Monday, November 24, 2008

How I Give Thanks

or why I gather grey feathers and fallen leaves with my son.


by Adam Zagajewski

Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June's long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.
The nettles that methodically overgrow
the abandoned homesteads of exiles.
You must praise the mutilated world.
You watched the stylish yachts and ships;
one of them had a long trip ahead of it,
while salty oblivion awaited others.
You've seen the refugees heading nowhere,
you've heard the executioners sing joyfully.
You should praise the mutilated world.
Remember the moments when we were together
in a white room and the curtain fluttered.
Return in thought to the concert where music flared.
You gathered acorns in the park in autumn
and leaves eddied over the earth's scars.
Praise the mutilated world
and the grey feather a thrush lost,
and the gentle light that strays and vanishes
and returns.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The grass is always

long or cut, green or dry or not grass at all, but clover and full of bees. It is rarely truly greener, but instead a different shade of green. Kelly or olive, lime or pine, even celadon. A shade of green you don't even know the name of, or a shade you recognize only too well.

Those of you who have loved the Voss and Armstrong family have also come to recognize and perhaps even love the family of my sister, the Newcomb family: Cole (aka Nikki), Ryan, Olivia, Sophia and Brodie. Next Wednesday will find Joe and I in the hospital green of a waiting room at University of Michigan's Children's Hospital as Cole and Ryan's youngest, Brodie, undergoes surgery for a tumor in his brain. This  is not our story to tell, and while it does affect us, and I will likely write of it, now is not the time. I recognize the shade but cannot put my name to the color. 

For those of you who have offered support, and with permission of Cole and Ryan, the website to check is