Sunday, December 06, 2009

montréal, decembre 2008












Photos above taken in Montréal, early December 2008 (right 'round this time last year, to be precise) ... ice storm. Funny how things are unearthed.

au coin d’hutchison & lajoie

you said: we’re in montréal, &

it’s snowing! not côte des neiges,

but mile-end, unlost now

in a neighbourhood of white.

parapets fog-veiled, muffled sky

falling down, a soft shy

rabbit down, translucent

boulangerie window beacon

beckoning on past lajoie & up –

je t’ai dit : quand le ciel est gris,

tes yeux sont plus bleus

& plus lucides – stop at the

épicerie, our pockets full of

clementines, & my hands, they

are full of your hands as the street

pulls us past a sculpture garden

frozen to the tracks, icy bicycle

sarcophagi, then a pigeon whirlwind,

like grey flakes upward flying,

a shivering drunken choreography

in the wind. we follow home

the dark coattails of the hasidim,

flitting winter moths in a haze

of soggy pollen, seeking window light.

* * *

late at night, an ice storm.

chimes of frozen juniper clink

on panes, basement bell choir

lulling us to sleep. outside

the snow falls, turns to rain

just above the tallest trees,

then ices on the ground, encases

the house. you reach out

for me in sleep, twining branches

of a frozen sumac, eyelashes

on my skin like snow brushed

from a railing, breath in my ear.

we change state. somewhere

we sublimated, went solid to air,

fell as snow & gathered here

& i am bursting. how do i

speak of the wild & quiet

beside you, when there is no more

space to be contained. &

hush, hush, do you hear it?

the icicles are singing – ascending,

descending the eaves like

a row of organ pipes, a hundred

roofs wide, making a remedy

for cryptic aching, a mouthful

of snow, the inner melting, trop

de la neige & de l’eau pour

un petit cœur assommé


Sunday, November 22, 2009

revisiting the reclaiming

I've written about this car before, a long while ago (see October 9, 2006) but I feel compelled to post about it again... I recently re-photographed it, and was then further inspired to re-blog by this artwork, by Tin Can Forest (who I wrote about rather recently -- see March 13, 2009). A work like Autopust: Farewell to Cars (on the right is Nabozhnik), with forest spirits reveling & wrecking, sets my heart fluttering... An end to the personal motor vehicle! Tak!

And so this is a gentler reclamation of my mother's first car. Can't remember why she stopped driving it, I think my cousin drove it after her, finally it rolled to a stop out back on the acreage by the treehouse... and the hood came off, the engine was removed, and three, four, five persistent aspen sprouted up through the rusting cavity.
It's one of my favourite reminders that everything belongs to the earth. No matter how we change, shape, adulterate, mould, alter the materials we have -- even the most built, the most manufactured things the earth takes back eventually, slowly deconstructing. Held in place by the tangled fingers of vetch twisting about the disintegrating metal, this car waits to become rusted ashes. Chewed up by the silver lichen teeth, slowly engulfed in moss and leaves, the shadows of the growing trees.

At a recent seminar in my department, the head of the school here discussed his dreams for the future of anthropology and archaeology. Among many things, he called for a re-envisioning of time scales, of what it means to create, be created, to be & become. He wanted us to look beyond the conventionally given dates & times of when things came into existence, & to focus on the process of becoming, not of Aristotelian mixing of form+substance=conception, a single moment of creation. Nothing is fixed, everything is fluid & changing even as there is some underlying stability, recognizability. Rain, waves, rocks, humans, all like this.

So things are always becoming; everything is a process. There is a past-ness ever carrying on into the present & looking to the future -- what is a desk, he said, but perhaps a phase in the life of an oak tree? & so a car might be a phase in the life of metal, a phase in the life of rock, mineral, dust.


(& if I'd had a sword with me that day, (& a steadier tripod-like surface), I most definitely would've re-enacted this.)




