Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The Door to the Forest



...........for Jim Carroll

Eric Dolphy can't wake up:
the green light's still burning
by the gate. Pine cones

when stepped on by
dogs or raccoons, click
gently, like bones

into the mist, which
smells like mint; the
sounds diminish it;

the white rose
through the dropper's eye
falls; and the rain remains.

File:Amanita muscaria After Rain.jpg

The Door to the Forest: from Blue, 1974

Amanita muscaria (lamellae): photo by Walter J. Pilsak, 2004
Amanita muscaria, after rain, Marriott Falls Track, Tasmania, Australia: photo by Noodle snacks, 2009


human being said...

who can wake up from this dream?
it's all awakening...

Curtis Roberts said...

What a beautiful, memorable poem and what extraordinary photos.

Skip Fox said...

There are wakenings unto wakenings.

TC said...

The season of Wakes, St Johns Eve and thereabouts. From Middle English wacu, a watch. Niht wacu=night watch.
Reviled and outlawed by the Puritans in the 1640s. Restraint and proscription of pleasure the salient of the assault on nature.

Come Anthea, let us two
Go to Feast, as others do.
Tarts and Custards, Creams and Cakes,
Are the Junketts still at Wakes...

(Herrick, the Wake, from Hesperides, 1648)



What a lovely poem for Jim, together with such photos as these. Who's EVER put him (Jim) together with RH?
Meanwhile, here (again) is what I woke to. . . .


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
top of shadowed ridge, sparrows calling
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

that space and time, defined
with respect to inertia

transferred from body, there
changed, is simply that

grey-white of fog against top of ridge,
wingspan of tern flapping toward point

TC said...


space and time, defined
with respect to inertia

would encapsulate the dream state, or gloaming spell, that induced this poem, probably hatched down near Jim's cabin at the bottom of Mesa Road; though the eucalyptus woods behind our Ur-stwhile place on Larch might also have been the region of inception.

(The five lines in bold in the post above, Side Order, also originated upon the Mesa, those from a notebook entry made in one of those charming homemade geodesic family dwellings of the period... which I speculated at the time might well have looked like craters from the POV of the Apollo astronauts ... all this back in the daze of one small step for mankind & c.)

Marylinn Kelly said...

Had your poetry and photos not nudged me to follow some of the links you offer, I might be less mute regarding today's posts. The glimpse into your remarkable life of writing and exploration tells me so much about your rich content, your uncommon kindness toward us aspirants.

Our previous home in the foothills brought raccoons (also coyotes, mountain lions) but our cat would not back down one evening when the raccoon wanted first to eat, then to tussle, resulting in one or both of them shredding the screen door. I think I can identify the culprit.

Sandra (if) said...

into the mist, which smells like mint....I love that!

TC said...


Yes, the raccoon is a multitasker: eat and tussle, tussle and eat, whatever it takes to get through the night, often all on the same night.


The mint was real, growing in small aromatic patches along the roads.



Yes, I imagined that (those 5 lines in bold in "Side Order"), seeing Jessica (and "Air" below), and note (here) on eucalyptus and Mesa Road and Larch is welcome one (to me -- how good to think such 'events' are still present in your Berkeley world.

Anonymous said...

As if we were in Wonderland!

Marie W said...

That's exactly what the forest smells like. It's like opening the door and finding yourself standing on the edge, observing what's going on inside.
Click gently...