Friday, January 8, 2016

Another Year?

As I replaced our 2015 calendar with a 2016, I thought about Dan’s poem “Every Year’s the Same . . . Yet Nothing’s Quite the Same 
Each Year.” And wondering what small changes might surprise us in the months ahead, this poem seemed the natural one to begin
the new Red Eft year.

I painted a number of the images in this video onto leaves gathered from our old front yard magnolia, and later photographed
them outside on heaps of unpainted ones. That was a first for me -- merging paintings with the earth’s own crusty leaf litter!
                                                                                                                                                    — Suzanne

Every Year's the Same . . . Yet Nothing's Quite the Same Each Year


Every Year’s the Same . . . Yet Nothing’s Quite
the Same Each Year
                                       Nothing steadfast is.  Everything
  becomes.  You cannot step twice
  into the same river, for fresh
  waters are always flowing in
  upon you.
                                                                             — Heraclitus

My body slower but the failing eye more true,
I’ve learned the subtle law of Heraclitus. Last year
Salamanders gleaming beneath logs in swampy lowland
Near the stream. This year arid, waters low: under logs
Only the stillness of grey dust. But red-eyed locusts
Everywhere:  risen shrill to treetops. Thirteen years
Bowed deep into the parched fields of slow dream,
Compressed into a moment’s mating call. Then death. 
Last year itching tingle of mosquitoes where I’d fished
For glittering bream; this year, fishless, circled only by
The softer buzz of gnats. Just when I say butterflies
No longer flit like flakes of sun beneath dark caverns
Of the lower limbs of pines (missing tiger swallowtails
Along our woodland trail), the fritillaries, gone for years,
Return. Float down, wings spread with silver moons,
To sip mud by the wooden bridge spanning the waters
Where I lean to reminisce. This year my sideburns
Definitely grey, and glasses now . . . But desires
Much the same. The eye a shade more true. 


“Every Year’s the Same . . .”  first appeared in BoulevardSt. LouisMissouri

Paintings on magnolia leaves: salamander and cicada