Monday, September 14, 2009

Poem for Monday

And Seeing It
By Valerie Martinez

Orange, orange. And the hand arching up
to hold it. The women's hand. The arching.
Up. And the star exploding, seeing it
where it wasn't, a telescope on the night sky.
The thermonuclear flash.
The explosion.

She had her hand out; it fell
like an explosion into her fingers.
It wasn't the cope and the eye,
was hand, fruit. It was what I saw.
It was what I imagine I somehow saw.

Out on the horizon of stars beyond the gigantic sun.
Beyond the measure of the sun the star bursting.

And it was autumn. The shadows of oleanders
made colors of bodies on the lawn.
The girls dresses were red on the green lawn.
Smelling of fruit.
Making shapes of fruit in their hands.

With the sky all opaque, and the one star.
There, at the top of the fingers, the orange.
At the tip like God and Adam touching.
Like the ceiling of the Sistine where the stars might be.

And knowing about hydrogen, carbon.
A collapsing in. The water drunk by girls,
the breath given out. Breath, out.

The table of elements served up.
Iron in spinach in the aqua bowl.
Green explosion in the aqua bowl.

Clusters of grape stems without grapes.
Molecular models like grape stems.
To what we address, link.
To what we speak.

Not in our lifetime will we see it.
Not in the sky like this: supernova.
Not ever again, they say.
Drops. The orange.


We drove before lunch to Washington County, where there were several Civil War-related activities going on in honor of the anniversary of the Battle of South Mountain and Battle of Antietam. Washington Monument State Park had Living History Weekend, with a Confederate reenactor talking about the history of the Washington Monument during the Civil War and showing some of the weapons and equipment used by soldiers. Antietam National Battlefield had Infantry & Sharpshooter firing demonstrations, followed by an artillery firing demonstration with two twelve-pounders. The town of Boonsboro, founded by Daniel Boone's cousins whose public buildings were used as makeshift hospitals during the Civil War, had a craft fair and antique show called Boonesborough Days in a large park. And since we were out driving near South Mountain, we stopped at the South Mountain Creamery to see the calves and buy some cheese and fresh buttermilk.

A Union sharpshooter at Antietam National Battlefield demonstrates how quickly a soldier could fire a breech-loading rifle.

This Confederate soldier took much longer to fire, particularly from a prone position, because he had to prime his weapon.

However, the Confederate troops at Antietam brought their artillery and demonstrated guns that could fire at a target a mile away.

There were reenactors at Washington Monument State Park as well, since the anniversary of the Battle of South Mountain is tomorrow.

The monuments at Antietam are visible from the top of the tower.

The town of Boonsboro celebrates its history annually with a craft fair.

...including many crafters who produce items using traditional methods (sometimes in traditional costume) such as brooms, candles, and jams.

Here is Adam petting one of the South Mountain Creamery summer calves.

We saw none of the Ravens game and only the end of the Redskins game, though it came as no surprise that the Washington managed to lose and only a bit of a surprise that the Baltimore game was as close as it ended up being. In the evening we watched Due South's hilarious "Seeing Is Believing" and even more hilarious "Spy vs Spy" -- I don't know what I liked better, watching Fraser hypnotize Ray ("cauliflower") or watching him in the ballet. Probably the latter if only because Martha Burns played one of the bad guys, though the music during everyone's reconstructions of the crime in the former alone is worth the price of admission.

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