.
Another very old piece of farm equipment.
Some of the crafters at their tables.
And bluegrass in the barn.
In addition to the animals, craft displays and demonstrations, blacksmiths and tool-makers, harvesting potatoes, sampling tea and cookies flavored with local herbs and listening to bluegrass, we looked at the scientific and agricultural exhibits and watched people making scarecrows. This year the Redskins have played best on weeks when we only caught the beginning and end of the game on the radio, so I think not staying home for the games is always a good choice! Got home so the kids could do some homework, was invited by my mother for leftovers for dinner with my nieces since my sister and her husband had left to stay in a downtown hotel. So we had dinner there and let the kids play.
We all watched The Future Is Wild on Animal Planet, which I missed last time around though my kids saw it -- the sharkopath and double-winged birds are awesome and that futuristic rainbow squid looks like the "roll over and turn blue" creatures from Voyager's "Elogium." Then the grownups watched Brotherhood which continues to hold my attention more than anything else on TV, thus making it worth missing Shark with Richard Burgi (how was it?). I'm trying to decide how much my love of Jason Isaacs influences my significant pro-Michael bias, because let's face it, Tommy may be an asshole but he's not a murderer and Michael isn't right in the head even if Freddy isn't one to talk and I won't shed tears if Jeff gets what he deserves. Oh, read two articles that made me smile: the perfectly cracked "God Has Zero Tolerance for Wicca!" at Landover Baptist, my favorite faux Fundamentalist site, and "Sir Frederick of Hollywood In the Virgin Queen's Court", on the completely ahistorical costumes in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.