Friday, November 13, 2009

aftonland, eveningland

sunset in august, north saskatchewan river valley, edmonton

Last weekend, I went to a concert at St. Machar's -- 12th century church in Old Aberdeen -- and listened to the choir Con Anima sing works by Arvo Pärt, Veljo Tormis, Pēteris Vasks, and Per Nørgård. It was magical -- the singers played with the space well, clustering around the pews, so close you could hear their stolen breaths, or stood all at the back of the church in the darkness with candles... when you couldn't see them, it was like the stones themselves were singing. I was introduced to Tormis's Estonian polyphonous lullabies, as well as the work of Nørgård, a Danish composer. I was not as struck by his composition, but his piece -- Aftonland (evening land) -- was based on the words of the Swedish poet Pär Lagerkvist, and they are a wonder. His plainspoken words are autumnal, elegaic, the calm acceptance of dying, ending, slow slip into shadow -- & the eternality of life not in the heavenly Christian sense, but in the good old pagan way of celebrating the beauty of decay: sowing of new seeds in the ground where the dead lie, & the ground is the very flesh of your ancestors. who provide the harvest for you. My heart flutters at the mention of the earth remembering; that's something I've recently be writing about. The earth remembers everything, because everything is of the earth.

(Another absolutely perfect song like this is Smog's Permanent Smile (lyrics here) -- decomposition has never been evoked so eloquently)

leaning sunset trees, north saskatchewan river, edmonton, august 2009

From Aftonland (words by Pär Lagerqvist, selected by Per Nørgård) -- English translation

I.

Some day you will be one of those who lived long ago.
The earth will remember you, just as it remembers the grass and the forests,
the rotting leaves.
Just as the soil remembers,
and just as the mountains remember the winds.
Your peace shall be unending as that of the sea.

and

III.

Let my shadow disappear into yours.
Let me lose myself
under the tall trees,
that themselves lose their crowns in the twilight,
surrendering themselves to the sky and night.

IV.

[...]
Into nocturnal ground you lower
the life which seems laid waste,
like the sower returning
to the earth which he sees open
the harvest that he has gathered.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

midsummering

saturated light, near the solstice, the river valley, edmonton, june 2009

This was started a long while ago, right about when the photo above was taken, days before summer solstice... but only finished recently. Even though I'm coming to appreciate the Aberdeen landscape -- green woods, sinuous river, smooth sand, the singing of the sea -- I am missing home & the places I've made, the places I am made of.

midsummering


summer in the pines

& there’s sap tang

on quick tongues now,



pulse under lips &

the heat rising from

the slow breathing



of the river: between

the boughs the waxwings

hover, yellow tailfeathers



bright & sticky as caragana,

fingered sage, tangles in

the thicket of your hair.



summer & the water

below’s a smear of green

mirror, a streak of sweat



trailing a cheekbone,

& these shaking hands

caked in soft clay:



we coax the forest floor,

rustle the brush, push

each other deep



into the earth now,

pressed to a heart’s mossy

membrane, aspen-trembled



backbone. tell the woods:

remember, remember

us, in the spaces between



the roots & dark matter,

feathers & the nesting,

the water, the air.



dwelling on the web.

the waves bringing presents, the beach north of the bridge of don, aberdeen

This is just to say that I am still blogging here -- this is still a home for poems & photos & other intriguing things. But I am also posting here, at Among the Heather, writing mostly about Scotland, where I am studying now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

against meat, by jonathan safran foer

combine in the wheat fields at the edge of the earth, riverlot 56, september 2009


old goldenrod in a field, riverlot 56, september 2009


If you are reading this, you should next go read this essay, 'Against Meat', by Jonathan Safran Foer. It's an excerpt from a book that'll be appearing later this year -- a well-woven piece regarding the evolution of his ethic of vegetarianism. Being thoughtful about the food I consume is very important to me, and thus so this was especially resonant.

It was truly moving -- he entwines family history and memory with the meanings of food in such a brilliant way. Also, the portrayals of his grandmother make me weep a little. That's my baba, there, the Greatest Chef of all time, & probably the most generous person I've ever known:

My grandmother never set a place for herself at family dinners. Even when there was nothing more to be done — no soup bowls to be topped off, no pots to be stirred or ovens checked — she stayed in the kitchen, like a vigilant guard (or prisoner) in a tower. As far as I could tell, the sustenance she got from the food she made didn’t require her to eat it.

I come from a culture that values food (growing it, harvesting it, preparing it, eating it, but primarily, it feels, sometimes, sharing it) dearly -- eating often becomes celebratory. Feeding someone is a deeply gratifying privilege, and something you do with great enthusiasm.

