Friday, January 15, 2010


Pete Singer says it's time to expand the circle of ethics to all nations/species. Mary O declares that nothing will alter her love of friends, family, beloved ghosts or "blue sky of a summer morning, that makes me roll in a barrel of gratitude down hills..." Can we then expand our circle of ethics to the sky, the summer and the morning? Willa Cather wrote of her friend Sarah Orne Jewett that she had "learned to love her country as she saw it" and she saw it as it was.
Mae Sarton said that order "does compose the mind". I haven't been here long enough to make are really big mess but my corner of the room could use a bit of tidiness. When I achieve order what shall I compose?
Today I thought of Harvey M, a young man I knew when I was 19. He worked in a garage and carried the smell of it with him. He knew cars and he knew poetry. Late one night I was awakened by a "tapping at my chamber door." No, it wasn't Poe. It was Harvey tossing pebbles against my bedroom window on the third floor. I quickly dressed and, clutching my book of verse to my bosom, slipped out of the apartment and down the stairs. He wanted to show me something I'd never seen before. Well, at 19 I hadn't seen much, so it could be anything. He'd parked his car in the alley several doors away. It was deliciously clandestine. We whispered in the dark as we hurried to the car. He drove me to the secret destination and just before we arrived he asked me to close my eyes. Then he parked, covered my hand with his and whispered, "Look".
I saw before me a great lighted fountain. The water rose and fell in a rainbow of colors. Then he reached under the seat , produced his book of poems and read several pages while I stared spellbound by the splendor of the fountain.
Later I read some poems to him. Then we walked around the fountain and met on the other side. We exchanged coins, made our unspoken vows and in unison pitched the coins into the magic fountain. Even today his memory is such a presence that I smell the gas/oil flavor of him here in this room on Emerson Ave. Dear Harvey, are you well? Are you happy?

No comments:

Post a Comment