By April Bernard
What was lost, again, the hot sap
that burnt my throat with, well why not, joy.
Did I own in or just borrow it
from eyes that should be cool but were not, were hot.
A moment's forgetting, did I turn to see
some other sort of startle in the grass,
did I stoop to heal the afflicted
beasts that lost their eyes and wings.
How often is too often, what if
this heat tore through me constant
as the sky I tear apart, claiming,
This is mine, well what of it.
Let's see who's still standing when I burn, again,
when the mountain is set to the match.
We had a pretty quiet Sunday -- laundry, a bit of shopping, some reading, lots of e-mail debate about Torchwood. In the afternoon the kids went to the pool. In the evening we went to Vertigo66's younger son's birthday party, which was a lot of fun -- I don't get to see her whole family, or her sister's family, very often, and a friend of both of ours from high school was there as well.
A plover with a rusting cannon beside it on the human-constructed island of Fort Sumter.
This is how the fort looked during the approach aboard the Spirit of Charleston...
...whereas this is an artist's rendition of how the fort looked on the night the Civil War began, displayed in the museum on the island.
The museum also contains artifacts recovered during excavations, like the toothbrush without bristles and the ink bottle in this display.
Around the walls of the fort, one can see such wildlife as pelicans...
...and crustaceans, both fiddler crabs and little black crabs that I understand may be an invasive species in the river.
Here are the flags of Fort Sumter: The 33-star Union flag that flew on April 12-13, 1861, when the Civil War started; the circular 35-star Union flag raised on February 18, 1865, once the fort was under Union control again; the flag of the Palmetto Guard, the first Southern flag to fly at Fort Sumter; the state flag of South Carolina, featuring a palmetto and a gorget; the Confederate Stars & Bars; and the Stainless Banner, with a small Confederate emblem representing the states that seceded after the battle of Fort Sumter plus states claimed by the Confederacy.
And here are my kids on the gangway back to the boat.
After we got home, we watched Rasputin, which I had only seen previously on slowly rotting VHS tape, but the wonderful Xena2001DE pointed me toward a torrent and now I have a fairly decent DVD converted from an AVI file. There's a lot of Russian history glossed over or just plain rewritten, but I love Alan Rickman's complete abandon as the title character, Ian McKellen's misery as the failing tsar, Greta Scacchi's unhappy dignity as the tsarina, James Frain's subtle sleaziness as Yusupov and the little boy, Freddie Findlay, who plays the tsarevitch. Plus it's a very good-looking production.