Sunday, September 22, 2019

Equal Dark, Equal Light

First day of Fall... the Autumn Equinox, is a hot dry day where I  live.

Here are some poems by other writers  to celebrate it:

"Lord, it is time.
The summer was very big.
Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose.
Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days,
press them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine."

-  Rainer Maria Rilke

"Equal dark, equal light
Flow in Circle, deep insight
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!
So it flows, out it goes
Three-fold back it shall be
Blessed Be, Blessed Be
The transformation of energy!"

-  Night An'Fey, Transformation of Energy

"Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields,

The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth
And you walk under the red light of fall
The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain
The sharp, gentle chill of fall.
Here as we move into the shadows of autumn
The night that brings the morning of spring
Come to us, Lord of Harvest
Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us ..."
-  Autumn Equinox Ritual

"Spring scarce had greener fields to show than these
Of mid September; through the still warm noon
The rivulets ripple forth a gladder tune
Than ever in the summer; from the trees
Dusk-green, and murmuring inward melodies,
No leaf drops yet; only our evenings swoon
In pallid skies more suddenly, and the moon
Finds motionless white mists out on the leas."

-  Edward Dowden, In September

Coming of Autumn        David Hemminger

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

My new book!

My ninth book of poetry , Not Only/But Also, was released this week.
The publisher is Duck Lake Books!
Here is the first poem in the book:

What You Can’t Know When You’re Young

How the big girl with the baby face
turns into the woman with bags under her eyes
and the fine skins lined with eyelash thin wrinkles.
How you become the sandwich memory keeper
who tells your cousin’s children about your grandmother
and knows that someday it will be important to them.
How the details of weddings and funerals,
who was there and what they said,
what songs they sang by the piano in the basement,
how those things matter.
How it matters what those Mennonite wives and mothers, sisters in law,
wore and said in the kitchen while they got the meal together,
always jello and creamed corn on the menu.

You can’t know these things when you are young:
how the necks of women become crepe draped,
how you can see the laughing eighteen year old
behind the laughing sixty six year old:
same person—same person.

Here's what my poet friend Kate Daniels said about my book:
In Anne Higgins’ new collection, Not Only, but Also, I love the forthright speech she uses to conjure a late life exegesis of nearly seven decades of lived experience. Using ordinary language and mundane settings, Higgins carries us with her to the many thin places she encounters in daily life.  “A humming in the silent air” is what she calls those mysterious moments when mortal and eternal time temporarily divide, and give a fleeting glimpse of what lies just beneath, beyond the surfaces of daily life.  After a long life of religious vocation and devotion to poetry, this poet finds thin places almost anywhere: in line at Starbucks, a child’s chalk drawing of a hopscotch grid, “a box of Whitman’s floral mints,” the surprising, untamed sprawl of Emily Dickinson’s handwriting, or in the “chewed up lung throats” of prostitutes “calling hoarsely” to their customers. “All our life we’ve walked through it,” she says in “We’re Being Watched,” “The border between this world/And the other one.”
                                                                                    Kate Daniels

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, here are the ordering details:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Fallling Man

Physics for Poets

The realm of quantum theory is the very small-
Relativity deals with the very large or the very fast-
Gravity is the central mystery of our created universe.

I see the man falling the falling man  from the World Trade Center.
Terminal velocity-
I don’t  understand it, but
I hear his body hit the roof of the Atrium,
 hear the shocked cries of the people there that day.

I think of Acceleration in terms of objects… my car, hurtling down Route 95…
In the absence of resistance,
all falling bodies experience
the same constant acceleration.
That falling man,
that man falling head first, arms close at his sides
in his business suit,
from the World Trade Center
in the absence of resistance.

The buildings fell as the man fell,
Straight down,
Floors like dominos
Surrendering to the jet fueled fire,
an engineer’s nightmare.

Temperature is not the same as heat.
Temperature is intensive –
it does not vary with the quantity of material.
 Heat , however, is extensive –
it does vary with the amount of material.

No time here for anything but soot.
The falling man did not have time for fragrance.

( I wrote this about a year after )

Thursday, September 5, 2019

September songs

"The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows
itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many."
-  Oliver Wendell Holmes

"Crown'd with the sickle, and the sheaten sheaf,
While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain,
Comes jovial on."
-  James Thomson, Autumn, 1730

"Under the harvest moon,  
When the soft silver  
Drips shimmering  
Over the garden nights,  
Death, the gray mocker,  
Comes and whispers to you  
As a beautiful friend  
Who remembers." 
-  Carl Sandburg, Under the Harvest Moon

Monday, September 2, 2019

Hurricane Coming

Hurricane Dorian, a Category Five , slowly rolls toward the coast of Florida.
Residents have evacuated, but still are hoping it weakens before it hits.

Here is a poem I wrote years ago.  I think it was about Hurricane David.

Hurricane Coming , Petersburg Virginia

Subtle purple maple sky
Fickle sticking air
slipping away from her
climbing steps from gym to classroom,
roach dance on the musty carpet steps,
roaches roaming the rolls of paper in the closet,
mottle pealing paint,
trickle smell of sulphur detergent.

O Death, I have loved you,
but I have not slept with you.
Were you hiding there,
In the shadows on the landing?

Navy blue sky,
tornado slithering toward her
like a shearing train.