Due to experiences of famines, poverty, and long, regular fasts, eating meat is often especially revered -- it it richness, wealth, both literally & symbolically. My baba certainly felt thus, and her (& my mother, I think, even still) were quite puzzled why I felt it was important to be vegetarian, why I did not want to eat more nice fresh kovbasa, I'd loved it since I was small! Why didn't I want chicken in dill cream, why did I want just mushroom sauce & not the meatballs? But Safran Foer's portrayal possesses great nuance and understanding of how deeply traditions can hold you, but also how they can change, and how they essentially must change & be created anew:

Some of my happiest childhood memories are of sushi “lunch dates” with my mom, and eating my dad’s turkey burgers with mustard and grilled onions at backyard celebrations, and of course my grandmother’s chicken with carrots. Those occasions simply wouldn’t have been the same without those foods — and that is important. To give up the taste of sushi, turkey or chicken is a loss that extends beyond giving up a pleasurable eating experience. Changing what we eat and letting tastes fade from memory create a kind of cultural loss, a forgetting. But perhaps this kind of forgetfulness is worth accepting — even worth cultivating (forgetting, too, can be cultivated). To remember my values, I need to lose certain tastes and find other handles for the memories that they once helped me carry.

& perhaps above all, I love how simply & bluntly he explains his ethics -- his stance summed up in this small excerpt below is beautifully echoed through out his piece, which, above all, is about celebrating reverence for life.

Every factory-farmed animal is, as a practice, treated in ways that would be illegal if it were a dog or a cat. Turkeys have been so genetically modified they are incapable of natural reproduction. To acknowledge that these things matter is not sentimental. It is a confrontation with the facts about animals and ourselves. We know these things matter.

Friday, October 09, 2009

every separation a (perma-) link

kalyna (high bush cranberry) berries ripe again, riverlot 56, september 2009

Jason kindly gave my poem book (see entry below) a more permanent home on the internets, so you can view it there too after the download I created expires.


Monday, September 28, 2009

every separation (a link): poem book

golden sunset light on the river-water, the north saskatchewan, august 2009

golden-light on my skirt, photo-mishap, my yard, august 2009

In my posting absence, I've made this; it's a chapbook of poetry called every separation (a link). It was intended to be distributed in collaged & photocopied form, but alas, mishaps with my free photocopying source meant that it was not to be, right now. I left for Scotland and so further attempts at the paper incarnation will have to wait until Christmas time, I think. Meanwhile, I really really want these poems to be enjoyed, so please do download the pdf version, and let me know what you think. (The link will be available for just 2 weeks, so if you try to download it and it has already disappeared, please email me -- jenanne dot f at gmail dot com -- & I can send you the pdf instead).

This cycle of poems has been emerging for over a year. For a little more light shed upon their creation, this is the preface to the collection:

A little over a year ago, I was struck by a certain theme that kept recurring in my words. Within the poems I was writing, I noticed a consistent fascination with the space in between -- the inherent separation between everyone & everything else.

It was the space between people; between people & other beings; between people & the land they dwell within; between people & conceptions of some unifying force or element. It was the fascination with the paradox that matter is made up primarily of spaces between particles that mysteriously & delicately keep everything from flying apart.

I realized this fascination with those spaces between also dwelt at the root of my interest in language and translation. I am captivated by the way we constantly attempt to bridge the spaces between ourselves through language; language – be it spoken, signed, written, sensed, embodied or visualized – is perhaps really all we have to connect our separate beings with anything else that exists.

Simone Weil wrote in Criteria of Wisdom (‘Metaxu’, from Gravity and Grace):
“The essence of created things is to be intermediaries. They are intermediaries leading from one to the other, and there is no end to this […] We have to experience them as such”. In this book, poems are the vehicles of connection. Weil believed that poetry was something natural and inherent to human communication, and helped to establish a direct, profound connection between people through its conveyance of internal experience and feeling. For Weil, as created things like poems pass through those spaces between us, they allow the barrier of space to become a connection; an absence becomes a presence. This is the paradox of metaxu:

“The world is the closed door. It is a barrier. And at the same time, it is the way through […] Two prisoners whose cells adjoin communicate with each other by knocking on the wall. The wall is the thing which separates them but it is also their means of communication […] Every separation is a link.”

If we were not so separate, there would be no reason for connection, for communication. We cannot make bridges without that space to build them in. As painful as these gaps between our solitary little beings are, it is this lacuna that makes language -- & all the transcendent things it can do -- necessary & possible.

