Thursday, March 07, 2013


I know four Pisces women with birthdays today. Know only one of them well, a woman I have  loved since we met 35 years ago, & she knows it.  She was with the man then she's still with now. They eventually got married, bought a fixer up house, now have a son around 20, a fine musician so I hear. They are a couple I described as deciding to "grow up for each other." It was certainly something they didn't have to do at the time, 25 years ago, but they saw their chance to have a home & jumped at it.   I've never written a poem about her. Written a couple for her. Got her card in the mail a day late, she'll think I've forgotten (which I haven't in years), but it will arrive tomorrow with today's postmark.

I pulled yesterday's poem, "A Common Egret,"  out of a 2005 blog post. It was probably written in the late 90's when I was spending a lot of time on the Raritan Bay shore & at Sandy Hook, & I tinkered with it for a few years. It is not to my mind a successful poem. It would read well in public from a podium, & has the kind of twisty "dismount" at the end I seem to be good at doing - getting out of poem. But it is a contrived poem & I labor to follow what I want from it more than what the poem might have wanted. Can hardly blame a poet for desiring  to celebrate a white egret, quite common in our marshes now, much more  than when I was a child. As development continued unabated along the Jersey shore - the Barnegat Bay "lagoon" communities so badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy -  industry was withdrawing from northern Jersey marshes & wildlife sanctuaries were established from the Meadowlands a short distance from NYC to Delaware Bay, so I suppose the egrets found safer, stable  breeding habitats. They fly in  from the marshes & islands of Arthur Kill - the waterway between Jersey & Staten Island -  & fish at ponds in local parks around here, but they are not comfortable being too close to humans. They can't keep an eye on us & concentrate on fishing at the same time.

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Thomas Jefferson

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