Features

Wabi Sabi

侘寂 

 

To love a thing

whose demise

you can foresee:

a swallow flying

through a windstorm, 

a teapot cracked.

 

A lopsided house,

stone roof off

center, . . .

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Cloud Study

Clouds, come down to sleep in the treetops— 

if you’ve seen the pines’ wide boughs 

 

cradle the snow, even from a distance, 

you know they can hold you. Or float 

 

yourself into a roofless, falling-down barn 

and lie in the moldering hay. . . .

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The Pool

The MacEvoys had the pool dug out of their backyard in April of 1983. For three straight Saturdays in March, Bob Cobb and Dan Gray and Lee MacEvoy, in dungarees and sweatshirts, put their backs into saws and shovels and wheelbarrows. They dug up the lilac bushes along the north side of the property. . . .

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Stamp Fever

Father’s latest gift to his 14-year-old son was in a box on which was printed THE GOLDEN GALLEON OF STAMPS, a cornucopia that guaranteed more than a thousand stamps from around the world. And accompanying it, an album, every page with a checkerboard design, arranged alphabetically by the name of a country. . . .

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Gary Ferguson & Alexis de Tocqueville Sit Down with Some of Earth’s Enemies

Let’s face it: the nexus of American nature writing resides in the mountains. To have hiked at a mile high—at least, but preferably twice that—and written about it is almost a required endeavor. Gary Ferguson has done this and more. He’s bona fide; he’ll make a good spokesperson. His trail-essay books come out of the tradition of an author-guide leading readers into wild areas for delight and instruction. . . .

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Fault Line

I drag myself from bed with a magazine of white smiles clamped beneath my elbow, and I’m almost alive in the ruined hallway. Mold dots the floorboards; the ceiling’s splotched gray from water leakage—It’s old markings, our landlord said, Call me if the spots spread. . . .

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Of Yalta

Sure, it’s all Chekhov this and Chekhov that,

and I am far from the only one 

to keep myself up at night

thinking about his gun, 

 

but the man was a dreamboat,

gray eyes and smirking beard

and lips—those lips. . . .

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The Night Street

for Herb Creecy

 

Ten years ago I drove down to Barnesville

to see my friend, the artist Herb Creecy,

who was dying of pancreatic cancer.

He chose this way to end up: No hospital. . . .

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