This books is a cycle of poems: a collection of little songs inspired by folk songs and dedicated to holidays traditionally celebrated by Ukrainians. At their very centre, these holidays are all elemental feasts, marking changes in the earth. Though over the last thousand years they have become elaborate syncretic constructions, their pagan integrity remains intact under layers of Christian influence. Fertility rites involving fire & water & ritual purification persist on a midsummer holiday now consecrated to John the Baptist, Ivana Kupala; Spas’, the Feast of the Transfiguration still involves the offering of the summer's first fruits back to the earth that provided them.

Despite the Orthodox theological overlay, at their roots all of these ritual celebrations basically serve the purpose of reuniting those who observe them with a trinity of elements -- the whole earth, all one's ancestors, & some sort of universal presence or animating force -- as well as with each other. Every feast gathers people together, allows them to confront their singularity & separation and then unify, by focusing their energy on some common purpose.

These celebrations commemorate return & transformation, separation & reunification. These poems are little bridges across metaxu, flying in the spaces between all things that brought them here.

August 2009

Edmonton

Thursday, August 06, 2009

ivan kupala poems i)

overexposed wildflowers taken from the ground up, riverlot 56, july 2009

i)

pid sosnoju spala ja
(skazala stara baba)
shyshka mizh nohy vpala –


years ago, said the old woman,
i found the very centre
of the earth: a knotted heart

bursting into a greengreen
green catherine-wheel of leaves
from each pale birch limb

of my body; legs curved
& split swallowtailing as
clever fingers of trees

grazed breezes nipping
at the hem of my skirt –
i remember, she told me,

& i get so homesick now,
my veins heavy & yearning,
thick grey roots of silt – for

how the core rustles, deep
in the cambium a stirring,
how the summer quakes

& holds: sweat sap-sticky
& thunderclouds like dark
ripe berries in the hills

& the mouth says zbyraj mene!
pluck me
while the sun
gets under your skin,

nestles in the tangle
of your belly & births
a hundred swallows flying

out from that swirling hollow,
that well, a whirlpool
made of old old light

ivan kupala poems ii)

lone dandelion, charles simmonds park, edmonton, june 2009

ii)

midnight now. & the dark
wavers with the fires of blue
moths, thoughts the colour

of lightning. in this heat
i can’t sleep for trying
to remember what he said

it was like:

a whole meadowful of ferns
all pulled up by their roots
at once –

one fell swoop, sage-white
fingerlings hanging breathless,
all aching for water –

& i go warm now, feel the
salty streak of my cheekbone,
the flooded field of my mouth.

ivan kupala poems iii)

luminous cow parsnip, riverlot 56, july 2009

me in the wildflowers, riverlot 56, july 2009. photographed by jason.

iii)

weave a wreath of
yarrow, mallow –

(koło jana)

weave a wreath now
& i will follow

(- tam dziewczęta się schodziły
sobie ogień nałożyły,
tam ich północ ciemna naszła)


for how (your) words
bend willow, how (your)
words fill hollows –

(nocel mała, kopiel moja)

you pull me,

(koło jana, koło jana)

taut veins running hard
with sap tang & pulse
to the rivery resonance

of (your) voice –

arch in me;

(nocel mała, kopiel moja)

gather hypericum,
fold / unfold
the leaves sun-heavy

& logostrophic, weave
a wreath of gentians,
fireweed, burn those

full kernels that burst
when heated – turned
to the warmth of (your)

yes

(tam na górze ogień gore,
na tej górze dwoje drzewa.
jedno drzewo, boże drzewo,
na tym drzewie kolebeczka)

* Polish lines are from Orkiestra Sw. Mikołaja's "Pieśń sobótkowa" -- song for Ivana Kupala / Midsummer Night










ivana kupala poems iv)

not robins, but cedar waxwings, riverlot 56, july 2009

iv)

she said it was like
two robins

their red breasts of sun
fluttering against each other
til there was but a blur

of wing & beat & beak
& shriek, a tangle

in the belly, a mouthful
of water spit out in song

Monday, July 13, 2009

mothertongue

baby canada geese! gooselings! hawrelak park, june 2009

Poem I also meant to post a while ago. Written for my mother, but I haven't given it to her, because I am a silly goose.

