Prairie Octopus, Awake
By Nicky Beer
The night's turned everything to junipers
shagged & spooked with cerulean chalk-fruit,
weird berries whiffing of Martians in rut.
I forget this isn't my universe
sometimes. Sometimes I think I was falling
most of my life to land here, a lone skirl
in the immaculate hush. In my world
I waltzed with my ink-self, my black shantung.
Owls swallow vowels in stilled trees. It's not
sleeplessness, it's fear of what the dark will
do if I don't keep a close eye on it.
Blue minutes leak from the pricked stars' prisms,
seep into the earth unchecked. Just as well—
I've hardly enough arms to gather them.
I spent my entire day doing two things: writing the review I need to post tomorrow of Star Trek: The Next Generation's "Firstborn" and working on holiday cards. The former is pretty much finished; the latter is in a messy state wherein all the envelopes have address labels and return address labels, but only 2/3 of the cards are done, and I don't have stamps for any of them (which is going to require a trip to the post office as opposed to CVS or someone else who sells postage, since I need the right stamps for Canada and overseas). Those probably aren't going to be purchased till Monday, since I'm going tomorrow morning with Gblvr to see The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which was my favorite of The Chronicles of Narnia when I was growing up...I didn't love Prince Caspian so I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised by the new film!
I was still stuffing envelopes during $#*! My Dad Says, so I missed the finer points of Ed's vendetta against his neighbor and why the guy stole Henry's bike, and I didn't much like them poking fun at Bonnie and Vince's infertility issues and implying that pet-lovers are compensating, but I did like Ed being a human being with Bonnie at the end. If I needed another reason to love Nikita, the Sinatra-esque version of "Eye of the Tiger" playing at the wedding would have been enough, but really I love everything about the show, possibly even more than I loved La Femme Nikita because there are so many wonderful women, even the ones I hate. Spoilers: I'm sorry Thom is apparently dead -- I liked his interactions with both Alex and Jaden -- but I was betting she'd kill someone in keeping with the theme of the episode and I was a bit worried it was going to be Jaden, who isn't afraid of anything and would (hopefully will) make an awesome ally. Anyone who's unhappy with roles for women on television really needs to be watching this show.
A sparrow in a tree outside the National Geographic Explorers Hall.
The palest gray squirrel I have ever seen, though I don't know if it qualifies as albino, outside the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Bright berries in front of the water tower at Longwood Gardens.
This Longwood tree's color obviously isn't natural...
...but the muted color in the woods is unadorned.
This fountain is inside Pierce duPont's house on the grounds at Longwood...
...which is always decorated for the season as it might have been when he lived there.
The conservatory gardens are somewhat larger now than they were then.