By Robert Hass
In the long winter nights, a farmer's dreams are narrow.
Over and over, he enters the furrow.
One more by Robert Hass from Poet's Choice in Sunday's Washington Post Book World from his new book, which, "recalling Hass's landmark haiku anthology, concentrates on a precise time of year," writes Robert Pinsky. "It suggests that the work of poetry, like the farmer's -- and perhaps all human work -- digs patiently, dreamily, within its mortal confines (such as furrows or lines of verse), into the cold and the dark." The book, Pinsky adds, is about the passage of time both epic and private. "'Bush's War' meditates on the persistent mass violence and self-righteousness of a century: the new war related to the old horrors that run like a buried stream under the surfaces of a great modern city. On a personal scale, in 'Then Time,' a current of loss unsettles the surfaces when two people have dinner together after a long time apart."
My day was so insane that I feel like I should let Daisy write about it instead. Woke up insanely early, not even because she was climbing on me but because I had Adam's school visiting day, where I listened to 40 sixth graders tune violins and sat in on a discussion of grammar. On the way home I ran into a neighbor I rarely see who was off for Columbus Day, and we talked for about half an hour about our kids and her new cat (which came with her new fiance). No sooner did I get home and pick up the things Daisy had knocked on the floor in my absence than my mother called to tell me that my nieces wanted to visit the cats, and they all wanted to pet and pick them up so much that in the end Cinnamon was hiding, Rosie was nipping and Daisy was zipping around like a maniac.
I thought that my day would begin to calm down then, but the madness was just beginning. I got a phone call from Adam's school to tell me he threw up his lunch all over his World Studies desk. So I went to the health room to get him, brought him home, parked him on the toilet since his intestines were bothering him and somehow neglected to mention that he should flush periodically if he was using a full roll of toilet paper. I heard a whoosh that didn't end, then hysterical crying, and I ran upstairs to discover that he had somehow jammed the bowl so badly that it backed up into the tank and the shut-off flap or whatever it's called -- the thing that comes down and makes the water stop spraying into the tank -- refused to budge, and the valve to turn off all water to the toilet jammed as well. I had to stand there holding the damn thing in place while younger son, who was in real pain from his stomach bug, called
Long story short, we ended up with a flood that poured between the tiles and the floor boards into the ducts, through the ceiling, all over the second floor and the basement. By the time the plumber got there and concluded that the massive plug we couldn't get to with our standard issue plunger was the problem -- the bowl was empty by the time I got into the bathroom, it was the tank pouring water from beneath the lid -- we had paint and wallboard cracking off the ceilings. Nationwide sent their water cleanup people even though the claims person couldn't get out tonight, so while Heroes was on I had two guys moving furniture all over the house to install six huge fans and three enormous dehumidifiers. (Daniel had dinner with my parents, who also brought us California Tortilla which was most appreciated.) The noise level is insane and we can't shut the downstairs lights because it'll turn off the fans plugged into lower outlets.
First she discovered that three cats are no match for three little girls who want to pick them up.
But that was nothing compared to the flood and the Invasion of the Giant Fans.
Not to mention the Ceiling Holes of Doom.
And more Ceiling Holes of Doom!
And the Terrifying Piles of Stuff Removed from the vicinity of the Ceiling Holes of Doom.
It's a good thing she had a GameBoy to play with.
So I barely saw NBC's double-header of Enterprise actors, Keating on Heroes and Billingsley on Journeyman.