mothertongue

i)

when i was just a whisper,
embryonic utterance
on the tip of the tongue,

she read to me. stories
all night in her sleeplessness,
sunday mornings spent in song.

she called out to me
& so i grew, morpheme
by morpheme, words

spoken & sung, vitamins
to nourish the spark of a
cell, a neuron, an eyelash, a lung

that would one day force the air
out through my small shocked larynx
& i would cry out, born –

all that water rushes through
the space between us, snipping
of a taproot, blood becoming my own.

ii)

& we are separate, so we speak:

a mother long long before us
gathered berries. cradled
her clinging baby, placed her

in the whispering grasses, first
hummed to calm her, sang to link them,
stop her crying:

the very first syllables signs
of comfort, soft fur of the belly, low thrum
of blood in the neck, messy kiss.

& words became the inchoate strings,
chords echoing umbilical &
made us language, let us love

that distance between us –
whispering aspen with its
round rippling tongues, buds

alight in us, axons blossom.
these words grow
us bundles of connective tissue,
regenerate heart to bones to sinew --

there will be words for when i
cannot hold you, to
connect and make anew:

iii)

mama, i may never make
another body
out of my body

but i can make words
my descendants,
they are nesting nascent

inside of me
waiting to unfurl
their green candles,

a cadenza
of voiceprints
reverberating

like gravel footfalls
on a path by that river,
their long arms

reaching like willow
branches, scattering
their morphemes

in stanzas like
swift-blossoming seeds --
mama, these poems

i made for you,
your words are their
ancestors:

they are your
grandchildren, &
they love you well.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

(o poisoned delicate world)

illuminated unfolding ash leaf, n. sask. river valley, edmonton, may 2009

I've been meaning to write about how much I am loving Erin Mouré's poetry since I saw her speak in the middle of May... She spoke at the Poetics of Numerousness conference and had many things to say about the practice of translation (she is a renowned translator of French, Portuguese, Galician and Spanish) that resonated with me.

She described translation as another part of her own reading practice, and her belief that all poetry consists of multiple languages. She described her work as a 'poetics of hospitality', an idea that I find particularly beautiful. In this approach, writing multilingually/ translating are her way of 'opening the door without expectation'; it is opening oneself to being changed, and letting language happen and alter you. I've been quite inspired by this and have been applying this to the way I plan to present Ukrainian language excerpts in a chapbook I am currently working on.

In her work, I am always fascinated by what she translates and what she does not -- and how well the languages meld and blend together. To me, they feel like some sort of masterfully unified polyphony, as if the different languages are not alternatives to each other, but essentially important voices in themselves while at the same time being part of the whole. The choice of using one language or another is crucial; what is being expressed in one could not have been expressed in the other. Interestingly, some people are annoyed & confused by this -- but to me, it never feels foreign or strange, even when I have only superficial knowledge of one of the languages she uses.



I love her early poems in Wanted Alive (1983), as well as Little Theatres (2005), as the latter was my first introduction to her. However, right now, I highly recommend O Cadoiro (2007) -- poems inspired by medieval Galician cantigas. Of them she writes in the postface:

"They are a fount [...] which are but small plaints, rustlings, a ruxarruxe, an altermundismo or 'otherworld-wantingness' where habitation is possible but tenuous, for though poems recuperate, they do not solve".



I appreciate the longing in her poems, as well as how open they feel. They do indeed recuperate, they heal like little fingerprints of smeared balm, but they don't solve anything, they question & ruminate. They are humble songs, & pretend no authority, offer no answers, only the experience.



Here is one of my favourites from O Cadoiro (Erin Mouré, 2007):



Were it in my power to love such world
In my honesty, and curve
of my ribs around such heart I have
or lung for breath, and alive
here, wanting world as she
to be in me

A creased grave-shroud is my foreboding
A careen or fall, and would you want me ever
world, for it is world I feel such weight for
forlorn or moving forth, though such a world
be questionable, warring, some
privileges at odds with their own mastery

and mastery of me
and yet kindness is ever all I dreamed of, from
you world. Vast vagueries.
I love you still.

Poisoned, delicate world. I love you still.


[940] #995
Erin Moure

Monday, May 25, 2009

spring says


crows over the north saskatchewan river, early april, 2009

I have trouble with early spring, with a deep anxiety that seeps in with the first rivulets of melt. I'm fine now, now that it's mid-May, & the ground is dry & the river is bluegreen with summery silt. Now that there is green, there is sap-sticky air, now that the leaves have decided it is safe to unfurl, that tanagers are nesting & frogs sing coarse & elusive in the bogs.

This sort of panic is similar to the kind I feel in the mornings, especially when I wake suddenly -- I hate feeling pushed, thrust into some newness, out into something that feels stark & full of ambivalence. Not when I'm cozy in sleep, in winter, in rest -- I feel abundant then, rich & creative & safe. By mid-morning, I'm fine, because there will be purpose & direction & distraction. I'm just always a little uneasy of april's white skies, being dragged from hibernation, thrown into an unknown not quite awake, a wasteland not quite ready to change & grow.

* * *


spring says

spring says go now,
be born! & we are
pushed from

winter’s soft womb
with lungs full of blood
& amnion, a sticky cry to

separate us swift
from our hibernation,
our wantlessness, shift

us into beings with
sightless mouths open
always, desirous to reunite.

but the rough tongue
of the wind comes
like pinebark on skin,

harsh papillae of mother
cat on her kitten, licked
fresh & hairless –

go now, spring says,
now you are born!
but you are bare

& lost & red-willow
shocked, caught now
in the dialogue of air

& rock, exposed
to the crumbling language
of erosion, slow Os

leave your lips calcified,
a headlong slide
into the river,

cracked skull
shining on the wet
wash of ice. spring says

go, out under the
sky unheld by anything.
plagued by wordless

ache for the everything
we once had, we are
ghosts with eyes open,

grit our teeth in silent
yearning. go now, into
the spring & try to find

a way to survive, to
free yourself. admit that
you are wanting. admit

that you need.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

dust, breath, light.

butterfly resting on old leaves, the river valley, april 19/09

pysanka gave to my mother this easter

willow sunday

bud' vysokyj yak verba, zdorovyj yak voda, i bahatyj yak zemlya.
(be as tall as a willow, as healthy as water, and as rich as the earth.)

spring melt vanishes the skins
of things, show their spines plainly,
delicate skeletons bare & shocked:

barbed wire stars of burrs
& asters, stalks of sleeping parsnip
& the bleached tendrils of grasses,

snowy epithelia peeled back
to show us the bright arteries, willow
capillaries that will feed the new

lightning shoots sprouting fresh off
last year’s bones: layers of earth
reassemble, regather the flesh

of our ancestors, transform these
new spring clothes: old woman, her
silver hair turned to green rivergrass

& arms woven with bright birch
leaves; little bird cracking a shell
of ancient bones, flying up with

egg-slick feathers, wearing waxy
new plumage made from her passed
life’s worth of that same water

& dust & breath & light.

Monday, May 04, 2009

rusalochka

footprints & breath-cracks on the north saskatchewan, a few months ago
rusalochka
(for arwen)

april, my dreams still filled with ice:
gliding & effluent, cryptic cracklings,
the slow choke of winter. but sun

slices a hole in the creaky windpipe
of the river, lets her foggy breath seep
out the cracks, pale blue edges

ragged with melt. rustless & restless,
she cannot wait for thawing; her voice
sublimates sparse into

air, hits my cells & spreads like a
snowy hoof-print melting, stretched in the
crooked dance of the spring sun.

oj, provedu ja rusalochku
azh do shtiri bor!


rusalka with her mouth open
she holds the rotten berries
of our small deaths on her tongue

spits pomegranate pits into the sweet mud
of the banks, sings to the new seedlings:
gives us water, grows us words.

Friday, April 24, 2009

bleaching in the light

strange plant skeleton, looking a bit like shriveled pasta... in the river valley, edmonton, april 19/09
butterfly in profile, river valley, edmonton, april 19/09

There are poems in gutters and drains, under the rails laid for trains, pages of novels on the pavements, in the supermarkets, stuck to people's feet or the wheels of their bikes or cars; there are poems in the desert. Somewhere where there are no houses, no people, only sky, wind, a wide-open world, a poem about a dormant grass-covered volcano lies held down half-buried in sand, bleaching in the light and heat like the small skull of a bird.

-- Ali Smith, in the story 'Text for the day', in Free Love

(This is just my favourite bit in that whole book. I love it for what it says about the omnipresence of poems. I love how she writes, such brevity, such potent imagery, such simple honest goodness truth.)